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I-League 2017/18: East Bengal release Armand Bazie, in talks to rope in ex-Kerala Blasters star Boris Kadio 

703   //    02 Feb 2018, 17:04 IST

Former Kerala Blasters man Didier Kadio
Former Kerala Blasters man Didier Kadio

What's the story?

Title contenders East Bengal FC have yet again grabbed the headlines after releasing Ivory Coast international Armand Bazie owing to a string of poor performances from the 25-year-old defensive midfielder in the ongoing I-League season.

East Bengal, who have not won a national league title in over 13 years, have released the 25-year old Bazie but are in talks with former Kerala Blasters midfielder Boris Kadio with a hope to beef up their line-up ahead of the home stretch this season.

In case you didn't know

One of the giants in Indian football, East Bengal are the defending champions of the Calcutta Football League. With a long-standing rivalry against Mohun Bagan, the three-time champions of the National Football League have not managed to win an I-League title since its inception.

The heart of the matter

The release of the 25-year-old midfielder comes after the release of two of the team's forwards Willis Plaza and Charles D'Souza along with Trinidadian defender Deon Mitchell.

Bazie, who was hurriedly drafted into the team by coach Khalid Jamil, played for the Rainbow FC in the Calcutta Football League before joining East Bengal.

The midfielder debuted for East Bengal in their first game against Aizawl FC and started in six games in the next eleven but his sloppy performances saw him being axed from the squad.

The Red and Golds, who are looking for replacements to infuse some extra strength to their squad, are reportedly in talks with Bazie's compatriot Didier Boris Kadio, who represented the Kerala Blasters during the 2016 season of the Indian Super League.

Currently, Kadio is plying his trade for Pyunik FC, an Armenian side, and has constantly started in most games. This has further peaked the interest of East Bengal to sign the 27-year-old defensive midfielder.

What's next?

Currently perched third on the points table, East Bengal will square off against the Indian Arrows over the weekend in a bid to increase a stake in the claim for an elusive I-League title.

Author's take

With a void left in the defense unit, head coach Khalid Jamil will be hoping to sign a defensive midfielder soon, given that star player Mahmoud Al Amna is still recovering from a recent injury.

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