I-League 2017-18: East Bengal complete foreign signings quota for upcoming season
What's the story?
After defender Carlyle Deon Mitchell suffered a hamstring which put him out of the field for 2 months, East Bengal officials were on the hunt for defenders and have finally reached an agreement with Eduardo Ferreira and Kamo's brother Bajo for I-League 2017/18.
In case you didn't know...
East Bengal already have secured the services of versatile Syrian midfielder Mahmoud Al Amna, former Mohun Bagan star Katsumi Yusa along with former Chennai City FC forward Charles De Souza. East Bengal also has retained the services of Willis Plaza, despite a disappointing I-League campaign in 2016-17.
East Bengal lost Carlyle Deon Mitchell after he suffered a hamstring injury in training and sources close to the club have informed that he is all set to get his release. East Bengal fans were also not happy with his performance in the recently concluded Calcutta Football League, as his mistakes cost them all three points against arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the title decider in Siliguri last month.
The heart of the matter...
East Bengal called up former Patha Chakra defender Victor Khamuka for trial along with Kamo's brother Bajo who plied his trade for NBP Rainbow AC in the Calcutta Football League 2017.
East Bengal were also rumoured to be in talks with India U17 defender Jitendra Singh for the I-League, but the negotiations did not go through.
The Red and Golds even asked former ATK defender Ofentse Nato to forward his resume to the club for negotiations. Nato was instrumental in ATK's two Indian Super League titles.
That aside, the club were also in talks with former FC Pune City and Mohun Bagan defender Eduardo Ferriera for few weeks, and finally, the deal has been agreed. The Brazilian is expected to land in Kolkata within two days for completing the formalities.
On the other hand, Khalid Jamil has reportedly been impressed by Bajo and has given the go-ahead to the officials to sign him up.
This puts the Management in jeopardy, as Mitchell has not been released yet and the procedure is in a deadlock due to monetary issues.
The 2017-18 I-League kicks off next month on 9th November as per the tentative schedule proposed by All India Football Federation. Clubs have asked for a delayed start citing FIFA's international window and infrastructure issues which can result in the league kicking off on the 16th of November.
Eduardo was impressive in his stints with both FC Pune City and Mohun Bagan and is a familiar name in Indian football circles. Bajo, on the other hand, is relatively unknown and it is to be seen if he has the calibre to sustain the pressure of Kolkata football with the added duty of winning the I-League for East Bengal which has not been the case for last 14 years.
Mitchell's deadlock with the East Bengal management can jeopardize the proceedings and delay the announcement of the new signings.
The East Bengal defence now looks settled with the likes of Lalramchullova, Arnab Mondal, Ferreira, Bajo, Gurwinder Singh and Salam Ranjan Singh solving the defensive problems, which resulted in a disappointing 2016-17 season, of East Bengal to some extent and hopes are pinned on a successful campaign this time out.