Indian Football: Kerala Blasters announce signing of Spaniard Mario Arques
Arques, who turned out for Jamshedpur FC in the 2018-19 season of the ISL, didn't sign an extension to his contract with the Miners, who finished fifth in the ISL last season.
Blasters, on the other hand, are undergoing a massive rehaul of their squad, after a disastrous 2018-19 season in which they finished 9th.
They even sacked their manager David James midway through the season, after a humiliating 6-1 loss at the hands of Mumbai City FC. Nelo Vingada took over in the second half of the season, and although there was a slight improvement in their performance, there was nothing to write home about.
The Blasters even lost 2-0 to the Indian Arrows in the Super Cup qualifiers.
Kerala Blasters replaced their CEO Varun Tripuraneni with Viren D'Silva, and have now appointed Eelco Schattorie as their head coach as well.
Arques was Jamshedpur's most creative player this season, helping them finish fifth on the ISL table. He scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists for JFC but his biggest contribution was in those touches and contributions in the midfield. In 18 matches, he took 1311 touches and made 1126 passes for Jamshedpur.
Blasters really needed someone creative in the midfield this season to combine well with Sahal Abdul Samad and Arques will fit into that role well.
Arques will feature in midfield for Schattorie, and look to have a better stint for the Blasters than his predecessor in that position, Nikola Krcmarevic had in 2018-19.
The Blasters are also soon expected to announce the signings of Sergio Cidoncha and Bartholomew Ogbeche, who turned out for Jamshedpur FC and NorthEast United respectively, last season.
“I feel proud to wear the Kerala Blasters Jersey and will fight to give the team what it deserves.
To know Kerala, play entertaining football for the fans and achieve victories together is something that I always wanted to do. I will put my heart here and give my best for this club," Arques said.
“I’m very happy to have Mario Arques on board. He is a player who has proved himself very valuable for the team, during the last season of the ISL. He can play several positions, is a dynamic forward, and most of-all has a very good trait of wanting to work hard for the team. I’m looking forward to working with him,” Schattorie said.