Indian Football Transfers: ATK's Gerson Vieira signs for Tanzanian club Simba SC
After signing high-profile names like Carl McHugh and Roy Krishna, ATK has finally seen one of their foreign stars depart for another club. Gerson Vieira, who played as a central defender and central defensive midfielder in the ISL last season, has joined Tanzanian club Simba SC on a two-year deal.
Simba SC are the defending champions of the Tanzanian Premier League, having won the title for the past two consecutive seasons. Moreover, they even reached the quarter-finals of the 2018-19 CAF Champions League.
Gerson first came to India in 2016, playing for Mumbai City FC in the ISL. He made 14 appearances for the Islanders as they went on to top the table. After a brief stint in Brazil, Gerson came back to India to re-join his former club.
He was again rock-solid for Mumbai City FC in the 2017-18 season but couldn't help the team reach the playoffs. ATK signed him in the last season of the ISL but his sturdiness in the back four or the central defensive midfield position wasn't enough to take them to the semi-finals.
A youth product of Gremio, Gerson is most notably known for being the captain of the Brazilian team that played in the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup. That side included current national team players of Brazil football team like Neymar Jr, Casemiro, Phillipe Coutinho, and Alisson Becker. Gerson, however, was unable to enjoy the same level of success in international football.
The 26-year-old's departure won't hurt ATK's defensive prospects to a large extent. Having retained John Johnson, he will have Carl McHugh shore up the back-four alongside him. They are, however, yet to sign a foreign defensive midfielder. Gerson's absence will leave a hole in that crucial spot.