I-League side East Bengal FC have wrapped up a move from Goa Professional League side Salgaocar SC with a hefty undisclosed transfer fee to get Striker Ronaldo Oliviera on board. The 23-year-old forward was the leading goal-scorer in the recently concluded Goa Professional League, where FC Goa emerged as the maiden winners and Salgaocar finished third. He is supposed to land in Kolkata just after 9th July as East Bengal begins training for his one-week long trial stint before he finally inks an official deal.
He scored 23 goals in 22 Goa Professional League and was a lethal force to be reckoned with. He combined brilliantly with his other strike partner Devendra upfront for the Greens. Oliviera made headlines when Salgaocar defeated Pune City in the AWES Cup courtesy a Ronaldo Oliviera and Devendra combination.
Oliviera is being adjudged as the potential replacement for Jobby Justin who switched to ATK after the previous season. Oliviera is a good finisher with sublime pace. He complimented Devendra in his Salgaocar days and vice-versa. It will be interesting to see how Oliviera adapts to the unforeseen Kolkata Maidan where several such promising talents perish. He is expected to pair East Bengal Academy Graduate Subhonil Ghosh or play second-fiddle to a potential foreign striker in the upcoming Calcutta Football League and Durand Cup events.
Oliviera's move to East Bengal also comes up as a relief for East Bengal fans as the Red and Golds who lacked a good striking option upfront with just Bali Gagandeep available from the previous squad. Gagandeep has good physical abilities but is abysmal technically. Oliviera may just solve East Bengal's scoring options in the next two tournaments if he fits perfectly within the Menendez System.
Surprise, as it might sound, East Bengal did actually defeat FC Pune City in the transfer race for Oliviera and ended up paying transfer fees to secure his signature before any other club could jump in.
East Bengal are also believed to have invited SESA Football Academy Graduate Anil Chavan (defender) and Sujan Dey for trials as well in the later part of the month.Published 09 Jul 2019, 02:24 IST