ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters announce signing of former Manchester United man
What's the story?
Kerala Blasters have added another goalkeeper to their Indian Super League 2017-18 squad in the form of former Manchester United custodian Paul Rachubka. The 36-year-old becomes the Blasters' fifth summer signing ahead of the new ISL season later this year.
A post on the club's official Twitter handle read: "From across the seas, he comes to the God's Own Country, @PaulRachubka is here to keep our goal. #PaulSaves #KBFC #NammudeSwantham"
In case you didn't know...
Rachubka was on Manchester United's books when the club won the Premier League title in 2001 and made one appearance that season as an understudy to Fabien Barthez and Mark Bosnich.
Earlier in the week, new Kerala Blasters' signing Wes Brown revealed in an interview with the Manchester Evening News about Rachubka's imminent arrival to Kochi, which has now been confirmed.
"Ex-United goalkeeper Paul Rachubka is also going out to Kerala. We got in contact again and it will be good to have someone else out there with me on the playing side,” Brown said.
The heart of the matter
Rachubka has had a journeyman career so far, having turned out for a plethora of English Football League sides. The former England youth international last played at Bury in the English League One, the third tier of the English footballing pyramid.
He joins Iain Hume, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Courage Pekuson and Brown as the new arrivals at Kerala Blasters this summer.
Another former Manchester United star, Dimitar Berbatov, is also expected to be unveiled by the end of this weekend.
Kerala Blasters have already signed Indian international goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury in the domestic players' draft last month. The 30-year-old will be expected to be the first-choice 'keeper, with Rachubka serving as an experienced deputy.
Kerala Blasters have a history of signing veteran goalkeepers and have been successful with their associations with David James and Graham Stack in the past. Both helped the club reach the ISL final in 2014 and 2016, but Rachubka will hope to go one step further next season and lift the title.
While the signing of Rachubka wasn't a pressing need, his presence alongside other ex-Manchester United employers Brown and head coach Rene Meulensteen will help create a sense of harmony inside the dressing room. The 36-year-old is an experienced campaigner, but expect him to add more off the pitch than on it.