ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters announce signing of new striker Mark Sifneos
What's the story?
Kerala Blasters have made their sixth foreign signing for the 2017-18 Indian Super League season. The Men in Yellow have roped in Dutch striker Mark Sifneos, who joins Iain Hume, Courage Pekuson, Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Wes Brown and Paul Rachubka as Rene Meulensteen's new recruits for the upcoming season.
A post on the club's official Twitter read: "Half Dutch, Half Greek, Full blaster now!!! Lets welcome our new young striker, Mark Sifneos! #KBFC #NammudeSwantham #YellowMeinKhelo"
In case you didn't know...
The Blasters have been heavily linked with former Manchester United striker and Bulgaria legend Dimitar Berbatov and talks are believed to be at an advanced stage. Amid that, the signing of another striker Sifneos comes as a surprise.
The heart of the matter
Born in Amsterdam, Sifneos is a Dutch striker of Greek descent. He is only 21 years old and is another youthful addition to the new-look Blasters squad after the 22-year-old Ghanaian Pekuson. Sifneos last played at Dutch Eerste Divisie club RKC Waalwijk, whom he joined last year and made three senior team appearances. According to sources, Meulensteen's close Dutch connections were key in identifying the player and completing of the deal.
The 6ft 3in centre-forward is strong in the air and has a cultured right foot. Alongside Hume, Sifneos could prove to be a useful option for Meulensteen in attack for the Blasters next season. Kerala Blasters have been a traditionally goal-shy club in the ISL, but they will look to change that in the forthcoming season.
Meulensteen was in the market for at least two foreign striker signings before wrapping up transfer proceedings, and it seems he has got his first target in Sifneos. Should Berbatov sign on the dotted lines as expected, the Blasters will have some good options going forward.
Having already signed six foreigners for ISL 2017-18, Kerala Blasters are just two foreign transfers away from completing their jigsaw. With the mix of experienced campaigners like Brown, Rachubka, and Hume and young blood like Pekuson and Sifneos, the Blasters have gone for a balanced composition of the squad.
The 2017-18 ISL kicks off on 17th November, and clubs will have their respective pre-seasons starting next month.
Sifneos is a relatively inexperienced striker and hasn't played at the highest levels yet. His spell with the Blasters next season will be his first senior level top-flight experience. Whether or not the half-Dutch, half-Greek takes to Indian football like a duck to water remains to be seen.