ISL 2018-19: Kerala Blasters-FC Goa agree to swap deal involving goalkeepers Naveen Kumar, Lalthuammawia Ralte
ISL sides Kerala Blasters and FC Goa have agreed on a deal wherein goalkeepers Naveen Kumar and Lalthuammawia Ralte would swap their loyalties. According to the sources, Naveen has landed in Goa and should sign the contract today. Lalthuammawia Ralte should reciprocate the same anytime.
Naveen Kumar played for numerous clubs in India like Pailan Arrows, Mohun Bagan, and Churchill Brothers before rising to fame in the 2017-18 ISL season with FC Goa. He made 22 saves in 7 matches for the Gaurs which involved keeping two clean sheets.
Kerala Blasters took note of his talent and signed him for the ongoing ISL season. However, the 30-year-old could muster only 10 saves and leaked nine goals in the five matches he started. FIFA U-17 World Cupper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem has made the position between the sticks his home since then, producing a lot of acrobatic saves.
Lalthuammawia Ralte, on the other hand, is well-known for his time in Bengaluru FC where he started all of their matches in the 2014-15 I-League. However, when Gurpreet Singh Sandhu signed for the club in 2015, he lost the tag of being the first-choice goalkeeper.
After being loaned to Northeast United FC in 2015 where he stayed on the bench throughout, FC Goa finally signed him for the 2018-19 season. However, 18-year-old Mohammad Nawaz managed to impress Sergio Lobera and has started FC Goa's all matches in the 2018-19 Indian Super League so far.
It remains to be seen if either of these players can find playing time in their new clubs. Both Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem and Mohammed Nawaz are doing their job in between the sticks terrifically, producing a plethora of saves with their acrobatic dives and perspicacious positioning.