ISL 2018-19 Transfer News: Shillong Lajong's Aibanbha Dohling close to FC Goa move?
Promising defender Aibanbha Dohling of Shillong Lajong could switch to Indian Super League (ISL) side FC Goa, sources say.
The 22-year-old defender operates as a right-back or a centre-back and can be fielded anywhere in the defence. Given FC Goa's struggles in that department this season, Aiban's addition to the side can only be a positive move for Sergio Lobera's side.
The club has offered him a two-year contract, it is learnt.
Aiban first caught the eye of scouts during his time with the Tata Football Academy. The defender, who hails from Sohra in Meghalaya, started his career with Shillong Lajong, qualifying to the final leg of the Manchester United Premier Cup with the U-15 side of Lajong.
He broke into the senior side of Lajong after showing promise in the 2015 U-19 League for TFA.
Aiban has been part of the Lajong set-up since then it was in this season that he got regular playing time for the club. So far, he has made 13 appearances and has clocked 1170 minutes of playing time for Lajong in the I-League.
He was also close to joining Bengaluru FC in 2015 but remained with Lajong.
FC Goa, who have conceded 17 goals this season in just 11 games, could really use someone like Aiban in their ranks. Lobera deploys midfielder Mandar Rao Dessai as a full-back and Aiban could help out in that department.
FC Goa have been fairly active in the transfer market. They signed goalkeeper Naveen Kumar from Kerala Blasters in a swap deal involving Lalthuammawia Ralte. That apart, Zaid Krouch has come in to add more flair to the attack with the club letting go of Miguel Palanca.
Goa are fourth on the ISL table with 20 points in 11 games but they have played two matches less than third-placed NorthEast United FC, who are three points ahead.
Their attack is perhaps one of the best in the league with Ferran Corominas raking up 10 goals in the first phase of the ISL. Problems with the defence continue to be a worry for Lobera and given that they are in contention for a spot in the playoffs, the Gaurs really had to tighten their backline.
Shillong are bottom of the I-League table with just seven points in 14 games. They recently stunned the defending champions Minerva Punjab 1-0 but they are running the danger of being relegated.