ISL 2018: Chennaiyin FC defender Keenan Almeida on FC Pune City's radar
What's the story?
Chennaiyin FC defender Keenan Almeida is said to have been approached by ISL side FC Pune City for the next season of the cash-rich franchise-based tournament.
In case you didn't know...
Keenan Almeida began his professional career with former I-League side Sporting Clube de Goa, also known as the Flaming Oranje. The Marmagao based right back got his first taste of the ISL, when he was lured by FC Goa in 2015. He went on to play 11 games for the Gaurs in the course of two seasons and and found the net once against ATK in 2015 in a 1-1 draw.
Meanwhile, FC Goa loaned Almeida to Goan sides Salgaocar FC and Churchill Brothers in the next consecutive seasons for the I-League. He played in 14 matches for the Greens and 17 matches for the Red Machines.
After his contract with FC Goa lapsed along with his couple of loan spells, Chennaiyin FC picked him up in the ISL 2017-18 draft.
The heart of the matter
Almeida made only four appearances for the Marina Machans in the 2017-18 season as Spaniard Inigo Calderon was largely preferred at right-back by coach John Gregory.
Due to the lack of playing time with the defending Champions, Almeida is said to be on the lookout for a new side ahead of the transfer window. Now, he is said to be on the radar of this season's semifinallists FC Pune City.
With the likes of Gurtej Singh, Rafa Lopez, Sarthak Golui, Lalchhuanmawia and Sahil Panwar already present at the back for FC Pune City, Keenan Almeida's addition could add up much-needed versatility to the back four for the next season.
The move is assumed to be a free transfer hence he won't feature in the upcoming Super Cup Round of 16 tie against Shillong Lajong on 4th April unless it is a loan move.
Several young talents have been warming benches in the recently concluded Indian Super League, hence it is beneficial for players like Almeida to swap sides and go for teams where they will get an ample amount of playing time. Switching to I-League and 2nd Division sides also remain as an option.