ISL 2018: Chennaiyin FC sign young defender Dinliana Ralte from Chhinga Veng for Rs 3 lakh
What's the story?
Reigning Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC have bought fullback Dinliana Ralte from Mizoram club Chhinga Veng, in a bid to strengthen an already strong back four.
In case you didn't know...
Dinliana has been a crucial player at Chhinga Veng last season, as the club went on to win the Mizoram Premier League. After a successful MPL campaign with Chhinga Veng, Dinliana went on to sign for Aizawl FC during the 2017/18 I-League season.
The heart of the matter
Chennaiyin FC boast of the third best defence in the ISL, having conceded just 19 goals in 18 matches during the group stage. Incidentally, only Bengaluru FC (16) and Jamshedpur FC (18) have conceded fewer goals during the league stage.
However, looking to further enhance their defence, they struck a deal with the MPL champions, agreeing on a transfer fee around the region of Rs 3 lakh for the fullback, Sportskeeda has learnt.
Dinliana was set to return to Chhinga Veng after his loan spell at former I-League champions Aizawl FC. However, the Super Machans have now snapped him up for a transfer fee that could prove to be a considerable sum for the Mizo club.
Having won the ISL twice, Chennaiyin FC will now be looking to strengthen their squad ahead of the next campaign, in order to steal a march over ATK, who are the joint highest winners of the ISL, with both the clubs winning the title two times each in the four-year history of the tournament.
The Chennaiyin FC mandate is a big opportunity for someone like Dinliana, who has only made a name for himself in the MPL so far. Whille Chennaiyin already have a number of fullbacks in the form of Jerry Lalrinzuala, Dhanachandra Singh, and latest acquisition Ngasepam Tondonba Singh. However, all of them are traditional left-backs, which gives the 20-year-old some chance to make the starting XI unless the manager John Gregory decides to sign another fullback.