ISL 2018: Kerala Blasters sign goalkeeper Naveen Kumar from FC Goa
What's the story?
Kerala Blasters have added another player to their ranks for the upcoming Indian Super League season. This time, it is goalkeeper Naveen Kumar who joins the Blasters from FC Goa.
In case you didn't know...
Born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab, Kumar began his career with JCT FC. Soon after, Kumar signed his first pro contract with Pailan Arrows before moving on to Mohun Bagan.
After a stint with Lonestar Kashmir in 2014, Kumar would move to Goa to play for three different sides in three years. The 29-year-old lent his services to Salgaocar FC, Churchill Brothers FC, and FC Goa during his three-year stay.
The heart of the matter
Kerala Blasters announced, via Twitter, that they have completed the signing of 29-year-old shot-stopper Naveen Kumar from FC Goa. The Blasters posted a short video unveiling The Wall from Punjab.
Kumar will have to compete against Indian U-17 sensation Dheeraj Singh for the no. 1 goalkeeping spot for the next season. The youngster had joined the Blasters earlier in the pre-season after his move to Scottish side Motherwell FC could not materialize.
Whoever Kerala Blasters ultimately pick to be between the sticks will have little to worry about, however. This is due to the fact that the Blasters now have the Indian international center-back pairing- Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika, on their roster.
From a personal perspective, Kumar will hope that his move to Kerala Blasters brings some stability in his otherwise nomadic career.
Kerala Blasters finished sixth in the previous edition of the Indian Super League. The Blasters conceded few goals but scored even fewer to end up with a negative goal difference.
However, the Blasters have been quite active in the transfer market ahead of the new season. It is clear that the hierarchy doesn't want a repeat of the previous season. So far, the Blasters have built a really strong team, bringing in Indian internationals such as Anas Edathodika and Holicharan Narzary while at the same time acquiring prospects such as Abdul Hakku and Dheeraj Singh.
Fans will have to wait and see whether the Blasters' transfer strategy reaps rewards in the 2018/19 ISL season.
Will Naveen Kumar be the Blasters' first-choice goalkeeper for the upcoming ISL season? Or will they stick with Indian U-17 star Dheeraj Singh?
Do let us know in the comments below.