ISL 2018-19: Ex-Bengaluru FC winger Edu Garcia joins ATK from Zhejiang Greentown

Edu Garcia struck two goals for Bengaluru FC in the 2017-18 ISL season
Edu Garcia struck two goals for Bengaluru FC in the 2017-18 ISL season

Former Bengaluru FC winger Edu Garcia has joined ATK for the remainder of the season from Chinese side Zhejiang Greentown FC.

Garcia, who moved from BFC to China in last year's winter transfer window, has moved back to India.

But he will join Steve Coppell's outfit in Kolkata, hoping to provide the much-needed aggression to the team's fumbling strike force.

After all, Garcia scored BFC's first-ever goal after the club joined the Indian Super League (ISL) bandwagon last year.

In 14 appearances for BFC, Garcia struck twice and is still a fan favourite among the West Block Blues.

Garcia is also a dead-ball specialist but he will have to share those duties with Manuel Lanzarote at ATK. According to sources, it was Lanzarote who asked for Garcia to be signed in the Kolkata side. Apart from Lanzarote, Garcia will have a familiar figure in John Johnson, who was part of the Bengaluru FC squad last year.

ATK always wanted an attacking player as they have scored the least number of goals in the ISL at 10. Yet, they are placed sixth on the table with 16 points in 12 games and have a good chance of making the playoffs. They are 11 points behind leaders BFC but only four adrift of fourth-placed NorthEast United.

In China, Garcia made 18 appearances for Greentown, which plays in the China League One. He struck four goals for the second-tier side in Chinese football.

Garcia can play in the midfielder or on the wings. The 28-year-old can also be deployed as a wing-back by Coppell. The Spaniard played for Real Zaragoza in the Segunda Division of Spain.

Garcia's signing was announced a day after ATK had swooped in on right-back Pritam Kotal from ATK. Kotal, who captained Delhi Dynamos, signed a multi-year deal with ATK.

The club also has let Eli Babalj go. The towering Australian was signed for four weeks as a replacement for the injured Kalu Uche and Emiliano Alfaro. He made three appearances off the bench for ATK and did not score any goals for them.

Speaking on the new additions to the squad, Coppell said in a statement: β€œThe additions made to the squad are positive and we are quite excited to bring the new players on board.

"We hope that they can deliver and excite the fans through their performances on the pitch. We will begin training after the international break and assess how soon they can be integrated to our main squad. We look forward to a bright start in 2019.”

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Edited by Sripad
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