Indian Super League (ISL) debutants Sporting Club East Bengal have announced the arrival of India International Jeje Lalpekhlua and German midfielder Matti Steinmann for the 2020-21 season.
Lalpekhlua plays primarily as a center-forward, but can also drop down to play as a second striker or right winger when required. Steinmann's main position is to play as a central defensive midfielder.
Jeje Lalpekhlua and Matti Steinmann strengthen East Bengal
Jeje Lalpekhlua started his playing career with Pune FC (now defunct), and has played for Dempo SC, Mohun Bagan, and Chennaiyin FC since 2008. He was part of the Pailan Arrows ahead of the AFC Asian Cup 2011.
Lalpekhlua has been out of action recently due to a long term injury. His inclusion in East Bengal's debut ISL campaign will be crucial to him earning his spot back in the Indian National Team. Lalpekhlua has played 56 games for the Blue Tigers, and has 23 goals.
"Every footballer in India wants to play for SC East Bengal one day. It is such a big institution. I am thrilled to join SC East Bengal in its first year of taking part in the ISL. I cannot wait to don the Red and Gold colours and give my best every time I take the field," said Jeje Lalpekhlua.
Matti Steinmann began his playing career with German Bundesliga 2 side Hamburger SV II before playing for Chemnitzer FC, FSV Mainz 05 II and Vendyssel FF. Steinmann has also played 10 Bundesliga games in the 2017/18 season for Hamburger.
Steinmann will be pivotal to East Bengal's debut ISL season as he will be tasked with controlling the midfield and cutting off supply from opposition midfield. Steinmann played 24 games for A-League side Wellington Phoenix. He also has the experience of playing for the German U-20 side in 2015.
"I am really looking forward to adding to the strength of SC East Bengal. The project under Robbie really excited me. I cannot wait to get going, for us and the millions of fans we have across the world," said Matti Steinmann.
East Bengal finalise foreign signings
The Red and Golds are said to have agreed personal terms with Congolese Midfielder Jacques Maghoma and Irish Striker Anthony Stokes. Maghoma and Stokes will be East Bengal's final foreign signings if the deals are announced. Daniel Fox, Scott Neville, Aaron-Amadi Holloway, Anthony Pilkington and Matti Steinmann are the first five confirmed foreigner signings.Published 18 Oct 2020, 19:27 IST