After a debut Indian Super League (ISL) season which has been defined by their lack of quality Indian attackers, SC East Bengal are making moves to correct it. According to a report by KolkataTimes24, Robbie Fowler’s side have made the first move towards bringing in young striker Rahim Ali. The 20-year-old from Ichhapur near Kolkata becomes a free agent in the summer when his contract with Chennaiyin FC expires. The report suggests that the Kolkata giants have offered him a three-year deal in an attempt to lure him away before the Marina Machans can try and hold talks for a renewal.
With only four foreigners allowed in the starting eleven next season onwards, it will be important for all the sides to sort out their domestic squad first. For SC East Bengal, this will be all the more crucial because they have been hugely dependent on their foreign players for goals this term. Jacques Maghoma, Matti Steinmann, Anthony Pilkington and Bright Enobakhare have all found the net whereas the likes of Jeje, Balwant Singh and Harmanpreet Singh have struggled to do the same. In such a situation, signing Rahim makes a lot of sense simply because he has an extremely high ceiling.
The youngster has two goals from 13 outings this season and has looked lively in the attacking third. He also has pace to burn and is a good option to have if you want to stretch the opponent’s defence. Moreover, being a local, playing for the legacy club could well be an extremely tempting choice for him to make. Playing under Robbie Fowler, who is a legendary striker himself, might be another huge incentive for Rahim. However, a lot might depend on how the season ends for both the sides. All we can say is watch this space for more.