Indian Super League outfit SC East Bengal has signed Marcelo Ribeiro dos Santos for the ongoing 2021-22 season. The striker comes to India on loan from Gil Vicente FC, a club that plays in the Primeira Liga in Portugal. It was imperative for the club to sign a new foreign player in the attacking department after the departure of Daniel Chima Chukwu.
The reports suggest that the striker chose to leave SCEB due to family reasons. Therefore, the club used the January transfer window to add more quality to the roster.
The Red & Gold Brigade is struggling to cope up with the competition in the ISL. Despite a few decent performances under Renedy Singh, the club is yet to win its first game of the season.
The arrival of the young striker should uplift the mood in and around the club. Having said that, here are the five things one can expect from the new signing Marcelo Ribeiro:
Marcelo dos Santos is one of the many Brazilian forwards plying their trade in the ISL. It is a well-known fact that South American footballers are gifted with technical brilliance. Players like Cassio Gabriel, Jonathas, Cleiton Silva, Ygor Catatau and more come from Brazil and are lighting up the 2021-22 season.
With Marcelo dos Santos' arrival, SCEB fans can get excited for the same. He will bring a lot of quality in the final third, something the club desperately needs. The departure of Chukwu will leave a gap in the forward department and Marcelo could fill it perfectly.
SC East Bengal has the second-worst goalscoring record in the ISL after playing 10 matches in the 2021-22 season. The outfit has only found the net 11 times, second to Chennaiyin FC which has scored only nine goals.
Furthermore, the clubs also lacks a reliable source for goals. No individual has scored more than two goals for the team and that is a major problem area. Marcelo will definitely add a layer of a threat going forward. He is an unknown operator for the ISL teams and this could be a beneficial factor for the player.
First win of the season
SC East Bengal is the only team without a win in the 2021-22 season. Their winless streak has extended to double figures. This is the biggest reason for their bottom place in the league standings after playing 10 matches.While interim head coach Renedy Singh has steadied the ship in recent games, a lot more needs to be done to secure the first win.
The fans are hungry for the first win of the season and the players must deliver it before it's too late. Marcelo's arrival should work as motivation. His impetus upfront will enable to outfit to secure a win if they can keep up their defensive shape.
One of the better aspects of signing Marcelo dos Santos is his age. The 24-year-old is at the peak of his physical fitness and will aim to put that to good use. A nice change of trend has seen ISL clubs bring in young foreign players who are more industrious than players in their 30s. Darren Sidoel is also in the SCEB ranks, who is the youngest foreign player this year in the ISL.
Hyderabad FC has also seen a good output from their 24-year-old Spanish striker, Javier Siverio. SCEB will certainly see more energy in the final third. Coupled with the tenacity of Antonio Perosevic, the attacking department will become more fierce for SCEB.
Improvement in results
The expectations from this signing are huge. SC East Bengal is languishing at the bottom of the league standings. While the playoffs are not mathematically out of reach, it will take a massive turn in fortunes to reach near the top-four places. Marcelo will hope to impact the performance of the team positively.
The Brazilian will aim to impose his authority on the ISL as he is hungry for game time. Recent draws with Bengaluru FC and Mumbai City FC were promising and the club must build on those performances to find better results and get more points on the board.