Former ATK Mohun Bagan star Marcelinho Leite Pereira is all set to join Indian Super League side NorthEast United FC. The Brazilian will join the highlanders on a loan deal from Rajasthan United FC. The move will keep him with NEUFC till the end of the season.
Mercelinho made his debut in the Indian Super League with Delhi Dynamos FC back in 2016. He went on to become the top scorer in the season and had the most goal contributions (15). The next season, Mercelinho joined Pune City FC. The Brazillian carried his rich form and became the top goal contributor for FC Pune City and his tally of seven assists was the season's best during the club's run to the semis.
In the following season, he netted six goals and provided four assists for the Stallions. The Brazilian signed for newly formed Hyderabad FC in 2019-20 and played a crucial role for The Nizams. He later joined Odisha FC for the 2020-21 campaign. After nine appearances for Odisha FC in Hero ISL 2020-21, he joined ATK Mohun Bagan on loan during the January transfer window. Mercelinho reached the finals of the ISL 2021-22 with the Mariners and fell short by a whisker.
Last month, Mercelinho signed for the newly promoted Rajasthan United to ply his trade in the I-League. However, the Brazillian wasn't able to take part in Rajasthan's debut I-League match due to issues with registration.
North East United are currently sitting at the tenth spot with only eight points from nine matches. The Highlanders have already lost their best creative outlet in Fede Gallego and are lacking creativity in the upfront.
The club was desperately looking for a creative player to replace their Uruguayan star. Finally, after chasing many foreigners, they kept their faith in ISL's one of the best players, Mercelinho. If Mercelinho can fill in the void of Gallego, North East can still make a deep run into the tournament.