Endless speculation, numerous link-ups and weeks of anxiety later the Bartholomew Ogbeche saga finally seems to be heading towards its conclusion. After all, one of Indian Super League’s (ISL) most prolific scorers over the last two seasons has reportedly sent a farewell message to his Kerala Blasters FC teammates.
Ogbeche had joined Kerala from NorthEast United FC last season on a two year deal after scoring 14 goals for the Highlanders in ISL 2018-19. He netted 15 of the 29 goals (51.72%) that Kerala managed through the season. The Blasters management hoped he would stay and lead the team’s attack in the upcoming campaign as well.
However, Covid-19 hit them hard, financially, and as a result, they asked most of their players to take pay cuts or to terminate their existing contracts. Initially, Ogbeche was inclined to honor his contract and play with lesser wages. But other clubs saw this as an opportunity and began talks with him.
While Mumbai City FC, who were recently acquisitioned by City Football Group (CFG), were always ahead in the race, Bengaluru FC were also interested in the Nigerian. But now, it is understood that Bengaluru are out of the race and Ogbeche has signed for the Islanders.
In a Whatsapp message to his Blasters teammates, Ogbeche bid his adieu. He wrote, “Hi boys, I trust everyone’s hale and hearty. Needless to say last season was very tough for us all but the respect, love, unity and fighting spirit we showed till the last day are things worthy of admiration. I’m proud to have shared the same dressing room with all of you. Wishing you all the very best for the future.”
“P.S: Don’t hesitate to reach out to me if there’s anyway I can be of help to anyone. Take good care of yourselves and God bless you,” the 35-year-old added.