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ISL: Bengaluru FC signs Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth and Spanish defender Fran Gonzlez

ISL: Bengaluru FC signs Norwegian striker Kristian Opseth and Spanish defender Fran Gonzlez

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 20 Oct 2020 10:36 AM GMT

2018-19 Indian Super League (ISL) champions Bengaluru FC have today announced the double signing of Norwegian centre-forward Kristian Opseth and former Mohun Bagan defender Fran Gonzalez via their twitter handle. While Opseth is being seen as the replacement for long-term target and former Blue MikuFedor, Spanish defender Gonzalez, who can also play in defensive midfield, is understood to be slotting in place of Albert Serran whom the club parted ways with recently.

30-year-old Opseth turned out for A-League side Adelaide United FC last term, scoring 6 goals and assisting 2 in 21 appearances. The imposing forward stands at 189 cm and also has a knack for scoring from set-pieces. Although he spent the majority of his career in Norway for clubs like FK Bodø/Glimt, SogndalIL and Förde IL Fotball, he also has experience of playing in the Turkish top-flight with BüyüksehirBelediyeErzurumspor. With close to a hundred goals in just under 200 matches in the past seven seasons, expectations will be high that the attacker will be able to share part of the goalscoring burden with captain Sunil Chhetri.

31-year-old Gonzalez joins The Blues after a terrific 2019-20 season where he stamped his authority on a Mohun Bagan side which clinched the I-League title comfortably under head coach Kibu Vicuna, ahead of nearest contenders East Bengal and Minerva Punjab. He started all 16 matches for the Mariners, going on to bag an astonishing tally of 10 goals en route to his side’s title challenge. However, the relationship between him and the Mohun Bagan management went south when the club allegedly side-lined him as they went about recruiting players for the ISL season, following the merger between ATK and Mohun Bagan. Gonzalez had alleged that even though he had initially signed a two-year contract with the Green and Maroons, the club had cut off all lines of communication with him once the I-League was halted in March and that even enquiries by his lawyer had failed to elicit a response from the club. He finally bid the fans goodbye on social media a couple of days back after a solution could not be reached.

Both the signings should strengthen the Bengaluru side in areas in which they needed reinforcements. With the team currently training at their own facility in Bengaluru and set to join the other teams in Goa soon, it remains to be seen how quickly the two new signings can adjust to their new surroundings and conform to how head coach CarlesCuadrat wants his side to play.

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