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ISL: Chennaiyin FC sign most-capped Tajikistan Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev

ISL: Chennaiyin FC sign most-capped Tajikistan Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 15 Oct 2020 7:57 AM GMT

Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) winners Chennaiyin FC have, on Thursday, announced the signing of Tajikistan’s highest capped player Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev.

The 30-year-old winger joins the Marina Machans after successful spells at Istiqlol Dushanbe, Persela Lamongan and FK Khujand in the Vysshaya Liga (Tajikistan top division) and FK Bukhara in The Uzbekistani Super Liga. He spent last season at FK Khujand, scoring four goals and assisting three in the Vysshaya Liga with a couple more assists in two AFC Cup Qualifiers.

The highly-rated winger was a breakout star in the 2007 U-17 FIFA World Cup, scoring the winner against USA to confirm his team’s qualification into the knockout stages. He joined Istiqlol in 2010 and went on to become one of the most important players for the club, scoring more than 50 goals for the side. He has also made 68 appearances for his country, finding the net 9 times, and has also represented Tajikistan at the U-21 level with 10 goals in 17 appearances.

Comfortable playing anywhere at the top end of the pitch, Fatkhuloev has probably been brought in to fill the Jeje-sized hole left in the Chennaiyin squad after the Mizo Sniper bid adieu to the club following six eventful seasons. Till now, Chennaiyin had focused on getting their defence sorted with signings like that of Memo Moura, Enes Sipovic, Reagan Singh and Lalchhuanmawia.

However, this, along with the purchase of Portuguese attacker Esmael ‘Isma’ Goncalves indicates that head coach Csaba Laszlo has now shifted his focus towards getting his team’s attacking unit in shape before the transfer window shuts on 20th October. With a few more names likely to be inducted into the squad in the next few days, fans would be looking forward to seeing how the new-look squad shapes up for the new season.

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