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ISL: Weekly Transfer Roundup - From FC Goa's recruitment spree; East Bengal making right noises

ISL: Weekly Transfer Roundup - From FC Goas recruitment spree; East Bengal making right noises

Sayan Chatterjee

Published: 7 Oct 2020 12:16 PM GMT

North East United FC bolster their ranks with new defensive duo and a forward

This past week saw a number of new transfer stories develop in the world of the Indian Super League (ISL) with North East United FC emerging as the high-flyers. The Highlanders have added personnel on either end of the pitch with the signings of striker VP Suhair as well as Aussie and Belgian defenders Dylan Fox and Benjamin Lambot respectively. A vital cog in ATK Mohun Bagan’s I-League winning team last season, Suhair previously represented Kerala in the Santosh Trophy apart from stints at Gokulam Kerala FC and United SC. He adds to the firepower upfront alongside new signings Khassa Camara and Luis Machado, with coach Gerard Nus looking to do better than the 16 goals that they managed in the league stages last term.

The John Abraham owned club has also added defenders Fox and Lambot to their back line in the past few days. 26-year-old Fox arrives from the Central Coast Mariners in the A-League and has over seven years of experience in Australia and New Zealand having also represented Wellington Phoenix previously. 33-year-old Lambot is another experienced campaigner who would provide much needed physicality and leadership to a young NEUFC defence, and last played for Cypriot outfit Nea Salamis Famagusta FC. The former Royal Antwerp and Cercle Brugge player has more than 15 years of top level experience and together with Fox, should improve a Highlanders’ defence that shipped 30 goals last season.

FC Goa carry on with their impressive recruitment spree

With the summer exodus that took place at FC Goa, fans would have been worried about the eventual balance of the team after a hugely promising 2019-20 campaign. Mourtada Fall, Ahmed Jahouh, Coro and Hugo Boumous’ departure has been handled well by the management who have brought in Igor Angulo, Alberto Noguera and Jorge Ortiz Mendoza in quick succession. The latest in the line of new recruits are Aussie defender James Donachie and Indian striker Ishan Pandita who has been creating waves in the Segunda division in Spain. Donachie joins the Gaurs on a season-long loan deal from Newcastle Jets in the A-League. His transfer can turn out to be a very shrewd piece of business by Director of Football Ravi Puskur considering his experience of playing in the AFC Champions League before with Melbourne Victory and Brisbane Roar. At 6’5”, the burly defender is also very comfortable with the ball at his feet and seems to be the right fit for Goa in terms of their philosophy of playing out from the back. At the other end of the pitch, the signing of Ishan Pandita should get Indian fans excited after the youngster made a name for himself in Spain over the course of the past four seasons. The highly-rated attacker arrives from Lorca FC having scored 6 goals in 25 appearances last term and should be one to watch out for in the context of breaking into the national team setup.

East Bengal making the right noises in the transfer market

Debutants East Bengal, who are expected to make Robbie Fowler their head coach ahead of the new season, are in talks with Scottish defender Daniel Fox and English-Australian centre-back Scott Neville if rumours are to be believed. While the former recently terminated his contract with Wigan Athletic and is available on a free, the latter has bags of A-League experience having been a regular at Fowler’s former club Brisbane Roar as well as Newcastle Jets, Perth Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers. Former AFC Bournemouth midfielder Andrew Surman has also been linked with a move to the Red and Golds with Fowler’s contacts in England suggested to be a key factor in the developing stories. If completed, all of these signings should be good news for fans who have been waiting for some good news in terms of transfer activity.

Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai City Fc, Kerala Blasters and ATK Mohun Bagan apply final touches to their squad ahead of new season

Chennaiyin FC have confirmed the signing of Brazilian and ex-Jamshedpur FC defender Memo Moura. The 32-year-old first played in the ISL in 2016 when he turned out for the Delhi Dynamos. He then joined Jamshedpur FC and featured in all 54 matches that the club played till the 2019-20 season since their inception. The tough-tackling defender arrives in Chennai after the expiry of his contract with Jamshedpur and should dovetail nicely alongside Eli Sabia and with fellow newcomer Enes Sipovic in the Chennaiyin defence.

Mumbai City FC have roped in Tottenham Hotspur academy product Cy Goddard on loan from Serie A side Benevento Calcio. The 23-year-old Japanese midfielder could prove to be the perfect foil for the fastidious Ahmed Jahouh and the dynamism of Raynier Fernandes and Hugo Boumous in the middle of the park.

After a seemingly uneventful few days, Kerala Blasters have now confirmed the signing of English striker Gary Hooper, essentially to replace last season’s talisman Bartholomew Ogbeche. The 32-year-old last played for A-League side Wellington Phoenix but has previously had important spells at Norwich City and Glasgow Celtic. The third foreign signing for the Kochi-based side, Hooper joins the likes of Facundo Pereira and Vicente Gomez as the Tuskers look for a strong start to the new campaign.

Lastly, ATK Mohun Bagan have signed midfielder Glan Martins from Churchill Brothers on a 2-year deal. The 26-year-old will most likely be partnering Javi Hernandez in the middle of the park for the Mariners with Michael Regin and Pronay Halder being the other central midfield options for Coach Antonio Habas. The Goan joins a star ensemble at the club and will be looking to impress in the ISL as well as the AFC Cup for which the club have qualified.

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