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ISL: Analysing SC East Bengal's Indian contingent ahead of ISL 2021-22

SC East Bengal will be starting their season on the 21st of November, 2021 against Jamshedpur FC. Before the red and golds take the pitch, let's analyse their Indian contingent and talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

ISL: Analysing SC East Bengals Indian contingent ahead of ISL 2021-22

Sattyik Sarkar

Published: 10 Oct 2021 6:36 PM GMT

The seventh edition of the Indian Super League saw the inclusion of SC East Bengal to the ISL. Joining hands with their new investor, the century-old club stepped into the top tier of Indian football. Needless to say, it wasn't a cakewalk for the red and golds as they ended ninth in the table and won just 3 matches. They conceded 33 goals in the entire tournament and the team looked shaky from the very beginning of the league. With Robbie Fowler in-charge of the torchbearers, the team failed to make the fans smile, who have been waiting for it for years now.

This season however, there was a dilemma about the team's participation in the Indian Super League and fortunately the problem was resolved with a temporary fix and the club started signing footballers a few days before the deadline day. In just five days, the red and golds secured signatures of many footballers with some unexpected names joining the brigade and some known faces being retained by the management. Before the ISL season kickstarts, let's look at the Indian contingent of the red and golds.

Jackichand Singh was one of the unexpected names to sign for SC East Bengal. (Image Source: Mumbai City FC Media)


Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya, Sankar Roy, Suvam Sen.

Defenders: Raju Gaikwad, Joyner Laurenco, Saikhom Goutam Singh, Sarineo Fernandes, Ankit Mukherjee, Daniel Gomes, Hira Mondal, Asheer Akhtar, Tomislav Mrcela, Franjo Prce.

Midfielders: Adil Khan, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Jackichand Singh, Romeo Fernandes, Sourav Das, Md. Rafique, Songpu Singsit, Luwang Angousana, Loken Meitei, Amir Dervisevic, Darren Sidoel, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Bikash Jairu.

Forwards: Balwant Singh, Thongkhosiem Haokip, Subha Ghosh, Antonio Perosevic, Daniel Chima Chukwu


An inexperienced team, which is new to a competition, needs leaders on the pitch who can guide the youngsters accordingly. It seems the red and golds have found a cure to this and have signed players who not only are reputed but also efficient in influencing others. They have the likes of former Golden Glove award winner Arindam Bhattacharya under the sticks, a responsible man guarding the defensive fortress, Adil Khan and youngsters who just need enough opportunity to prove their worth, Subha Ghosh and Naorem Mahesh Singh.

Adil Khan. (Image Source: FC Goa Media)

The team has worked well with signing defenders this time around, keeping in mind the numbers which they conceded last time. Proper central defenders like Raju Gaikwad, Joyner Lorenco, Saikhom Goutam Singh have been brought in alongside Daniel Gomes, the former Salgaocar F.C. captain. The team's midfield looks tactful with the likes of Amarjit Singh, Adil Khan, Jackichand Singh, Romeo Fernandes adding fuel to the engine. Even Thongkhosiem Haokip upfront would be adding to their strength as he has immense experience of rendering his services in the ISL.


Though the team is stronger from last year's campaign, the red and golds still lack at a few positions. They have Ankit Mukherjee as a right-back, but there is no one to replace him in his absence. The same could be said about the left side of the defense, where they have options like Sarineo Fernandes and Hira Mondal but both of them haven't been tested in the top tier of Indian football. Fernandes is a promising prospect and coach Diaz is expected to give him the superintendence required to showcast his calibre, but Hira's defensive abilities may raise a few questions. The left-wing position, too, is something which the club should look after as too much reliance on youngsters may not yield expected results everyday. Speaking about the attacking third, there isn't any proper Indian replacement for Daniel Chima Chukwu. Jeje Lalpekhlua's contract hasn't been extended and Balwant Singh's career is towards its conclusion as much couldn't be expected from the 34-year-old. Thongkhosiem Haokip is surely an option but he's not the one to carry a team on it's shoulders everyday.

3 Key Indians to Look Forward To

SC East Bengal's best Indian signings this season are surely Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Arindam Bhattacharya and Jackichand Singh. It's not only because they are currently the big names in Indian football but their impact on the team is expected to be colossal. Amarjit Singh Kiyam, previously the captain of India U-17 in the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017, played an impressive brand of football for FC Goa in the AFC Champions League. His performance against Persepolis FC after he came on as a substitute was impactful.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam. (Image Source: FC Goa Media)

Arindam Bhattacharya, on the other hand is expected to deliver the same or better performance than what he did last season at ATK Mohun Bagan. The 32-year-old is a leader under the sticks whose commanding nature will help in keeping the defensive shape intact. Lastly, Jackichand Singh, who has previously played for the Kolkata Giants is expected to do what he did a few years back at Royal Wahingdoh. As the 29-year-old winger from Manipur is on loan to SC East Bengal from Mumbai City FC, he will try to give his best performance and create as many chances as he can for his teammates in order to catch the eye of Des Buckingham, the newly appointed manager of Mumbai City FC so that on returning to his parent club, Singh gets a chance to feature himself in the AFC Champions League.

3 Young Footballers to Keep an Eye on

Coach Manolo Diaz is well-crafted in working with youngsters and after a long time the Kolkata giants comprise of many young talents, who are expected to bolster the squad as and when needed. It is not necessary that they'll be regulars at the club, but football is an unpredictable game, isn't it?

Songpu Singsit. (Image Source: Songpu SIngsit's Facebook Profile)

The three youngsters everyone should keep their eyes on are Songpu Singsit, Sarineo Fernandes and Naorem Mahesh Singh. Songpu Singsit was announced as the Fans' Emerging Player (I-League) and went on to score 3 goals and provide 3 assists in 14 matches for NEROCA FC. Sarieno Fernandes, on the other hand, who had a significant role in FC Goa's maiden Goa Pro League success, is expected to make it into the starting line-up for the red and golds. His overlapping capabilities and marking abilities state he's well-crafted in both the defensive and attacking side of the game. He will be a treat to watch for SC East Bengal fans. The last name of the three, Naorem Mahesh Singh is expected to steal the show with his brilliant performance on the pitch. The 22-year-old played 16 matches last season and scored a goal and provided two assists during his loan stint at Sudeva Delhi FC from Kerala Blasters FC. The youngster was mostly used as a right midfielder and is expected to continue in the same position or change flanks according to Diaz's requirements at SC East Bengal.

Whom do you think will be SC East Bengal's best Indian footballer?

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