With the battles lost and won, every army is looking to build up their squad, strategizing and scheming, trying to put together an army for the upcoming war. Yes, it is that time of the year, when the action shifts from the stadiums to the board-rooms of the football clubs. With the transfer season soon coming to an end, football clubs are on their toes as they attempt to sign their target players and off-load those who do not feature in their future plans. Many players have made headlines so far this transfer season, some with their decision to stay put while others with their decision to change colours as they look for a better tomorrow. Here are 5 transfers that are sure to make a big impact in the upcoming season.
Jeje to Dempo S.C
Dempo S.C is a not a club that is used to mediocrity and hence it is not surprising that after a lackluster performance in the previous season, they are now focusing on rebuilding their squad under the guidance of their new manager Arthur Papas. In this regard, signing Jeje Lalpehlua, the 22 year old footballer from Mizoram, fits the bill on all counts. Hailed as the next Baichung Bhutia, Jeje has earned a reputation for himself in a very short span of time. Catching the attention of the fans and pundits alike, Jeje marked his arrival with a blistering performance with the Under-23 Indian National Team. A season with Pailan Arrows followed, with Jeje scoring a record 13 goals in 15 matches. Since then, there has been no turning back for the prolific Indian goal scorer. He has cemented a place for himself in the Indian National Football team, effortlessly pairing up with Sunil Chhetri and linking up with attacking midfielders, scoring with ease and consistency. Jeje is touted as the next big thing in Indian Football and hence it was not a surprise that the clubs were fighting it out to sign the striker
However, Jeje’s time with Pune F.C was not a very fruitful one as the striker was sidelined with a knee injury in his first season and was a mere reflection of his usual self in the next, scoring only 5 goals throughout the season. The striker is in much need of a fresh start and this is precisely what his move to Dempo S.C will provide him with. At Dempo, he will reunite with his Under-22 coach, Arthur Papas, under whose guidance he led India at the AFC U-22 Championship qualifiers. At the same time, Jeje will provide a lot of attacking options to the new manager at Dempo as fans wait for him to link up with Mehmet, Myron Fernandes and Joy Ferrao. Arthur Papas is no stranger to Jeje and is looking forward to working with the striker again.
Jeje is a player I have much respect for simply for the manner he conducts himself on and off the field. He is the type of character you enjoy working with as a coach.
A proven striker, Jeje is able to retain possession of the ball, allowing the game to develop and also links up well with the midfielders, often dropping deep to share the workload of his teammates. He is definitely one of the best signings made by Dempo, and a player to look out for by rival teams.
Climax Lawrence to Mumbai F.C
At the age of 34, former Indian football team captain Climax Lawrence finds himself starting a new chapter in his career as he looks to start the coming season wearing the Mumbai F.C jersey. The club confirmed signing the former Dempo player as it looks set to build a team that is ready to fight for silverware in the coming season. After a disappointing Federation Cup and an 8th place finish in the I-League, Mumbai F.C is in desperate need to put together a team that can contend for the coveted prizes in Indian Football. Having already added the likes of Branco Cardozo (from Air India) and Anwar Ali (from United Sikkim) to the team, Mumbai F.C is leaving no stone unturned in its quest for building a strong team. In this regard, former Indian skipper Climax proves to be just the right man for the club as he can contribute to the team with his vast experience and can provide the team with much needed insight as well as inspiration having won several titles in his playing career.
Climax Lawrence is a name that needs no introduction in Indian football. Having started his career for Salgaocar back in the year 1999, the productive midfielder has risen from rank to rank and has since then played for the best football clubs in the country such as East Bengal and Dempo SC. Three years after making his debut for Salgaocar, Climax was called up for the national side and went on to cement his place in the starting eleven, even captaining the side on numerous occasions. He eventually retired from the national team in the year 2012 and has since then concentrated on his club career. Hence in terms of experience, Climax Lawrence is second to none in the I-League, something which is likely to help the relatively inexperienced Mumbai FC midfield. He is going to be a key figure in the midfield and might as well be the pillar for the team in the upcoming season.
Popular for his work ethics and high intensity work rate during the game, Climax Lawrence is a very profitable buy for Mumbai F.C and it remains to be seen if the player can lead the club to a brighter and more successful tomorrow.
Wahid Sali to Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan will be in a hurry to forget their recently concluded football campaign (2012-21013) and must be looking forward to just get on with the new season. A tenth place finish in the I-League and a dismal performance in the Federation Cup, the most decorated football club in India were left scratching their heads after their team’s dismal performance last year. In an attempt to undo the wrongs of the last season and to start a fresh campaign on a good note, Mohun Bagan has roped in the services of Wahid Sali from ONGC, who has been touted as the next best defender in Indian Football. Defense has never really been Mohun Bagan’s strength and the club has often paid dearly for it’s lackluster defending. Hence the arrival of Wahid Sali, a versatile Centre Back who can also operate on the wings will provide the club with strong defensive options. Along with Sali, Mohun Bagan has also signed Rowilson Rodrigues as it looks to plug the loopholes in its back four.
Wahid Sali, who considers Late V.P Sathyan and Mahesh Gawli as his role models, is an extremely good signing by Mohun Bagan, as the prolific centre back will only get better in red and maroon jersey, and looks set to deliver a good performance in the upcoming season. Sali was one of the most sought after players this summer as he was instrumental in his performance for ONGC towards the latter half of the campaign. Though Mohun Bagan has not quite lived up to its usual standards in the past few seasons, the club will provide Wahid Sali with the platform to develop himself further as a player and will benefit immensely from his arrival. The defender from Kerala is definitely one of the brightest prospects in Indian Football and his transfer to the most prestigious football club in India holds out a lot of promises for football fans and pundits alike.
Karma Tsewang to Salgaocar F.C
Pune F.C’s gifted midfielder Karma Tsewang has been signed by Salgaocar F.C in a bid to improve its squad as the club plans to challenge for the coveted trophies in Indian football under their new manager Derrick Pereira. Karma Tsewang is one of the hottest prospects in Indian football right now and the young winger proved his mettle last season while playing for his former club Pune F.C. Salgaocar will greatly benefit by Karma’s arrival as the multi-talented midfielder will provide the new manager with plenty of attacking options as he can play on either wings and can also be deployed in centre midfield. Tsewang, who worked under Derrick at Pune, is no stranger to his methods and will be looking to improve under him at Salgaocar. The 24 year old midfielder started his career at Viva Kerala (now Chirag United Kerala) where he impressed the coach and fans alike with his deft footwork and contributions to the team. He was then signed by Pune F.C at the start of the 2011-2012 season where he went on to cement his place as a right winger and contributed immensely to the team’s performance in the national league and other tournaments.
Salgaocar will be a good experience for the young midfielder where he will get an opportunity to play with the likes of the Japanese midfielder Seiji Saito and hence will get a chance to develop himself as a player. He has already been named in the list of 30 India probables by national team coach Wim Koeverman and if the midfielder continues his brilliant run, he will soon be seen in the national colours. Suffice to say, the midfielder is only going to get better with age and Salgaocar have invested wisely and are sure to reap the dividends.
Subhash Singh to Shillong Lajong F.C
Shillong Lajong F.C has been very active this transfer season after having finished a low 11th in the I-League last season. The management will be less than happy with the team’s performance and are leaving nothing to chance as they hope to add quality players to their roster. Subhash Singh is one such player. The 23 year old player has already established himself after having successfully played for Air India, East Bengal and Pune F.C. His stint with Air India provided him with the platform to launch his career and the dazzling striker did not disappoint as he became the second highest Indian goal scorer in his second season with the club. He has played for the U-23 India national team and is looking to play for the national side soon. The relentless striker enjoyed success at Pune F.C where he became a crowd favourite because of his speed and dribbling skills. He also went on to win the ‘Young Player of the Year’ award in the year 2011-2012. But a lack of playing time at Pune F.C despite having proven his potential forced the striker to move to Shillong Lajong.
This is an extremely crucial transfer as it will provide the player with a lot of game time thus enabling him to develop himself as a player and better his statistics. At the same time Shillong Lajong, hoping to achieve more success than it did last year, will be benefited by the player’s arrival as the charismatic goal scorer will provide the team with a variety of attacking options and clinical finishing. The striker will also get an opportunity to rub shoulders with experienced players including the likes of Charles Edoa Nga, the Cameroon international. At the age of 23, the wonder kid is expected to make headlines at Shillong for quite sometime to come.