The 22-year-old is the first player from a SAFF country to play for the Blues.
Bengaluru FC have completed the signing of Bhutanese attacker Chencho Gyeltshen on a one-year deal, the club announced on Monday. The 22-year-old becomes the Blues’ fifth foreigner and the first one the club has ever signed from a fellow SAFF nation.
“Bengaluru FC is one of the top clubs in India but more importantly, it has been my dream to play for them and I’m happy that the move has happened. It’s a team with so many experienced players and the aim is to keep learning from them and improving with every passing day at the club,” said Chencho after completing the formalities.
Beginning his youth career at Yeedzin FC in 2008, Chencho moved up the ranks quickly to make his first-team debut in the Bhutan National League. At 17, he picked up his first national title when Yeedzin were crowned Champions of Bhutan. The following season he moved to fellow Bhutanese side Druk United with whom he scored a brace against Mohun Bagan in the 2014 King’s Cup.
A spell with Thimphu FC (2015) was followed by a move to Thailand’s Buriram United midway through 2015. Chencho won the U19 Championships with the Thai giants before being loaned out to Surin City thus becoming the first Bhutanese player to play professional football abroad. After another short loan spell with Nonthaburi FC (2016), he moved to Satun United (2016) before returning back from Thailand.
Chencho starred in the 2016 Bhutan National League finishing as the top-scorer with Thimphu FC before joining FC Tertons for the 2017 AFC Cup Qualifying Stages. He moved abroad for the second time joining Bangladesh’s Chittagong Abahani in October 2016 for the second half of their league campaign.
At the start of the 2017-18 season Chencho joined Minerva Punjab FC in his third move abroad and immediately became an indispensable part of the side. The attacker continued his fine goalscoring form and finished the as the top-scorer for the North-Indian side with seven goals, third highest in the League, helping them to their maiden I-League title.
Speaking on the club’s latest acquisition, COO Mustafa Ghouse said the youngster had been on Bengaluru FC’s radar for some time now. “We got to see Chencho in a pre-season friendly against us and then through the entire I-League season with Minerva Punjab and we were impressed to say the least. He’s a gifted youngster who we believe will flourish further in our system.”
At the international level, Chencho has represented Bhutan in various age groups before making his senior debut at just under 16 years scoring in a friendly game against Nepal. In fact, Chencho (10 goals in 29 appearances) is the most capped player for Bhutan as well as their highest ever goal scorer.