The Brazilian striker is the first new foreign player which the former ISL champions have signed for the next season.

Bengaluru FC announced the signing of Cleiton Silva on a one-year deal, with an option to extend for another year. Silva is the Blues’ first new foreign signing of the season. The club had a disappointing campaign in front of goal, as they scored a meagre 22 goals and worked hard defensively to earn themselves a third-place finish on the table.

The Blues lost their key striker in Miku ahead of the 2019-20 ISL and the replacements brought in to fill his boots couldn’t match his quality and failed to perform well. Manuel Onwu, who joined at the start of the campaign, was shipped off to Odisha FC midway through the term and was replaced by strikers Deshorn Brown and Kevaughn Frater.

Cleiton Silva is now the fourth player that has been brought in to strengthen the attack and fill the void that the Venezuelan left.

Who is Cleiton Silva?

The 33-year-old rose from the youth ranks at Brazilian outfit Madureira and started his professional career with the club in 2008. The striker first moved to Thailand in 2010, where he played for Osotsapa.

In 2012, he then joined BEC Tero Sasana and won the Thai League T1 in his very first season. He also bagged the Golden Boot scoring 24 goals. The following season Silva moved to Mexican outfit Delfines, where he failed to achieve the success he had in Thailand.

Silva returned to Thailand in 2014 and signed with Muangthong United, where he reached the pinnacle of his career, scoring 57 goals in 79 appearances. He scored 25 goals on his return and was the top scorer for the club in 2015. The following campaign, he helped the side win the Thai League T1 and earned his second Golden Boot in the competition with 27 goals. He became the first foreign player to reach the 100-goal mark in Thailand. The Brazilian won three trophies over two seasons with the club.

Following a successful stint in Thailand, HE moved to China and joined Shanghai Shenxin. Silva maintained his brilliant form and scored 17 goals in 29 appearances for the Chinese outfit. After A successful season in China, Silva moved back to Thailand and joined Chiangrai United and later moved to Suphanburi FC.

Silva was the top scorer for Suphanburi in 2019, scoring 11 goals for the club. The Brazilian extends his stay in Asia as he will join Bengaluru FC on a one-year deal for the upcoming season.

What should the Blues’ faithful get excited about?

The Blues have now strengthened their squad with a proven striker who has a prolific goalscoring record at every club he has played for. Except for the disappointment in Mexico, Silva has excelled at every club in his career so far. The Brazilian has spent a major part of his career in Asia and has scored 118 goals in 203 appearances from 2012. He also contributes to the team and has made 28 assists over the same period.

His ability to play across different positions is an added bonus, as it will benefit his link-up with Indian captain Sunil Chhetri. Silva brings a lot of experience to the side and is also familiar with Asian conditions.

Silva has been closely followed throughout 2019 and was deemed as a potential replacement for Miku – whose departure was regretted by the Blues’ head coach Carles Cuadrat. The Blues have now managed to land him. Silva’s arrival could also help the resurgence of wingers Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh, who struggled to form a partnership with the forwards in the previous season.

The fans would surely be excited to see the Brazilian work his magic at the Kanteerava, when he teams up with the likes of Dimas Delgado in midfield.

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