The six players have all been removed from the pre-season training squad.
As they gear up to take their first steps in the Indian Super League (ISL), East Bengal are going through a heavy internal churn which has impacted many players in the squad. Before the announcement of their ISL entry even came, the Red and Gold had signed many promising domestic players to create a core needed to compete in the competition next season.
Now, Khel Now has learnt that the club have asked six of their Indian players not to report to pre-season training in Goa. The likes of Cavin Lobo, Keegan Pereira, Brandon Vanlalremdika, Girik Khosla and Rino Anto have all been removed from the pre-season training squad, despite having valid contracts for next term.
Moreover, the club have also told these players to look for opportunities elsewhere, as they will play no part in the plans of new head coach Robbie Fowler for the upcoming campaign. Apparently, the new management was not happy with quality of the signings made by the old management. This will definitely come as a huge setback for these players, who will now have to scurry for other clubs, with the Indian football season all set to kickoff very soon.
It has also been learnt that Fowler has personally asked for videos of the Indian players in the squad to assess their quality. He will take a look at how they play and whether or not they are well-suited to his style. The Liverpool great will only accept those players into his squad, whom he deems fit to suit his philosophy and could opt to leave out others who don’t.
As a result, more exits could be on the horizon for the domestic players of the Red and Gold. Out of the bunch asked to look for other opportunities, winger Pintu Mahata has already found a new home in the form of Sudeva FC, who will play in the I-League for the first time in their history next season. In addition, Rino Anto has been offered to Gokulam Kerala on loan.
East Bengal have already signed some foreigners for the next campaign, including Brisbane Roar defender Scott Neville and striker Aaron Amadi-Holloway also set to join up with the squad very soon. Both players are ones Fowler knows will suit his system, as he’s followed their progress in the A-League over the years.
But, when it comes to the domestic core, there still seems to be a cloud of uncertainty revolving around East Bengal. With the Indian Super League season likely just over a month away, the new entrants need to act fast to form a definitive squad that will be able to compete well in the ISL next season.