The centre-back has had stints in the French top flight and MLS.

NorthEast United are close to completing the signing 35-year-old French-Senegalese defender Zakaria Diallo, Khel Now can confirm. The defender will join the Highlanders as a replacement for club captain Khassa Camara.

“NorthEast United are set to sign French defender Zakaria Diallo as a replacement for Khassa Camara as it will be too late until he comes back,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. “He’ll join the team on a short-term deal and will enter the bubble soon.”

About the Player

Diallo began his professional career with French side Le Havre’s reserve team in the fourth tier of French Football. After just six months with the club, he moved to AS Beauvais Oise on a free transfer in 2009. He scored once for Beauvais in 22 outings in the 2009-10 season.

The defender then put pen to paper with Belgian top flight outfit Sporting Charleroi. He made just six appearances for the Les Zèbres before switching sides to Ligue 1 outfit Dijon. The 35-year-old centre-back spent four seasons with Les Rouges. In his first season in the French top flight, Diallo made three appearances. He played a total of eight matches in his maiden season with Dijon.

The following season, Dijon were relegated to Ligue 2. Diallo was a part of Dijon’s squad until the end of the 2014-15 season and made 74 appearances and scored seven goals for them across all competitions. In 2015, he signed for Ajaccio and played 42 games for them.

Diallo then signed for another French side Brest in the winter of 2016-17 and scored three goals in 40 outings in all competitions for the Pirates. His heroics with Brest earned him a place in the 2016–17 Ligue 2 UNFP Team of the Year. After plying his trade in France for almost eight years, Diallo moved to Major League Soccer (MLS).

He put pen to paper with Canadian side Montreal Impact until the end of the 2018-19 season. The French-Senegalese defender made 26 appearances in the American top division before making a move back to France.

Diallo joined RC Lens in the 2019-20 season and played a vital role in their journey back to Ligue 1, the top division of French football. However, he failed to get any game-time under his belt the following season and made his way to Kuwaiti side Al-Shabab.

Things haven’t changed for him at Al-Shabab either. He couldn’t get any game-time and as a result he has opted for a change in scenery by securing a move to NorthEast United.

Northeast United FC’s season so far

Things have turned from bad to worse for Khalid Jamil’s side due to injuries to key players. However, they made three foreign signings in Marcelinho, Marco Sahanek and now Zakaria Diallo. NorthEast United’s defence has let them down big time this season and the addition of Zakaria Diallo could help them change their fortunes.

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