The Slovenian has previously played in the UEFA Europa League.

SC East Bengal have signed Amir Dervisevic ahead of the eighth edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). The midfielder will make his debut in the competition, which is also going to be the first time he is playing outside of Europe. The Kolkata-based club started their preparations late due to off-field issues with investors. However, now that their involvement is clear, the club have begun to sign new players for the upcoming season.

Amir Dervisevic is one of the new foreign signings at the club. Last season’s squad has gone through a major overhaul and a lot of new faces will come in as a result. He will taste Indian football for the first time in his career and will look to make an impact for his new employers. The club have been smart with signing new players and the likes of Arindam Bhattacharya, Adil Khan and more will help the team challenge for the top four spots.

The signing has sent a huge wave of excitement amongst the fans of the club. The uncertainty regarding their future in the ISL has been replaced by hopes for a better performance than last season. Whether the club succeed or not will depend on players like Dervisevic who will play a major role. Having said that, here is what the player brings to the table for SCEB:

Past experiences

Dervisevic has plied his trade in Slovenian football all his career and India will be his first foreign experience. He started his career with NK Interblock Ljubljana in 2010 and worked his way into the senior team after playing in the U-19s. NK Krka in 2012/13 was his next destination, as Interblock withdrew from all competitions due to a merger issue with another club. First division club NK Maribor signed Dervisevic after his impressive season with Krka in the second tier.

The midfielder went out on loan to NK Verzej who were playing in the second division in 2017. Since then, he has been an important part of NK Maribor, who are arguably the most notable club from Slovenia. He will play for SCEB from the 2021/22 season onwards after signing a one-year deal. Furthermore, Dervisevic has six caps for the Slovenian national team, five of them in the UEFA Nations League.

Club career stats

The Slovenian has played in several domestic competitions within the Slovenian league system. He has over 123 appearances in the Prva Liga (first division) recording 16 goals and 26 assists in the process. Dervisevic has played 40 games in the Druga Liga (second division) with 13 goals to boot. He also has 16 appearances in the Pokal Slovenije. He has frequented majorly for NK Maribor, featuring in 158 games with 18 goals and 27 assists in that time.

The 29-year-old has also featured in European competitions. He has played eight times in UEFA Champions League qualification fixtures and five times in the UEFA Europa League. He has scored once in the UEL qualification stages. Overall, the midfielder has amassed 199 appearances. He has won four trophies with NK Maribor, which includes three league titles and one cup triumph.

Last season’s performance

Amir Dervisevic played for NK Maribor in the Prva Liga last term. He had over 15 appearances in the league, where he recorded two assists in 654 minutes of game-time. The midfielder also featured in a UEL qualifying fixture against Coleraine FC which the outfit lost on penalties.

Moreover, he played 45 minutes in the Pokal Slovenije against NK Domžale. NK Maribor lost that fixture by a 1-2 scoreline. NK Maribor finished second on the table in the Prva Liga after losing the first spot to NK Mura on goal-difference. Both outfits had 63 points after 36 rounds of matches. 

Type of player

Amir Dervisevic is a central midfielder by trade. Although, he possesses qualities which allow him to fulfill multiple roles in the midfield. Dervisevic can play as an advanced midfielder, like he did at NK Krka where he scored 10 goals. However, he established himself as a reliable central midfielder at NK Maribor. Furthermore, his height of 1.95m makes him a target during set-piece situations. He also uses his frame to overcome midfield battles.

He is most effective with his ball distribution. Dervisevic can be a threat while taking set-pieces and has a range of passes in his locker. Defenders in the ISL will have a hard time dealing with his long-range crosses into the box and distribution into the wider channels.

How the player fits in manager’s plans

Manolo Diaz has replaced Robbie Fowler as the head coach at SC East Bengal. He will be excited to work with a player of Dervisevic’s calibre. The tactician trusts in the reliable formation of 4-4-2, in which the midfielder could play as a deep-lying playmaker. He also has the ability to shoot from distance and likes to make late runs into the box.

The rest will majorly depend on how Amir adapts to the subcontinent conditions. Transitioning from Europe to Asia will be a major change for the player. However, he is still 29-years-old and in the peak of his career. Fans are expecting him to lead by example when the next season arrives.

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.