The forward is the sixth and final foreign signing for the Kolkata outfit ahead of the new season.
SC East Bengal have added firepower to their attack by signing Antonio Perosevic ahead of the ISL 2021/22 season. The Indian Super League outfit were very busy in the latter stages of the transfer market and beyond. This is because their inclusion in the upcoming season of the ISL was under a shadow of doubt. Since the air of controversy has cleared, the club has been busy preparing for the games to come.
The Red & Gold Brigade signed Perosevic, who has played for the Croatian national team in the past. The 29-year-old forward is the final foreign signing at the club, joining the likes of Franjo Prce, Darren Sidoel, Amir Dervisevic, Tomislav Mrcela and Daniel Chima Chukwu. The outfit have brought in Manuel “Manolo” Diaz as the head coach, replacing Englishman Robbie Fowler. The immediate objective for the tactician and the new players will be to improve on the last season’s ninth-place finish.
Antonio Perosevic will play a major role in order to reach that objective. The fans are expecting big things from the new arrival. An experienced forward, who offers a number of abilities while spearheading the attack. Here is what the Croatian center-forward brings to the table at SC East Bengal.
Antonio Perosevic played in the youth ranks of Croatian club NK Osijek. He made his senior team debut for them in 2010 and played for the club until 2017. Next, he joined Puskás Akadémia FC in Hungary’s first-division and from there moved to Al Ittihad Kalba Sports Club next year on loan.
Hungarian club Újpest FC was his next destination in September 2019. Now, the striker joins SC East Bengal on a one-year deal. This will be his second experience in Asian football and first in the sub-continent.
Club career stats
The striker has played 211 games across clubs in various competitions over the years. He has played most extensively for NK Osijek, making 138 appearances while scoring 37 goals and providing 13 assists. Apart from Osijek, he has made 43 appearances for Ujpest FC and 30 for Puskás Akadémia FC respectively, registering seven goals each for both teams.
Antonio Perosevic has made 122 appearances in Croatian first-division 1.HNL. He has also made 57 appearances in the Hungarian first division. Furthermore, the centre-forward has played seven games in the UEFA Europa League qualification stage. He has registered 51 goals and 20 assists.
Last season’s performance
The 29-year-old made 24 appearances in all competitions last season for Ujpest FC. He scored six goals and four assists in the process. Eight yellow cards although put a question mark on his discipline. A total of 1,173′ minutes of playing time is a good sign since he is at the peak of his fitness and overall condition.
Furthermore, Antonio Perosevic helped Ujpest FC win the Hungarian domestic cup during the 2020/21 season. He scored two goals and provided two assists in the five games from the competition.
Type of player
The Croatian is a versatile attacker. He can play as a center-forward, leading the line. However, he can use his pace and positional awareness to play as a wing-forward as well. The left-footed striker can put crosses from the left-flank or cut inside from the right-flank. This makes him a tricky player to deal with for any opponent.
One could see Perosevic play in tandem with Chima Chukwu either on the wing or as part of a two-striker setup. He is quick and a threat in one-on-one situations. His shooting abilities are also impressive and the burst of pace whenever he is on the verge of receiving a delivery from the wide areas, define him as the player he is. However, he would need to work on the scoring frequency, which stands at a goal every 255 minutes.
How the player fits in the head coach’s plans
The newly appointed head coach of SC East Bengal, Manuel Diaz will have a good number of options in the upcoming season. He prefers a 4-4-2 formation but can employ a 4-3-3 setup with Perosevic employed as a wing-forward. A 4-4-2 system will most likely have the Croatian playing alongside Chima as one of the two forwards.
The signings have been promising and it will be interesting to see how Diaz implements his playing style. Perosevic will be one of the main figures in the team and his success will be directly proportional to the team’s. Adjusting to the new atmosphere and climate could be a challenge but with the Croatian being at the peak of his physical condition, he would certainly be up for it.