The midfielder will be making his debut in Indian football this season.

SC East Bengal have roped in their fifth foreign player in Darren Sidoel ahead of the 2021-22 season. The outfit will be participating in the next edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) after a long period of uncertainty regarding their involvement. There are a host of new faces in the squad after a huge overhaul in terms of players and management. 

Sidoel is the latest foreign recruit at the club. He will join the likes of Amir Dervisevic, Tomislav Mrcela, Franjo Prce and Daniel Chima Chukwu who are also newcomers at SC East Bengal. He was on loan last season at Spanish club Hercules CF from Cordoba CF who compete at the fourth tier of Spanish league system.

The fans are expecting good things from SC East Bengal in the upcoming season. The air of excitement and anticipation which comes along with new signings is on the rise. Having said that, here is what Darren Sidoel will bring to the table while the fans get acquainted with their new overseas player.

Prior experience

Darren Sidoel is a product of the famed youth academy of AFC Ajax in the Netherlands. He has played in their U-17, U-19 and U-21 sides before moving to Reading U-23 team in 2018. The midfielder spent a brief loan with Belgian club KSV Roeselare before transferring to PFC Arda Kardzhali in Bulgaria in 2019.

Cordoba CF signed Sideol in 2020 on a free transfer and Hercules CF took him on loan during the winter transfer window of 2021. He played at the fourth tier of Spanish football and will make his debut outside of Europe from the forthcoming season onwards. The 23-year-old has also featured for the Netherlands U-15, U-16 and U-17 teams as well.

Club career stats

The 23-year-old is close to completing a century of appearances across the board. He has played in several competitions in the Netherlands, England and Spain. The midfielder has featured in the likes of U-19 Eredivisie, Keuken Kampioen Divisie, efbet Liga. UEFA Youth League, Premier League 2 and more.

He has played the most number of times for Ajax Amsterdam U-19 (25 matches) followed by PFC Arda Kardzhali (18 matches) and Ajax Amsterdam U-21 (16 matches). Sidoel has recorded over 6642 minutes of football in 93 appearances overall. He also has a winner’s medal from lifting the U-19 Eredivisie twice with Ajax. Sidoel also won the Dutch second tier championship with Ajax U-21 in 2018.

Last season’s performance

The defensive midfielder did not have a lot of game time last season. He featured for Hercules CF five times across all competitions. He scored one goal and recorded a total gametime of only 166 minutes. While at Cordoba CF, he was an unused substitute in two Copa Del Rey fixtures. Securing more playing time will be high on the agenda for the youngster who is still developing with time.

Type of player

Darren Sidoel is a versatile midfielder who is most comfortable playing in a holding defensive-midfielder role. He can also shift in as a center-back thanks to his match reading ability and physical prowess.

One can expect him to field in the midfield for SC East Bengal but it will be interesting to see how the head coach utilises him. The right-footed midfielder has also shown the capability of playing as a box-to-box player in central midfield. 

How the player fits in the head coach’s plans

Manolo Diaz has worked with Sidoel before at Hercules CF. “I have played under the coach (Manolo) before in Spain and that helps. We have a good understanding and I am looking forward to reunite with him again,” he said after the confirmation of the move.

Familiarity with the tactician will certainly help Sidoel in settling in the new surroundings. Adapting to the change in climate and atmosphere would be one of the challenges to overcome for the player. Time will tell how Diaz approaches the ISL, and utilises the options available to him. However, Sidoel will expectedly be a major part of the strategy.

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