The midfielder became the club’s second signing in the current January transfer window.
Fran Sota has joined SC East Bengal on a short-term deal, that will see him put on the historic Red and Gold jersey for the remainder of the current campaign. The multi-faceted midfielder comes as a replacement for Amir Dervisevic. The Slovenian was part of the squad for the first half of the season. This period saw him feature in eight matches and net two goals. He was a frequent name on former coach Manolo Diaz’s team-sheet, but fell out of favour under Renedy Singh’s reign.
The Kolkata-based side already saw a replacement in Marcelo Ribeiro join them after Daniel Chima changed allegiance within the league and joined Jamshedpur FC. Francisco Sota is Mario Rivera’s second signing this season and the player brings in considerable experience from Spain.
Fran Sota began his career with the Osasuna U-19 team after which he traversed several clubs in the country. During these years, Sota played for various lower leagues clubs in Spain, including Pena Sport FC, SD Logrones, and CD Tropezon. His most recent exploits were at Calahorra in Spain’s third tier league. He left the club in July 2021 and was without an outfit for around six months. Now, he will get a chance to ply his trade in India’s top division.
Club Career Numbers
Although limited to the world of Spanish football, the 31-year-old has had an impressive career so far. After failing to register a single goal contribution during his time at his parent club Osasuna, Sota opened his account with Pena Sport FC. Here, he scored once in 32 appearances.
In the 2014-15 season, the midfielder scored four times for CD Tropezon, recording his best numbers in a season at that time. His career perhaps reached its peak when he joined SD Leioa during the 2015-16 season. Sota has 21 goals and five assists in 105 appearances, spread over two stints, at Leioa. This is his highest in terms of goal contributions for a single club. The 2018-19 campaign with the same team was his best season, as he mustered 12 goals and assists in 34 games.
Last Season Performance
SC East Bengal‘s new signing was part of Calahorra’s squad for the 2020-21 campaign. Last season was disappointing, as the midfielder could only score four times and provide one assist in 24 appearances. He will be looking to get back on the grass and better his numbers in Goa.
Type of Player
Considered as a No. 8 or a No. 10, Fran Sota will be the ideal player to have in the middle of the park. He can also play in a slightly more advanced position. The fact remains that he has been the most efficient from the attacking midfield position (16 goals, 3 assists) throughout his career. Sota thrives from set-pieces and also has the knack of arriving in the box at the most opportune time to slot one in.
How the player fits in the coach’s plans
SC East Bengal have been lacking in the creativity department even before the season started. This might be the reason for a good chunk of their goals coming from set-pieces and not open play. With the arrival of the Spaniard, head coach Mario Rivera would hope for an improvement in those defence-splitting passes, and perhaps a partnership with fellow new signing Marcelo Ribeiro.
The club faces their next challenge against arch-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League. Rivera, in his pre-match press conference, confirmed that Sota will be in the mix, but it’s too early for a start.