The 33-year-old custodian won the Durand Cup with the Gaurs last season.

FC Goa goalkeeper Naveen Kumar has joined East Bengal on a season-long loan deal, the club confirmed on Monday. The 33-year-old, who has been with the Gaurs since January 2019, played just four matches last season. Naveen won the Durand Cup with FC Goa last season and has also won the Super Cup, and ISL League Winners’ Shield with Goa.

In fact, he made four appearances in each of the last two seasons since joining FC Goa for a second stint from Kerala Blasters. Naveen was initially picked by FC Goa in the 2017-18 player draft and played eight times for them that season, including once in the Super Cup. He then joined Kerala Blasters on a free transfer before being loaned back to Goa in January 2019. At KBFC, Naveen made five appearances.

On return to FC Goa, played eight more matches in the 2018-19 season, including in the final defeat to Bengaluru FC. He has been with the Gaurs since then but has lacked gametime. He did play two matches in the AFC Champions League in the 2020-21 season, both of which were defeats.

Overall, Naveen has made 28 appearances in the ISL and conceded 29 times. He has kept just seven clean-sheets and conceded an average of one goal per/game. He has also made 72 saves and has been sent off once in his ISL career.

A product of JCT, Naveen Kumar made his senior debut with Pailan Arrows in the 2011-12 season and has also played for the likes of Mohun Bagan, Lonestar Kashmir FC, Salgaocar, and Churchill Brothers. 

East Bengal’s pre-season preparation 

East Bengal is in full swing preparing for the upcoming Indian Super League (ISL). They brought in former national team coach Stephen Constantine and Santhosh trophy-winning coach Bino George to strengthen the coaching department. The Red & Golds have also signed star players like V P Suhair from NorthEast United on a hefty transfer fee. If the medicals go through, Naveen Kumar will be the latest addition for the torch bearers.

East Bengal have also promoted Nabi Hussain Khan, Mahitosh Roy, Tuhin Das and Shubham Bhowmik to the Durand Cup squad from the reserve team.

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