The 33-year-old was signed by the Highlanders on a one-year contract.

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United recently announced the signing of 33-year-old forward Mathias Coureur. The former Martinique international has penned a one-year contract with the Highlanders, which will run until the end of the 2021-22 season. Before joining NorthEast, Coureur was representing Turkish second division side Samsunspor.

NorthEast United will be looking to bring the same attitude and energy into the eighth edition of the ISL from last season. The Highlanders finished third in the table, behind eventual champions Mumbai City and runners-up ATK Mohun Bagan. They won eight, drew nine and lost just three games. The Highlanders finished the season with 33 points, their highest-ever tally in the ISL.

Mathias Coureur becomes the fifth addition to NorthEast United’s already existing foreign contingent of Federico Gallego, Khassa Camara, Hernan Santana and Deshorn Brown. He will join forces with Brown, William Lalnunfela, Lalkhawpuimawia and VP Suhair in the striking department.

Past Experience

Mathias Coureur started his professional career in 2007 with French side Beauvais and then moved to  Nantes ‘B.’ During his time at Nantes, he was once loaned out to FC Gueugnon. He then moved to Spain and plied his trade for Orihuela CF and Atletico Baleares between 2010-2012. He won his first major title with Atletico Baleares, the 2011–12 Segunda División B Group III.

In 2013 he signed for Martinique side Golden Lion. He then returned to Spain to play for Huracan Moncada in July 2013. The following year he signed for Bulgarian top division side Cherno More Varna on a two-year deal. At Cherno More, he scored the winner in the 2015 Bulgarian Cup and also won the 2015 Bulgarian Supercup.

After seeing out his contract in Bulgaria, he was roped in by then Georgian defending champions Dinamo Tbilisi. In 2016, he joined another Bulgarian club Lokomotiv. Kazakh club Kaysar became the first Asian club to sign the forward in 2017, before he moved to South Korea. He played for Seongnam FC in 2019 and re-joined Cherno More Varna for the 2020-21 season.

Club career stats

Mathias Coureur scored seven goals in 46 matches in France’s domestic setup. During his time in the Spanish Segunda Division B, the forward scored 10 goals in 84 outings. In the Martinique Division d’Honneur, the 33-year-old netted eight times in 18 matches. The striker has played 91 games in the Parva Liga with 37 goals to boot, which includes an incredible 15 goals in 15 games last season.

In 2017, Mathias turned up to play the Kazakhstan Premier League and scored 12 goals in 59 appearances. In the K-League 1 where he played in 2019, he found the back of net twice in 21 matches.

Last season’s performance

Mathias Coureur began the 2020-21 season in the Bulgarian top flight for Cherno More Varna. He had a terrific start to the season as he netted 18 goals in 21 matches, before moving to Turkey in January 2021. Coureur joined Turkish second division side Samsonspor. In the TFF First League, he scored four goals and assisted one in 19 fixtures.

Type of player

A striker by trade, Mathias Coureur can be a handy asset for Khalid Jamil and Co. He comes with the experience of playing in countries like France, Spain, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, South Korea and Turkey. Coureur has also participated in high-profile tournaments like the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Copa Del Rey. The former Martinique international is a multi-faceted forward with his speed, complementing his ability to play anywhere across the forward line.

Coureur stands 5’10 tall and can always be an aerial threat. In the past of couple of seasons, he has scored a bag full of goals through headers. He is also a keen dribbler who can take on defenders and score past them. He boasted an incredible record of 15 goals in as many games until the end of last December in the 2020/21 season.

How the player fits into Jamil’s plan

Khalid Jamil knows how to get the best of his strikers, with Deshorn Brown being the latest example. Mathias Coureur will face tough competition from the Jamaican as well as his Indian compatriots for a place in the Starting XI. Jamil will want talisman Federico Gallego to shoulder the responsibility of providing quality balls to the Martiniquan.

He will be a key player for NorthEast United in the forthcoming season, as he will have the task to keep things clinical in front of goal. Mathias already knows Asian football well and this will his third stint on the continent.

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