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East Bengal sign former Bengaluru FC midfielder Toni Dovale on loan, release Mahmoud Al-Amnah

Written by: Neil Talnikar

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The Syrian midfielder failed to hit top gear in his time with the Red and Gold Brigade

Kolkata giants East Bengal have announced the signing of Spanish attacking midfielder Antonio Dovale for the current season. Antonio Rodriguez Dovale, popularly known as Toni Dovale, will be on loan to Quess East Bengal FC from his current club Nea Salaminas Famagusta FC, which is amongst the top clubs in the Cyprus First Tier League.

During his youth career, Toni rose through the ranks at the renowned 'La Masia' of Spanish giants Barcelona and also at Celta Vigo. His impressive performances resulted in the latter promoting him to their B team and subsequently to the senior team in 2009. The winger went on to make 94 appearances for the club in both, the Segunda Division and La Liga and also scored 10 goals in the process.

The 28-year-old went on to play for Sunil Chhetri's former club Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer (MLS) in 2014 and the duo later became teammates in 2017 when the former joined Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League (ISL). He scored three goals in his 13 appearances for the Blues under former coach Albert Roca.


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Toni's arrival will naturally be a big boost for Alejandro Menendez's side as the winger will add SOME Spanish flavour to the attack. The Red and Gold have scored 11 goals in SIX games uptill now and will need a player of HIS calibre on the pitch who comes along with vast experience.

However, the Spaniard's arrival came subsequently to Mahmoud Al Amnah being released by the club. The veteran midfielder played as many as 16 games for the Red and Gold Brigade under former coach Khalid Jamil and scored 3 goals in the process. But the Kolkata giants require a more promising player in the midfield as they look to finish above their utter rivals Mohun Bagan this season while also targeting their first I-League victory, although the latter seems like a tough task at present.

Thus, now that Toni has replaced the 35 year-old Syrian, Menendez will hope that it will be the turning point for his side's campaign as they look low on tempo at present.

 

Published: Tue Dec 11, 2018 09:54 AM IST

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