Exclusive: Shillong Lajong rope in former academy graduates for I-League
Written by: Arindam Sarmah
The Reds have brought back defender Meban Wahlang and Nabin Rabha to bring depth to their squad.
After a win against Aizawl FC and a defeat at the hands of East Bengal in the I-League, Shillong Lajong have completed two signings to strengthen their squad. The move has seen the Reds' former academy graduates Meban Wahlang and Nabin Rabha re-join the club on a year-long deal, Khel Now can confirm.
With only three first-choice centre-backs in the squad, Lajong lacked options in their defence which led the club's management to bring back their former player Wahlang. Meban who prefers playing as a right-sided centre-back was with Lajong till 2016, where he featured in the U-18 Youth League and then went on to play for former I-league side Rangdajied United in the Shillong Premier League. In his two years with Rangdajied, the defender has shown immense development and played a crucial role in this season's SPL for helping the club to make it to the top four.
Along with Meban, Lajong have brought back another one of their former academy player Nabin Rabha from Fateh Hyderabad FC, who is well-known for his versatility at the back. The defender can play as a full-back on both the flanks, along with filling in at centre-back when required.
After the first two games, Lajong have prefered to play with a back four with midfielder Lalrohlua dropping back at times to fill in for the full-backs. With Aiban and Kenstar being the two first-choices for head coach Alison Kharsyntiew, Meban is most likely to come in as a back up in the upcoming games, before making a concrete place in the starting XI. On the other hand, if Lajong choose to play with a back three, he is more likely to play ahead of Novin along with Aiban and Kenstar.
On the other hand, Nabin is most likely to be a back up for Rakesh as well as Novin Gurung. Though Lajong have Kynsailang Khongsit and Allen Lyngdoh to fill in for the first-choice full-backs, they were in need of an experienced option to give rest to both Rakesh and Novin Gurung. With enough experience and options in the defence, it's now upto Alison whether to opt for a traditional 4-man defence or a 3-man defence with wing-backs.
Lajong take on Indian Arrows on 5th November and with both of their new signings in the travelling squad, it will be interesting to see whether they make the final cut.
Published: Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:30 PM IST