The Nigerian has had a difficult second stint with the Red and Gold and is likely to leave the club at the end of the season.
It’s been a topsy-turvy journey for striker Dudu Omagbemi at East Bengal with the Nigerian being caught up in quite a lot of controversy lately. While Dudu joined East Bengal quite late into the I-League season and impressed fans with his passion for keeping their title dreams alive, he’s also been an extremely frustrating figure to watch for some, but it seems like the fans have had enough of him.
Dudu recently posted on social media about how he was a victim of racial abuse from his own fans and lashed out at them for treating him poorly. Despite scoring the winner in the semi-final against FC Goa in the Super Cup, he still isn’t the most liked player among the Red Gold faithful and fans might want him out of the club once the season ends.
That would mean East Bengal have to go looking for another top quality striker who can lead the line for them and take them to glory. So, here we have a look at five such options who could replace Dudu at East Bengal next season.
5. Abdoulaye Koffi
Abdoulaye Koffi had a decent reputation when he decided to sign for Shillong Lajong as Aser Dipanda Dicka’s replacement and the Ivorian definitely helped Lajong remain the energetic, attacking side they’ve always been known for. Koffi took some time to adapt to the difficult conditions of Indian football, but showed his prolific nature later on in the season, as he scored some important goals for the team and complimented their style very well.
Koffi has been an influential member of the Shillong Lajong side this season
Not only did Koffi aim to score goals himself, but his link-up play with his midfielders was excellent to, further helping to get the best out of his teammates as well.Hei ended the I-League season with four goals, but his impressive ability to get the best out of his midfielders must’ve caught the eye of many clubs. East Bengal can definitely rely on him to be a more-than-able replacement for Dudu.
4. Mechac Koffi
Churchill Brothers had quite a humiliating season in the I-League as they got relegated from the division, which they have won so many times since its inception. But, one light in a rather dark season for them was Mechac Koffi who really sparked up their game in his limited appearances for the club after arriving in the January transfer window. The clinical striker was absolutely rampant in his few months at the club, winning Churchill some crucial points.
Koffi lead the line brilliantly for Churchill and even scored against big clubs like Minerva Punjab and East Bengal to earn them those points. His predatorial instincts in front of goal made him a lethal striker who was really difficult to contain for any team.
He scored four goals in his short stint at Churchill and had to return back home after suffering an injury, leaving Churchill in disarray. But, he will be fit to play next season and East Bengal can sign him up to lead their line.
3. Akram Moghrabi
Akram Moghrabi proved to be an excellent signing for Mohun Bagan when they were enduring some terrible form in the I-League and the former Churchill Brothers striker definitely lit up things for them. Moghrabi made quite the impact for the Mariners, allowing strike partner Dicka to play more freely and linking up really well with him. He helped Bagan turn things around in the latter part of the season and attain a respectable third place at the end of the I-League.
Moghrabi has been an integral part of the Mohun Bagan squad this term
He scored four goals in his limited appearances for the club and also provided some key assists for them. Moghrabi’s chemistry with his teammates was fantastic and how quickly he blended into the team and made their level of football go up a notch was extremely impressive to see.
Akram has also performed well for Bagan in the Super Cup, but with the signature of Henry Kisseka, it seems unlikely that they will retain him next season. This gives East Bengal an opportunity to get one over their rivals and sign him up.
2. Felix Chidi
East Bengal are in need of a striker who has a few years experience of playing in India and also has the legs to go the extra mile to score goals for them, in which case Felix Chidi can definitely be the perfect acquisition for them next season. Chidi has been playing in India for quite a few years now and had a terrific season with NEROCA, for whom he scored many goals by leading the line. NEROCA put a lot on the shoulders of Chidi who often led the line alone for them, but he did not disappoint and proved to be a really clinical striker.
Chidi’s chemistry with the midfielders was excellent and his predatorial instincts were amazing that made it really difficult for defenders to mark this agile striker. Chidi scored seven goals in the I-League for NEROCA and played a big part in them finishing as runners-up, with some of his goals proving just how much of a lethal striker he is. Chidi also performed really well in the Super Cup but the signing of Jean Joachim from Chennai City means that East Bengal has a chance at signing him up, which they should because at this point, he’s the ideal goal-scorer which they need.
1. Chencho Gyeltshen
Chencho has been a phenomenon in the I-League this year
The I-League needed its own “Ronaldo” if they had to compete with the ISL this season and they got a “Bhutanese Ronaldo” in Chencho Gyeltshen who had everyone in awe of him because of how amazingly he performed for Minerva Punjab. Chencho was brought in the summer to be the star for Minerva and he thrived in his position with his unbelievable pace, dribbling ability, and ball-control helping him to dazzle defences all around. Chencho was often shifted between a winger and a striker by Minerva because of his versatile nature.
Chencho proved how much of a potent striker he could be when he scored a brace against Mohun Bagan and ousted the Mariners at their own den. He was not only very creative, but his impeccable ability to score goals on a regular basis is what won Minerva the points in the league. He ended up with a terrific seven goals and many assists to his name to let Minerva Punjab lift the I-League trophy and has been on the radar of East Bengal because of his incredible season. Bengal has proved to be able to dish out the cash when needed and they should not be hesitant at paying the big bucks to get a gem of a player who could give them the coveted I-League title next season.