The striker was part of India’s squad at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

East Bengal have snapped up former Indian Arrows striker Abhijit Sarkar on loan from Chennaiyin FC, adding more firepower to their squad prior to the Calcutta Football League (CFL) campaign. The West Bengal-born striker had featured for the Indian U-17 side in the FIFA U-17 World Cup two years ago and made a bright impression for the Arrows ever since.

Over the two seasons he featured for the I-League side, Sarkar netted five goals in 20 appearances and often made a bright impression coming off the bench. He most notably scored two winning goals to down Churchill Brothers in the 2017/18 I-League campaign, making a big impression for himself. Having the ability to play as a striker and even as a withdrawn forward or attacking midfielder, the 19-year-old definitely has the potential to grow under Alejandro Menendez’s care.

The AIFF Elite Academy graduate will be playing for a Kolkata-based side for the first time in his career and feature in the upcoming CFL campaign as well. He was snapped up by Chennaiyin FC last year after being impressed by his work in the final third and Menendez will hope he can add the much-needed bite to East Bengal’s attack next season.

Sarkar becomes the Red and Gold Brigade’s sixth Indian signing of the summer, having roped in Indian Super League (ISL) stars Boithang Haokip and Lalthuammawia Ralte on loan from Bengaluru FC and FC Goa respectively. Moreover, Pintu Mahata and Abhishek Ambekar were also signed from arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and considering they both won the CFL last season, they’ll definitely add that extra bit to East Bengal next season.

Naorem Tondomba Singh was also signed from NEROCA FC to stack up the midfield options, while Goa Professional League star Ronaldo Oliveira also recently had a trial with East Bengal and could sign to fill up their striker’s void. The Kolkata giants have only made one foreign signing so far, with former Delhi Dynamos defender Marti Crespi being roped in as a potential replacement for the departed Jonny Acosta.

Meanwhile, Crespi’s partner, Borja Gomez Perez, has landed in Kolkata prior to the CFL campaign and should join up with the squad immediately. The Spaniard played a crucial part in their impressive I-League run last time and is expected to be an influential leader for the side going forward.

Moreover, Mohun Bagan’s new Spanish duo Fran Gonzalez and Joseba Beitia also landed in the city on Saturday morning and are expected to join training from Monday.