The 29-year-old will add quite a bit of experience to the Blasters’ squad.
In a latest development, veteran defender Raju Gaikwad has penned a deal with Kerala Blasters for the upcoming Indian Super League campaign. The move comes days after the Blasters’ primary centre-back Sandesh Jhingan suffered an injury setback during the Indian Football Team’s friendly against NorthEast United.
Gaikwad is one of the most renowned defenders in the country and comes with vast experience, having played for clubs like Quess East Bengal and FC Goa. He was previously associated with Jamshedpur FC during the 2018-19 season. The 29 year-old is a versatile defender and can easily fill in at his new club.
With Jhingan injured, there was a huge void in the centre-back position, alongside new signing Gianni Zuiverloon. Earlier, Jessel Carneiro and Abdul Hakku were the only options left to fill Jhingan’s position, but considering their lack of experience, the Blasters had to make a move.
Now that Gaikwad is in, the Blasters can heave a sigh of relief, as he can be a very good replacement at #5. A Tata Football Academy product, Raju Gaikwad has also represented the national team and infact was one of the starters during his peak.
His addition to the Blasters’ squad is something that was called for and the move could turn out to be a fruitful venture for both the parties. Kerala Blasters begin their 2019-20 campaign at home against ATK on 20th October and the first game will be a crucial one for the newly signed Gaikwad.
Meanwhile, Jhingan’s injury comes at a crucial juncture for both Kerala Blasters as well as the Indian Football Team, who are preparing for their next fixture against Bangladesh in the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.