There are some interesting surprises in the Highlanders’ overseas contingent for the new season.
Indian Super League outfit NorthEast United FC earlier on Wednesday unveiled their contingent of overseas players ahead of the new season. After having a comparative successful domestic players’ Draft, the Highlanders were the only club who were yet to announce any foreign acquisitions, choosing to introduce all signings at once.
The first big signing is that off Marcinho, also known as Marcio de Souza Gregorio Junior. The Brazilian attacking midfielder has played in the Bulgarian First League and was a runner-up in the 2013/14 season with CSKA Sofia. He’s also a winner of the Copa Do Brasil in 2009 and can provide a lot of power to NEUFC’s attack.
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The club also announced the signing of Colombian striker Luis Paez, who has played throughout his career in the Colombian First Division. Paez scored 21 goals from 36 games last season for Rionegro Aguilas and is a 2-time Colombian league champion, winning the Copa Colombia and Super Cup of Colombia.
The Highlanders also signed an impressive defender in Jose Goncalves, who has played for European clubs like Nurnberg in his career. The Portuguese defender played for three seasons at MLS club New England Revolution and also won the MLS Defender of the Year award in 2013. He moves to the northeast with a lot of experience under his belt, something which will help stabilize the Highlanders’ defense this season. He’s a like-to-like replacement for Gustavo Lazarretti.
— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) September 13, 2017
They have also signed another vibrant young defender in Sambinha, who spent some of his youth career playing for European club Sporting CP. The 24-year-old old defender played for Sporting B in his senior career and could be a really good partner for the experienced Goncalves, as this Portuguese duo can definitely help to balance the ship for NorthEast’s back four.
The team who have struggled for consistency in goals in all three seasons of the competition have also added more teeth to their attack with the signing of experienced striker Odair Fortes, who spent almost a decade at Ligue 2 club Reims. Nicknamed as TGV, Fortes is an experienced customer having played over a decade of senior football and can turn out to be a brilliant signing considering that he’s only 30 years of age and can still provide a lot of spark to their attack.
Luis Paez is creative goal scorer and will be expected to fill the boots of Emiliano Alfaro, a player signed by FC Pune City
The club have further strengthened their backline with the addition of Uruguayan defender Martin Diaz. The 29-year-old center-back was the captain of the Uruguayan U-17 team in the FIFA U-1centre-back 2005 and can be a real asset for NorthEast because of his height and strong build. They also added another South American to their squad in Wellington da Silva who has been a prolific striker in South America in the past few years. The 29-year-old has experience playing all around the world and will look to take the ISL by storm this season.
NorthEast United seemingly want to create a South American base to help the Indian players, as they signed another Brazilian in midfielder Adilson who has played in the Brazilian league for a long time. We can expect to see some real fireworks in the Highlanders game-play this season with all these additions, as they seek to make the playoffs for the very first time.