With the Calcutta Football League knocking at their doors, both the Kolkata giants are bolstering their squads and as per some media reports, East Bengal have managed to tie up Aizawl FC’s rising superstar Laldanmawia Ralte for the upcoming season.
On the same day another news also sneaked in that their arch rivals Mohun Bagan reached out to last year I league’s leading goal scorer Dipanda Dicka of Shillong Lajong FC.n Although Dicka is presently registered for the Calcutta League by Mohammedan Sporting but once the league is over he would be a free player. Sensing this opportunity the green and maroon brigade is eager to sign this goal machine from their neighbours for this year’s I League as the Cameroonian himself was quoted saying the same.
Having already secured the services of quality players like Kamo Stephane Bayi, Ansumana Kromah, Kingsley Obumneme and with Sony Norde most likely to stay this year as well, it is pretty clear that they are covering up slots pretty nicely for the likes of Jeje Lalpekhlua, Daryl Duffy and Eduardo Ferreira. If the deal is finally struck, then it goes without saying that following the trend of the past three seasons this year as well they are going to be serious contenders for the title. With Daryl Duffy failing to make a substantial impact in his stint with them both in the CFL (Calcutta Football League) and the I league leading to his release, this man Dicka can be the answer (he scored a total of 17 goals for Lajong last season) to those missed chances which eventually cost Bagan the I League and the Federation Cup.
East Bengal, also, are not lagging far behind as they got the approval of Mizo kid Ralte to join them and their newly appointed coach Khalid Jamil himself must have had a major role in this agreement. Despite being a winger, Ralte’s scoring rate is more than decent as he netted 6 goals for the reigning champions in the whole campaign.
Previously having signed the likes of Mahmud Al-amna, Brandon and Khalid Jamil himself, they have raided Aizawl big time. All these booming prospects from the north east are making big money moves to these Calcutta powerhouses and this has been a trend since the days of Baichung, Rennedy and many more. Thus the club officials are leaving no stone unturned and are desperate to change their fortunes in this competition this time round. It is pretty clear that Khalid is heavily relying on the personnel he has worked with previously at Aizawl and has given enough attention to building a squad having a good blend of youth and experience with a quality bench backing up.
The I League is still the number one competition in the country (AFC have declared that in an official statement a few days back and the I league champions would get to play the AFC champions league) and these two footballing giants are just treating it that way as they try to fulfill the void created due to many quality players’ departure to their respective ISL franchises.