LNTUP

East Bengal makes serious signings to bolster their squad

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It has yet not been 24 hours since the Mariners roped in 7 players to strengthen their squad that their arch rivals Kingfisher East Bengal have struck deals with three players from the unsold list of players of ISL Drafting.

Out of the three, one is a striker, another a midfielder and the third one is a goalkeeper. Uttam Rai, Godwin Franco and Arup Debnath are the three players who will don the famous Red and Gold jersey for the upcoming season.

Arup Debnath, the 30 year old custodian previously had stints at East Bengal. He was seen guarding the goal of the Red and Gold in two stints- first in 2006-08 and then in 2009-10 season. Since then he had played for several other names in Indian football like Air India, Kenkre FC, Mumbai Tigers before returning to his old home. The 6 feet 3 inches tall keeper was last seen playing for Neroca FC in I-League 2nd Division. Debnath is the third goalie that East Bengal have signed this season after Mirshad and Luis Barreto.

Godwin Franco has been out of action for a year or so and has also worked as a TV Sports Analyst in meantime. But it did not hinder him from striking a deal with the Kolkata Giants. The 32 year old Goanese midfielder who also donned the national team jersey twice will be representing the Red and Gold this season. Franco has won both I-League and ISL previously with Dempo SC and Chennayin FC respectively.

The third recruit of the day is young Uttam Rai. The 20 year old Sikkimese striker is seen as one of the brightest prospects in Indian football. The player previously played for Dempo and Chennayin and was on loan to Minnerva Punjab FC in the last edition of I-League. With only Joby Justin and Mohammad Rafique in the squad as Indian strikers, Rai would surely increase the squad depth.