Kerala Blasters have been swift in getting a like for like replacement in Raju Gaekwad for their injured centre half Sandesh Jhingan, who would be out for at least six months and miss the full season. Having previously worked with Gaekwad in the I-League, the coach has known him well all his life.
29-year-old Gaekwad has all the experience a club would be looking for if they were to replace their best centre-half and the Blasters did the same after they had to come to terms with the reality – Jhingan won’t be playing this season.
The enforcer had a decent enough season with Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) last time and prior to that has plied his trade with Kolkata giants — East Bengal and Mohun Bagan – in I-League, and FC Goa and Mumbai City FC in the ISL. Eelco Schattorie sounded quite content with the last-minute replacement.
“I am happy to have Raju in the team. I have worked with Raju before while he was in East Bengal. He has the ability to play in all positions in the backline. He also has a good physique and decent techniques on the ball. I am happy that he is now part of Kerala Blasters,” said Eelco Schattorie, Sportstar reported.
Coming to a star-studded Kerala Blasters side, who have been enjoying all the favourites tag ahead of the season, Gaekwad also sounded delighted by the move. “I do believe that there is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it everything and I am here to do that”, he said.
With Gaekwad now coming in, KBFC would be having Jessel Carneiro, Abdul Hakku, and Gianni Zuiverloon as the options in that position. They take on ATK on October 20.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi