Kerala Blasters coach David James believes the signing of Anas Edathodika can shore up the team's defence in the fifth season of Indian Super League (ISL).
After plying his trade at Delhi Dynamos and Jamshedpur FC, the Indian international has joined the Kochi-based club and is expected to partner Sandesh Jhingan in defence.
"Anas Edathodika is very talkative. One of the key things with regards to the change in recruitment structure for the ISL season is that the quality of Indian players is getting higher and higher.
"I wanted to make sure we had the best opportunity to bring in the best of the best. Sandesh is a regular international. Laruathhara plays on the side. Anas is a regular international. I thought the best way to shore up the defence was to get Anas to come back to Kerala and play professional football here for the first time. I'm very grateful as a manager that the club has decided to do that. It's been a wonderful experience," said David James.
"Playing in your home state is obviously a very good feeling for me. Playing for the Kerala Blasters is a very happy moment for me," Anas Edathodika expressed his delight at the homecoming.
Speaking about a potential centre-back partnership with Sandesh Jhingan, the defender said, "There’s no guarantee we (Anas Edathodika and Sandesh Jhingan) will get to play together since there is a lot of competition in the squad."
Anas' teammate Courage Pekuson also believes Kerala Blasters have a competitive squad to challenge for the title.
"We have a lot of quality in the squad this time. Even the younger players are very good. All the foreign recruits are good and they will give a hundred per cent. This season we expect to play much better than last season," he said.