Pune FC had the second meanest defence in the country as champions Salgaocar SC, having conceded a mere 27 goals, six more than East Bengal who gave away the least.
To take their defensive line to another level, Pune FC have roped in the services of Anas Edathodika from Mumbai FC with a two year contract.
The 24 year old has been one of the star players at Mumbai FC, making a name of himself for being one of the best tacklers in the country. The centre-back is presently recuperating from an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear suffered in the first week of March for which he has already undergone an operation.
“I have signed for Pune FC and I’m pleased to have joined them as they had expressed their interest in me for long. I am here to give my best and help the club win titles,” Anas told Goal.com.
The Keralaite thanked Mumbai FC for making him the player that he is today and had words full of gratitude towards the club management.
“I informed Khalid Sir and Mukul Sir of my decision to leave. To be honest, I wasn’t quite keen to part ways with them but the interest from Pune FC was strong and hence I had to join.
“In my four years with the club, I have learnt several things and I shall forever be grateful to them for giving me an identity,” he said.
Anas shall leave for Kerala for his marriage on July 7 and hopes to be back in action by the end of August for Pune FC.
“Inshallah (God willing) I shall get back in shape after recovering from the injury,” he made a wish.
Lack of creativity in the middle of the park was one of the major headaches faced by coach Derrick Pereira last season. To alleviate the problem, Lester Fernandes and Aseem Hassan are bound to have some competition for a place in the central midfield as Baldeep Singh is the latest to join Pune FC.
Having suffered a knee injury in Malaysia while on national duty, the Punjabi medio couldn’t feature much for Salgaocar SC. He was part of India’s Asian Cup squad and had impressed in the friendlies against Vietnam and Yemen played at the Balewadi last year.
“Pune FC are a very good club and I am very pleased to have joined them for the next season. I always wanted to join them,” said Baldeep.
“Salgaocar were also a very good side and coached by a good coach (Karim Bencherifa) but it was unfortunate that I couldn’t play much for them due to the injury. Otherwise everything about the club was good,” he mentioned.
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