I-League: Pune FC Sign Former Salgaocar Striker Mandjou Keita

Pune FC rope in Mandjou Keita as fourth foreigner...
Pune FC completed a transfer deadline-day signing of their fourth and final foreigner in former Salgaocar striker Mandjou Keita, a Guinean who will transfer from US Soccer League club Portland Timbers.

The 6’1” striker played last season on loan from Portland for the Goan team Salgaocar in the I-League. After a bad start to the season for the Goans, Keita’s arrival midway through and 8 goals in the league helped the team to climb up the table. But he couldn’t finish the season here as he had to return to his US League team.

After captaining the Guinean U-23 team, Keita made his mark abroad with top Malaysian club Perak. He was there for 3 seasons from 2004-2007 scoring a total of 36 goals in 42 appearances, and was top-scorer for his club in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. In 2006 he also bagged the Malaysian Super League Golden Boot, and had helped Perak to the Malaysian Cup. Following that Keita appeared in the Singapore top-flight for Brueni DPMM scoring 11 goals in one season.

His move to the United States to the USL Club Portland Timbers saw him make an immediate mark by bagging the league’s top-scorer award in 2009 with 11 goals.

For Pune FC, Keita will become the 4th foreigner at the club along with Brazilian forward Edmar Figueira, Japanese midfielder Arata Izumi, and Senegalese defender Lamine Tamba. According to AIFF rules this year, teams can field 4 foreigners in the matchday squads in all competitions, but only 3 will be allowed to be on the playing field at any moment. Hence with this new restriction in place, Keita’s presence is sure to add to the options PFC coach Derrick Pereira will have to make the best impact with his Foreign Four contingent.


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