Kerala Blasters have signed veteran striker Bartholomew Ogbeche for the upcoming season in the Indian Super League (ISL), reports Futbalgalore.com.
Ogbeche, 34, was in red-hot form in the previous edition of the competition and steered his former club NorthEast United FC to their first ever top-four finish. His former employers announced last month that they are parting ways the striker, who was the joint second topscorer in the ISL last season, along with Mumbai City FC’s Moudou Sougou.
North-East United FC roped in Ogbeche for the 2018/19 ISL from Eredivisie side Willem II. The investment reaped returns as the striker scored 12 goals in his first season in Indian football. Not only that, he was also one of the most prolific performers in the entire league. The former Paris Saint Germain striker will be aiming to perform as per expectations when he takes the field for his new side the coming season.
Ogbeche will be reuniting with his coach Eelco Schattorie who also was at NorthEast United FC in the past season. The task will be a lot easier for the gaffer since he has already worked with the footballer before. Kerala Blasters also will be signing defender Gianni Zuiverloon from Delhi Dynamos FC, who is also from the Netherlands.
Kerala Blasters had a dismal outing in the 2018/19 ISL season having finished at the 9th spot with just a couple of wins in their quota of 18 matches. Brushing the disappointment aside, their management is leaving no stones unturned to pick the best lot in the summer transfer window.
“Exciting new challenge in view. I’m delighted to join @Keralablastersfc and very confident of having lots of success with this great club by God’s grace,” Bartholomew Ogbeche wrote via Instagram.
Ogbeche is well known for his spell with Paris Saint-Germain and his bicycle kick that wowed the audience when Nigeria played Republic of Ireland in friendly just before the 2002 World Cup.
The striker was a surprise inclusion in the Super Eagles’ 2002 World Cup squad where he played in the team’s opening two games against Argentina and Sweden. He last played for Nigeria in an African Nations Cup qualifier against Gabon in Libreville in 2004. He scored once in six games.
Regarded as one of the wonder-kids of his generation, Bartholomew Ogbeche has also represented clubs in Greece, England and United Arab Emirates and Netherlands.