With just one week left for the beginning of Kolkata Premier League Mohun Bagan, the defending I League champion, is in search of a striker. Surprisingly, the green-and-maroon brigade has not been able to confirm its third and fourth foreigner. So far, they have Japanese midfielder Katsumi Yusa and Brazilian defender Gustavo Silva in their kitty. Still the club officials are not being able to wipe away anxiety as Sony Norde, the key footballer who had a major contribution in the team’s last season I League triumph, has not yet confirmed his joining this season. It has been learnt that The Haitian striker who was busy with international engagement representing Haiti in the Concacaf Gold Cup, had sent his agent to Kolkata two weeks ago. And the agent was not reportedly satisfied with the financial offer made by Mohun Bagan officials. One of the club’s top officials recently regretted saying, “Even I had a recent telephonic discussion with Sony for around 15 minutes. Still he did not raise the question of continuing with our team this season. I have doubts. Still, we will give our best efforts to bring him this season this also.” Norde, before leaving Kolkata, also looked in dilemma while returning to Mohun Bagan this season. Rather he said, “I have also offers from the clubs in Belgium and a few other countries in Europe. So I am not sure whether I would be back to Mohun Bagan next season.”
The uncertainty over Norde’s joining has made Bagan officials little bit restless and has forced themselves to be in hunt for other quality foreign strikers. And the effort to rope in Dudu Omagbemi, the Nigerian striker who was one of the key players in East Bengal last season, is the reflection of Bagan officials’ impatience. According to a section of club officials, Dudu himself agreed to don green-and-maroon shirts this season. But his monitory demand seems exorbitant. So, the officials again look confused while settling with the team’s third foreigner this season. In the mean time, a local lad named Raja Das who was consistent in scoring for Bengal seniors in the last senior national football championship, Santosh Trophy, has reportedly impressed the team’s coach Sanjoy Sen. Das also struck an excellent goal in the team’s preparatory match against a local club Bhawanipore FC on Saturday. And Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen, speaking on the occasion, said on Saturday, “Yes, he looks promising. He has tenacity also in the opponent box. Let us see. Das could be successful in the Kolkata league, but he cannot be a replacement of a quality foreign striker.
On the other hand, Gustava Silva, the Brazilian central defender who once had experience of participating in the matches against famous Neymar De Silva Santos Junior three years ago in Brazilian premier league, has not yet been fully fit. The Brazilian fitness trainer of Mohun Bagan, Diego Garcia Miranda has doubts over Gustava regaining the fitness before Mohun Bagan’s opening tie in the Kolkata Premier league against Mohammedan Sporting, scheduled on 18 August. Otherwise the coaching staff is impressed with Gustavo’s physique and technical ability.