The 29-year old Bissau-Guinean forward Isma has signed for Chennaiyan FC on a free transfer
“It feels great to join Chennaiyin FC, a club that represents a city with rich culture and a wonderful fanbase. My conversations with our Head Coach (Csaba László) have been great so far, and I truly believe in the project he has in mind for us. I will work extremely hard to fulfill what my team and coaches expect from me. And hopefully, deliver with as many goals and assists that help us win and achieve our objectives,” said a determined Isma on joining the two-time Indian Super League champions.
Esmaël Gonçalves better know as Isma has signed for the southern side Chennaiyan FC on a free transfer the club has confirmed. A native of Bissau-Guinean, he moved to Portugal at the age of three where he began his footballing career with Boavista. After spending three years at the club Isma ventured to France and signed for Nice after successful trials at the club. The forward even drew attention from English club Liverpool FC prior to joining Nice. He was soon promoted to the reserve team after impressing at the youth level. After a successful stint with the reserves team, the forward received a call up to the senior team in January 2011 where he signed his first professional contract with the club on 30th June 2011. The forward scored 2 goals for the club before returning to Portugal with Rio Ave in 2012.
The forward has also had various on loan and permanent stints at other clubs in Scotland, Cypriot, Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Persia, etc. He last played for the Japanese club Matsumoto Yamaga.
Although born in Bissau-Guinean Isma is a neutral citizen of Portugal and has represented the country at the u-17 level. He was also a part of the initial u-20 squad for the 2011 Fifa U-20 World Cup however, he did not make it to the final squad after being out of shape. The forward earned a single cap for Bissau-Guinean in 2018, featuring in a 2-0 friendly loss to Burkina Faso in France.
“Isma has a proven eye for goal with prior experience of playing in Asia. He has the capabilities of a lethal marksman and we hope to benefit from his versatility in the forward areas. I am certain he will link up well with the rest of our troops, and it will result in a lot of positive actions in the opponent’s penalty area. We are all very excited to welcome him to Chennaiyin and India,” CFC Head Coach Csaba László said on Isma’s acquisition.
Looking Ahead: Upcoming Stint with Chennaiyan FC
Having played for various clubs across the world including the competitions UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, and AFC Asian Champions league the forward will be no short of the experience that he has gained. However, Isma has big boots to fill in after Valskis, who scored plenty of goals for the Southern side has moved to Jamshedpur. Whether he can replicate the form that Valskis showed is something to look forward to. Could this be the deciding factor in Chennaiyan’s shot at the trophy?