Earlier in the transfer window, Chennaiyin focused on strengthening their Indian core by bringing in a group of new players from other ISL teams, the I-League, and the Santosh Trophy. They soon announced Thomas Brdaric’s appointment as their new head coach, which sped up their foreign recruitment. Brdaric preferred names who had played in his native Germany and in Albania, where he served as coach the previous year. Rafael Crivellaro was the only foreign player from the previous set of players to be retained.
Düker is the second player from Germany’s lower divisions to arrive at the Marina Arena. Petar Sliskovic’s signing with Chennaiyin was previously confirmed after the player secured a release from German Third Division team SV Wehen Wiesbaden.
For the first time in his professional career, Julius Düker will be playing outside of his native Germany. He progressed through the ranks of the Wolfsburg youth academy but his breakthrough came through Eintracht Braunschweig, where he spent two seasons playing for both their senior and junior teams, featuring in 72 games. After his time with Eintracht Braunschweig, the 26-year-old went back to the third division. He later spent a season with SC Paderborn 07 back in the Bundesliga Second Division. The midfielder played in 10 matches during his one and only season with the team.
Since then, Düker has played for teams like SV Meppen and TSV Havelse in the third tier for the past two seasons, making over 78 appearances. He has been acquired by Chennaiyin on a free transfer after his contract expired this summer. With FC Magdeburg in 2018, Düker once managed to win the third division championship.
Fallou Diagne, Kwame Karikari, and Iranian defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi have also been signed by Chennaiyin in addition to Julius Düker.
Kwame Karikari was one of the key players of Nakhon Ratchasima last season, featuring in 36 games for the Thai club. They eventually finished ninth in the Thai League and the Ghanaian registered seventeen goals for them, scoring across the league and cup competitions. Senegalese defender Fallou Diagne, who was a part of the Vllaznia team that was coached by Thomas Brdaric last season, is also one of the new arrivals at Chennai. The 32-year-old formed formidable partnerships at the back with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly during his time at Metz and German international Matthias Ginter at SC Freiburg, featuring in more than 70 games with the two players.
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