Jeje Lalpekhlua has been playing for the Indian National team for over a decade now. The 29 year old striker was considered as an integral part of the National setup as he paired up with Sunil Chhetri at times for poaching in those crucial goals. The Mizo Sniper took the Indian Super League by storm as well! He was loaned on to Chennaiyin FC back in 2014 and has served the side loyally for the following six long years. Having bagged the ISL title for 2 seasons and scoring a cumulative of 25 goals in his lengthy stay at Chennaiyin FC which is by far the highest in the history of the club; Jeje was definitely a prized asset for the Marina Machans.
The only striker who scored in each of the ISL season until last season where he was ruled out sighting an aggravated knee injury, will be looking out for green-er pastures now as he announced his departure from the aforementioned club. His experience will count a lot more in proportions coming straight out from a season long inactivity on the pitch due to obvious reasons. Now what lies ahead in the future can be best judged by Jeje himself and he’d be definitely making counted decisions as he stands on one of the most important crossroads of his life.
Jeje has been a very instinctive striker in front of the posts, having an Indian player with such capabilities is definitely a win-win situation for the club as they can utilise their foreign spot elsewhere on the field rather than the orthodox International CB-CM-ST pattern which is being followed for an eternity in the Indian circuit.
Hereby we will take a further look into what all options Jeje can consider realistically as the upcoming season is set to commence within a span of little over a month. Some of the key noting points are; first and foremost Jeje will be eyeing to make his comeback into the game and its obvious that he would be raring to take on the pitch. Thus he would surely prioritize game time over everything else as he is on the cusp of his future career. Secondly he will be retrospecting each of the options on the basis of what all aspects they bring on to the table which would in turn help him forgo the tough departure and move ahead in his career.
Jeje’s probable destinations:
According to a TOI report, Jeje was linked with 4 clubs from the top tier league, namely: Kerala Blasters FC, Hyderabad FC, Jamshedpur FC, and the soon to be new entrants East Bengal FC.
Kerala Blasters FC
First things first, Kerala Blasters FC are going through a revamp yet again this season, with the newly appointed coach Kibu Vicuna taking over the reins of the club that finished 7th last season. Coach Kibu comes with the fame of winning the Polish League twice and the I league for Mohun Bagan FC. His brand of football often known as the ‘Vicuna Ball’ will be instrumental in KBFC’s outing at Goa. KBFC might line up in the traditional 4-4-2 or the 4-2-3-1 under Vicuna and the whole philosophy might suit Jeje’s attacking instincts.
The Mizo sniper can fit in perfectly alongside the heavily linked A league star striker Gary Hooper in the 4-4-2 and can play the crucial role of number 10 doubling up as a withdrawn forward otherwise. With the likes of Facundo Pereyra, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, taking charge of the midfield and Jessel-Nishu pairing up on the wings might just help Jeje to go a rank higher up from his yesteryear goal record.
Hyderbad FC was looking like a rather depleted side with the departure of Albert Roca, but credits given where due, with some good foreign signings they are preparing pretty seriously for the upcoming season. The arrival of new coach Manuel Marquez Roca can open up new opportunities for the club and roping in Jeje Lalpekhlua will add up to the whole team strength aspect.
With Joel Chianese coming into the mix, HFC can field him on the right wing which has been his dominant position alongside Jeje leading the attack. Availability of young forwards like Liston Colaco and Rohit Danu enables the team to have more pairings in the final third. It would be interesting to see if Hyderabad FC and Jeje agree on terms as we have recently seen HFC making a move for another Spanish striker.
Jamshedpur FC has been the most popular destination for all the departing Chennaiyin players. Albeit Jeje never played a game under Owen Coyle, we can not rule out the possibility of his move to JFC. Coach Owen has had a pretty longing impact on the squad wherein 2 of Jeje’s former teammates have already joined JFC. Will the familiarity of the setup incline Jeje towards Jamshedpur? Only time will tell.
Nerijus Valskis is all set to replace Sergio Castel and with Jackichand Singh on the right wing, JFC can field a 4-4-2 with Jeje and Valskis pairing up. Having enough depth in the midfield with Monroy, Lima, Amarjit bolstering the mix. Thus the Jamshedpur factor might work for him as he is all set to make a comeback.
East Bengal FC
Last but not the least, East Bengal FC is considered to be the favorites for the move if they barge into the ISL which is reportedly just a matter of a couple of weeks. After being linked with the club for over 5 months now, Jeje might end up donning the red and gold for the upcoming season. East Bengal are planning to go big for their mcuh awaited ISL entry. Having played for Mohun Bagan, Jeje will be one of the few of the current lot to have played for both the clubs of widely reckoned Kolkata derby if this deal materializes.
The Mizo sniper will surely be a very pursued profile in this transfer window and we wish him the very best ahead of his comeback. Which club will best suit Jeje Lalpekhlua? Drop down your pick in the comments below👇