Shillong, Jan 31: The exciting forward Chencho Gyeltshen has been loaned to Manipur-based side NEROCA from Indian Super League side Bengaluru FC, the latter confirmed today.

NEROCA haven’t yet said anything (at the time of writing this report) about Gyeltshen’s joining them, probably because they haven’t yet had him in a club jersey for a photo op.

Gyeltshen was part of the I-League champion team Minerva Punjab in 2017-18. He scored seven goals in the competition last year and was named Best Forward by the All India Football Federation after the season ended. The 22-year-old Gyeltshen is already the top scorer for the Bhutan national team with 10 goals.

Following the I-League he was then picked up by Bengaluru for the 2018-19 ISL. However, he has only played in nine (four starts, five as substitute) of his side’s 13 matches and has scored two goals. Incidentally both against NorthEast United, including yesterday’s winner in the 2-1 victory in Bangalore.

“Chencho played a crucial part in our campaign, giving us four points against NorthEast United with his two goals, and has shown a fantastic attitude in training by working hard every time. We will be keeping a note on his progress with NEROCA, because he is a young player who we are sure will improve with each performance,” Bengaluru coach Carles Cuadrat was quoted as saying on the club’s website.

In his place the former two-time I-League champions have signed 29-year-old Spanish midfielder Luis Manuel Villa.

Meanwhile, NEROCA must be hoping that Gyeltshen will provide a boost to their striking capability. The Imphal side have not won in any of their last three fixtures. They lost two games on the road against Mohun Bagan (1-0) and Churchill Brothers (2-1) before returning home and drawing 0-0 with struggling Aizawl FC and are stuck in fifth position.

Tomorrow NEROCA will take on Indian Arrows in Bhubaneshwar. Gyeltshen will be available for this match, but having just played yesterday we might have to wait a little while longer to see him in the I-League.

(TSR file photo)

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