Shillong, Dec 7: Shillong Lajong FC have parted ways with their Japanese striker Takuto Miki after just a handful of matches in the I-League 2023-24.

The news was reported a few days ago and TSR had also heard that the club were not satisfied with the player’s performance, though there has still been no official word from Lajong about Takuto’s departure.

The striker had scored twice for Lajong in the six games he played, including the club’s first goal in their opening match against Mohammedan Sporting on 3rd November. He scored again in the draw with Sreenidi Deccan at home but Takuto’s star was waning.

Despite his goals, he seemed a little slow in terms of pace on the pitch and was often outrun by opponents. After starting the first five games, the forward was used only as a second half substitute in his sixth and last outing where he lasted just half an hour before being subbed himself. In fact, he never played a full match, always ending every game on the bench.

The report suggested that he and Lajong had decide to part ways by mutual agreement. Now, we’re not sure if that’s true but perhaps he wasn’t well suited here.

Nevertheless, it’s a little strange to see Takuto gone and Abdou Karim Samb still here. Fans don’t seem to be thrilled with the Senegalese striker, who often appears to be the person least likely to score on any given day. However, coach Bobby Lyngdoh Nongbet may still see something in him that the rest of us don’t.

With Takuto’s departure, Lajong have more options in the transfer window. SLFC had only signed four foreigners before the start of the season when the maximum number is six. We have heard it suggested that the club are looking to bring at least one new foreigner on board for the second half of the I-League.

Lajong aren’t doing too badly even with Karim and Takuto not setting the league on fire. Unbeaten after eight games, the Reds are third in the table and their local players have performed superbly along with the two Brazilian signings. Any new addition to the ranks needs to be able to keep Lajong going all the way and achieve the Top 5 finish they spoke of aspiring towards before the start of the season.

(TSR photo)

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