FC Goa have sealed a deal for 22-year-old Indian striker Ishan Pandita, according to latest media reports. The young forward has regularly featured in the lower tiers of Spanish football for nearly four seasons and has caught the eye of Goa’s scouting team. Having played for the youth sides of UD Almeria and Leganes, Pandita last accumulated experience with 4th division team Lorca FC.
Goa apparently made a few enquiries in Spain before deciding whether or not to sign the striker. Newly recruited head coach Juan Ferrando had also spoken to Pandita in a bid to convince him to join ‘The Gaurs’.
The deal is said to be an initial 1-year contract, with the club having an option to extend for another year based on Pandita’s performance. With interest from as many as three ISL clubs, the striker chose Goa owing to the Spanish influence in the club’s structure. From coaching staff to the manager and the fact that there are 5 Spanish players, including marquee forward Igor Angulo, he reportedly felt that Goa would be the better sporting project.
A source close to this development has been quoted as saying, “Having been in Spain for four years now, Ishan understands the Spanish philosophy and mindset. He knows the language and it will be much smoother for him to make the transition.”
Pandita will add some steel in Goa’s attacking force upfront. With Corominas no longer with the club, the onus will lie on the likes of Ortiz, Angulo and Pandita to shoulder the goal-scoring burden.
With the news that ISL 2020 will look to be held in stadiums across Goa, it surely comes as a boost to the club in their pursuit of the elusive title. The club came close to winning the trophy in 2018 final against Bengaluru FC but ultimately fell at the last stage to a Rahul Bheke header goal. The new season of the ISL is said to start somewhere in November 2020.
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