East Bengal bolstered their attack on Thursday by signing Croatian attacker Antonio Peroevic to a one-year contract that would keep him at the club till the end of the Indian Super League season in 2021-22.
Perosevic joins East Bengal from Újpest FC of Hungary’s premier tier, where he started 13 games last season. Manuel ‘Manolo’ Diaz’s sixth and final international addition of the season is the 29-year-old, who can also play on the flank.
The other five international players are Slovenian midfielder Amir Dervievic, Australian defender Tomislav Mrcela, Croatian center-back FranjoPrce, Nigerian striker Daniel Chima Chukwu, and Dutch utility player Darren Sidel.
After putting pen-to-paper for East Bengal, Perosevic said that “India is an amazing country and I have heard a lot about how passionate people are about football here. Especially, SC East Bengal and its fan base are much talked about. I have read up on them and I can’t wait to pull on the red and gold shirt.”
Perosevic made two appearances for the Croatian senior national team in 2017. “I will look to help the team in whatever way I can and maintain the team spirit. I know the history attached to this club and I will do my best to uphold its legacy,” he added.
Perosevic began playing for his hometown club Osijek’s youth team in 2010. In the final round of the 2009–10 season, he made his senior squad debut as a late substitution in a 2–0 win over Cibalia. With seven goals in the 2011–12 season, Peroevic was Osijek’s leading league striker.
After a good tenure with Osijek, Perosevic moved abroad, first playing for Puskás Akadémia in Hungary in 2017 before joining Al-IttihadKalba SC in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on loan the following season.
Perosevic told the East Bengal website which states: “I have had a good conversation with the management and I am looking forward to the new adventure. I am looking forward to meeting the coaching staff and all my teammates. I have also heard about the big derby against ATK Mohun Bagan, and that kind of game further motivates a player.”
On November 21, East Bengal will play Jamshedpur FC in their ISL 2021-22 season opener at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.