The defending I-League champions Bengaluru FC continued strengthening their side ahead of the 2016-’17 I-League season with the acquisitions of winger Mandar Rao Desai, full-back Sena Ralte, and keeper Arindham Bhattacharya on loan.

Earlier in the month, Bengaluru had roped in midfielders Harmanjot Khabra and Lenny Rodrigues, also on loan. With barely three weeks left for the start of the new season, Bengaluru coach Albert Rocha hoped that the players fit in the system quickly, “We will be competing in two tournaments at the same time and it’s going to take squad depth if we are to do well. Sena is coming off a good tournament with Mumbai City FC, Mandar is a very talented youngster who has made rapid strides and Arindam brings with him the kind of experience that will keep Amrinder and Ralte on their toes at all times”

“These are good additions to our squad and I hope they get up to speed with our systems given there’s very little time before the League begins,” said Blues coach Albert Roca.

Sena Ralte comes into the I-League on the back of an impressive season with Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League. In Bengaluru, the 28-year-old has his task cut out to get a starting berth with Lalchhuanmawia, Keegan Pereira and Nishu Kumar already in the mix.

Desai is known for his tricky footwork and speed on the flanks, “Bengaluru FC is the right club for any footballer and I’m surrounded by some great players here. I’m looking forward to pulling on the Blue shirt and linking up with them,” the 24-year-old Goan winger said.

Bengaluru FC will begin their title defence against Shillong Lajong at the Kanteerava Stadium on January 7th, 2017.