Kerala Blasters FC further strengthened their squad for the upcoming Indian Super League 2019-20 campaign by signing NorthEast United FC hitman, Bartholomew Ogbeche on Thursday. The move sees the 34-year-old striker reunite with his former Highlanders boss Eelco Schattorie, who took over the reins of the south coast club a month ago.
Ogbeche arrived in the ISL at the start of the 2018-19 campaign but took very little time to get himself acquainted with the intensity and demands of the league. He scored four goals in the first three matches that included a sensational 10-minute hat-trick against the then defending champions Chennaiyin FC.
The Frenchman was a nightmare for defenders throughout the course of the season as they failed to cope with his physicality.
The season ended with the Highlanders reaching the final four for the first time in their history, thanks in large parts to Ogbeche’s 12 goals – the joint second-most in the league. The former Middlesbrough man also contributed with two assists, including one in the first leg of the semi-final against eventual champions, Bengaluru FC.
That was his final contribution for the Highlanders as he prepares to lead the line for Kerala next term. The Blasters were themselves in need of inspiration at the firing end of the pitch after scoring just 18 goals from as many matches last season. Schattorie’s presence will be an added bonus as the Dutchman already has an idea about the strengths and weaknesses of his former Highlanders forward.