Former Liverpool striker Emiliano Alfaro has been acquired on loan by the Kolkatan outfit, ATK under Steve Coppell from Pune City FC.
As ATK dealt with a major blow when Kalu Uche had to be substituted against Bengaluru FC as he encountered with a quadriceps muscle injury. Steve Coppell later said that –“He has gone to Barcelona to receive further medical treatment. He obviously leaves a big hole in our squad.”
ATK addressed the issue quickly and snapped Emiliano Alfaro on a loan deal as he is familiar with Indian conditions as he will play his third season in ISL 5. He has proved his mettle against the sides he will come across for NEUFC and Pune City FC. With his signing, ATK once again continues to follow their philosophy of signing tried and tested players across the globe.
Alfaro has played for his national team (Uruguay) since he was in his teens and came to India to join the NorthEast United squad in 2016. He was then signed by the Pune City FC for Indian Super League Season 3. EL Picaro, had scored two consecutive goals for the highlanders against a match against FC Goa in ISL. He had some notable contributions in maintaining the score line in his first seven matches. Although his form dipped in the remaining six matches as he failed to score any more goals.
The thief returned to India as one of the first foreign signings by Pune City FC in season 4 of ISL. Alfaro made his debut in the Pune outfit against Delhi Dynamos FC where his side lost 2-3. He scored a brace against Mumbai City FC including a dying minute goal of the 2-1 victory in his second appearance for Pune. Alfaro banged in nine goals in 19 matches which instrumentally contributed to the Stallions top four finish in the last season.
ATK has struggled for the net this season regularly and the addition of this Uruguayan striker will add more teeth to their attack. Alfaro will certainly have his task cut out in the attacking third as Coppell likes to have a target man up-front. The onus will be on the thief as he gets an opportunity with ATK after having an average season so far, scoring once and missing two penalties.
Kalu Uche’s injury may turned out to be a blessing in disguise for ATK as they face Mumbai City FC away in the Mumbai Football Arena on 24th of November. ATK can definitely hope to erase the horrific memories from last season if Alfaro can present himself as the missing piece to the jigsaw puzzle.