Kolkata: Defending ISL champions Atletico de Kolkata on Monday, announced the signing of English midfielder Carl Baker, for the fourth edition of the Indian Super League. A product of the Liverpool Academy, Carl last played for Portsmouth before he was signed by the Kolkata based franchise.
The 34-year old will join marquee signing Robbie Keane, Zequinha, Jussi Jaaskelainen and countrymen Conor Thomas as the fifth signing of the club. Naturally a midfielder, Baker can also be deployed in the wings, adding another dimension to his kitty.
Sanjiv Goenka, the principal owner of the club was delighted with the new addition. He said, “We welcome Carl Baker to be a part of the ATK family. I am sure his experience of playing top tier leagues in England will help ATK in the forthcoming season of the ISL. We are already on our way to consolidate our team and the coaching staff is making some worthy choices to form a strong side.”
Baker, mainly played in the second and third tier of English football making over 450 professional appearances and also scored 97 goals, which is quite an achievement for a midfielder. His longest stay in a club came with Coventry City between the 2010-2014 season, where he racked up 160 appearances for the club scoring 28 goals in the process.
Signed for the first time by a non-English club, the former Portsmouth player looked excited at the new prospect when he said, “It feels great to sign for a champion side like ATK. I am eager to experience Indian football which is going through some exciting times with ISL gaining popularity. I have heard about the fans who are passionate about this beautiful game and hopefully I can give them enough reasons to rejoice by the end of the season.”
Meanwhile Mumbai City FC, roped in Brazilian Thiago Santos in a season-long loan from Flamengo, a club that plays in the Brazil Serie A. The 22-year old who in 2015 had won the U-20 Rio de Janeiro could play only 175 minutes of football in the last two seasons as a crucial ligament injury ruled him out for most of the season.
Santos becomes the fifth Brazilian signing of the franchise and will join the likes of Leo Costa, Rosario, Vieira and namesake Everton Santos as they look to create some samba magic in the upcoming ISL Season and win Mumbai the coveted trophy for the first time in the tournament’s short history.