KERALA BLASTERS are about to break their long spell of silence about transfer activities in the overseas open market by announcing the signing of Brazilian centre back Bruno Perone tonight.
After issuing an apology to their fans for being seemingly stagnant when it came to signing players, Kerala Blasters promised a turnaround: a flurry of signings and a bunch of fan-centric programmes, all to be announced starting August 17th, that is today. And as the afternoon rolled on, the franchise's official twitter handle issued this teaser:
The not so subtle clue was enough for resoruceful fans to immediately figure out the identity of the player; Bruno Perone. The Sao Paolo lad got his seniro debut at local league tier two club Esporte Clube Noroeste. In the next few years he moved between the Briazilian divisions playing for J. Malucelli (Serie C), Figueirense (Serie B), Tombense (Serie C) and Mirassol (Serie D). While playing in a Spanish regional league for Xerez CD, Perone was signed by Queens Park Ranger. On 27th August 2011, he made his Premier League debut, and went on to win 5 caps for QPR in the League that season.
His stint at the English club, however, proved to be short, as QPR did not extend his stay. In summer 2012 he went for a trial at Nottingham Forest, but did not land a contract. He returned to Brazil, eventually playing for Serie B sides Icasa and ABC FC. But his spell at each club proved to be short. He was playing at Sao Paolo regional league team Grêmio Novorizontino before he joined Kerala Blasters.
It is certainly not the most attractive resume around. But the 6 ft 4, physically imposing defender has plenty of experiences in going to new clubs an leagues and getting accustomed to the team within a short span of time, to play out a short useful spell for the club. He is naturally pre-conditioned for tournaments like ISL. Also his playing style is a perfect foil for that of fellow Blasters defenders Nirmal Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan and Gurwinder Singh etc. Having him at the centre bullying opponent strikers allows Jhingan some freedom to run up the flanks and carry out the role of attack-builder he is so often admired for.
The official announcement of the signing is expected to come at 7 pm. And this is unlikely to be the only signing the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned franchise makes this week. So the long wait for the fans is finally over and they are finally about to be treated to some boardroom activity that can potentially set up a good pre-season. After losing out on the inaugural ISL title to Atletico de Kolkata in the final, the Kerala supporters are hoping for nothing less than an undisputed triumph. The Blasters players, staff and administrators have a lot to live up to, and today marks a crucial milestone in their journey.
UPDATE: The confirmation duly arrived at 7 pm through this tweet: