Blasters rope in ex-Manchester United star Wes Brown
Last year’s Hero Indian Super League (ISL) finalists Kerala Blasters FC have added further steel to their defence by signing former Manchester United defender Wes Brown.
In a backline that already boasts of one of India’s best defenders in the form of Sandesh Jhingan, the Englishman’s addition gives it a pretty much unbreachable look. Brown reunites with former United youth, reserve and first team coach René Meulensteen, who is the Blasters’ head coach this season.
Brown had a glittering career with the Red Devils, having been one of Alex Ferguson’s mainstays during the period they dominated football in England and Europe alike. Starting as one of their youth products, the lanky centre-back could also double up occasionally as a right-back - plied his trade for the most successful English club for a period of 15 years, making more than 200 league appearances. Over that span of time, he was the winner of five league titles, a couple of Champions League trophies, a couple of FA Cups, League Cups and Community Shields, while also making it to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for the 2000-01 season.
His robust defending, especially after forming a formidable partnership with United legend Rio Ferdinand, made the team’s backbone almost impregnable, and was one of the major reasons for the club to keep numerous clean sheets.
Although not really a goal scoring defender as such, he only found the back of the net thrice in the league and once in the FA Cup for United, he was a towering presence in the opponent’s box when attacking during a set-piece. More often than not, he would draw the opposition defenders away for the regular attackers to pop up with a goal.
Kerala Blasters posted a short video of Brown on Twitter, where he greeted fans while going on to say that he was “delighted to play for Kerala Blasters” and was “looking forward to the next season”.
The player himself took to his own Twitter account to first tweet, “Hello India, Happy Independence Day! I'm coming soon to the exciting Indian Super League to play for @KeralaBlasters.”
He also added, “I can’t wait to play in front of one of the best fans in the world. Kerala, See you soon! #indiansuperleague#newchallenge#excited.”
In addition to experiencing a completely different environment as it is in the subcontinent, Brown will also be part of a team spearheaded by Iain Hume. Given that the men in yellow have gone all out to sign a mix of talented youth, experience and renowned foreign players, they have a squad which their fans and neutrals would love to watch. While for their opponents, at least on paper, they are one scary-looking unit which is only getting stronger.