Ogbeche: Kerala may see something similar to my and Gallego's partnership

Turning the clock back to the end of last season, if any Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) fan was asked which combination of two players was the most lethal in the season gone by, odds are that an overwhelming majority of them would opt for the former NorthEast United FC duo of Bartholomew Ogbeche and Federico Gallego. With the former having moved to Kerala Blasters FC and the latter opting to sign a contract extension with the Highlanders, the partnership has been broken up, probably much to the relief of most defenders around the league.

Ogbeche, however, reckons that there's a possibility that a similar devastating partnership can be recreated at Kerala Blasters, with one of his new teammates.

In a recent interview, the new Kerala captain reminisced about his successful partnership with his former teammate and said, "I had an amazing time with Gallego. He’s more than a teammate to me, and that’s the kind of relationship we had off the field."

On the pitch too, the chemistry between the two juggernauts was a quantifiable one. Of Gallego's five assists in Hero ISL 2018-19, four were converted by none other than Ogbeche and accounted for one-third of the former PSG star's goal tally of 12 last term. Similarly, of the two assists laid down by the striker last season, one was for the Uruguayan's four goals in the campaign.

Needless to say, it will be a tall order to recreate these numbers but Ogbeche remains confident that it's doable. "It's still early days to talk about my Kerala Blasters teammates for now. But I have been able to look at a few of my teammates and I think we could come up with something like that. Let’s keep on training and get to know each other better, and I’m sure I’m going to have a great time with all my teammates here," the 35-year-old declared.

In retrospect, there's no dearth of talented creative players in the Kerala squad. Despite being a tough ask, the likes of Sergio Cidoncha, Mario Arques and Sahal Abdul Samad are more than capable individuals who can help their captain out in the lofty quest.

Another aspect to consider will be that at Kerala, Ogbeche will be working with a familiar face in Eelco Schattorie, who was his head coach during last season at NorthEast as well and brought out the best in both him and Gallego.

Have always admired the Kerala fans from afar

Another good news for Kerala fans is that Ogbeche is settling well to his new life in Kochi and seems pumped to step out in front of the massive Kerala fanbase in Hero ISL 2019-20.  "I’m settling in really well and thanks to my teammates for the warm welcome. It has been gratifying and I feel welcomed here. I think I have admired the Kerala fans from afar when I was playing for a different team. I admire how they support their team. Now that I’m close by, I can feel their energy and their power. They are really passionate about their team and I’m happy to be a part of the Kerala Blasters family," he said.

Which Kerala player, do you think, can step into Gallego's shoes to recreate the famed partnership from last season? Leave your choice in the comments below:

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