Cleiton Silva departs Bengaluru FC; Chennaiyin FC sign Jiteshwor Singh; Seriton Fernandes extends FC Goa stay

Brazilian forward Cleiton Silva has departed Bengaluru FC after spending two illustrious years with the Blues, the club confirmed through their social media handles on Monday.

Silva played 37 matches for the Blues and was a key figure in the Blues’ attack, contributing a total of 16 goals and seven assists across the two seasons.

His double digit haul of 16 goals over the two seasons has taken him among the top three goalscorers for Bengaluru FC ever since their inception in the Hero ISL, making him a renowned name among the famous West Block Blues fan club, arguably departing as one of the better players the club has seen in recent times.

Although Bengaluru FC failed to reach the semi-finals during his two seasons at the club, the 35-year-old thrived in the attack alongside Sunil Chhetri and Prince Ibarra, marking the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season his best-ever in terms of stats and numbers.

The Marco Pezzaiuoli-led side are on the course of a rebuild and will keep themselves busy in the transfer window after the departure of one of their most prolific forwards.

Chennaiyin FC sign Jiteshwor Singh

Chennaiyin FC have signed young Manipuri midfielder Yumkhaibam Jiteshwor Singh on a multi-year agreement ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

Jiteshwor will be joining Marina Machans following an impressive outing for Neroca FC in the I-League last season in which he was adjudged the Best Emerging Player of the Season.

He had produced one assist and spent over 1500 minutes on the pitch, featuring in 12 league and five championship stage matches.

“We are excited to see Jiteshwor in Chennaiyin FC colours especially after being awarded the Best Emerging Player of the Season in I-League last year. This is a real positive signing for us and our vision this season,” Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said.

The 20-year-old will look to add youthful energy to Chennaiyin FC’s midfield, consisting of last season’s skipper Anirudh Thapa, who was retained by the club earlier on a two-year deal.

Talking about his first Hero ISL contract, an elated Jiteshwor said: “I am very excited to join Chennaiyin FC. I can’t wait for pre-season and to meet my new teammates. I will work hard to play in the starting eleven.”

A defensive midfielder, Jiteshwor has played in three I-League seasons in his career so far since making his professional debut with Orange Brigade in 2020. He also appeared for Kolkata-based Bhawanipore FC on three occasions in the I-League qualifiers during a short loan spell in 2020.

Jiteshwor has played 40 professional matches in his career which also includes two assists.

Seriton stays

Elsewhere, defender Seriton Fernandes commited his future to FC Goa, signing a two-year contract extension with the club, the Goan club confirmed the announcement via their social media handles on Tuesday.

Fernandes has clocked 8247 minutes across 95 matches in his Hero ISL career, notching four assists till date. During this period, he has managed 346 tackles, 104 interceptions, 232 clearances, 105 blocks, and 3663 passes, with an overall passing accuracy of 78.81%. 

The right-back was a vital cog in the FC Goa side that wrapped up their campaign as the table-toppers in the Hero ISL 2019-20, thereby becoming the first Hero ISL side to lift the League Winners’ Shield and cementing a historic group-stage spot in the AFC Champions League.

"I made my ISL debut with the club nearly five years ago, and I realise that I’ve grown a lot as a footballer since then. FC Goa have played a huge role in my development, and I will happily continue to repay the team with complete love and commitment," quoted Fernandes after putting pen-to-paper on his new contract.

“As one of FC Goa’s senior players, I also understand that I’m at a position where I have to look after not just myself, but also the rest of my team. And there’s a lot that I can and have to do," the 29-year-old added.

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