Kerala rope in defender Vlatko Drobarov to replace injured Jairo Rodrigues

Kerala Blasters FC have announced the signing of Macedonian defender Vlatko Drobarov to replace the injured Jairo Rodrigues for the remainder of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season.

The 27-year-old made his professional debut for Macedonian side FK Skopje back in the 2010-11 season and went on to play for several other clubs in his home country like Napredok Kicevo and Teteks Tetevo. His first venture on foreign soil came in 2013 when he joined Mexican side Murcielagos FC.

The versatile centre-back, who can also operate as a defensive midfielder, has played in Armenia, Cyprus and Saudi Arabia as well. He last played for Macedonian side Belasica before joining Kerala. Some of his major accomplishments at the club level include winning the Macedonian Cup with Teteks in the 2012-13 campaign and an Armenian Cup triumph with FC Banants Yerevan in the 2015-16 season. Drobarov has also played for the U-19 and U-21 Northern Macedonia national teams.

The defender comes as a much-needed addition to an injury-ravaged Kerala Blasters side, who have multiple players sidelined due to injuries, particularly in defence. Eelco Schattorie lost Sandesh Jhingan owing to a long-term injury before the season started and injuries to Gianni Zuiverloon and Jairo Rodrigues haven't helped the Kochi-based side's cause this season. Midfielder Mario Arques, too, is nursing an injury.

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