Rampant Kerala unveil Rahul KP as fifth summer signing

Kerala Blasters FC continued their summer preparations ahead of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 campaign by concluding a deal for the 19-year-old winger, Rahul Kannoly Praveen. The forward is the latest addition to Eelco Schattorie’s long list of new entrants that features stars like Bartholomew Ogbeche, Mario Arques and Sergio Cidoncha.

Having started his professional football career at a very young age, Rahul represented Thrissur in the district team before going on to play for Kerala at the Under 14 inter-state tournament in Kolkata. He first gave glimpses of his talent at the U-17 World Cup held in India. He was part of Luis Norton de Matos’ squad and played a substantial role, thus earning himself a move to Indian Arrows after the conclusion of the tournament. His debut came soon after, in the team’s first match of the Hero I-League 2017-18 campaign against Chennai City FC.

The dazzling winger has, in total, scored six goals for the Arrows in 39 appearances. Primarily a wide-man, Rahul is sensational in one-on-one situations, using his quick feet and lightning pace to outfox opposition defenders. His displays on the left-flank of the Indian attack at the U-17 World Cup was one of the highlights of the tournament for the country. The forward also featured against the Blasters in the Hero Super Cup qualifier, which the Arrows won 2-0.

“It feels special, to be blessed with an opportunity to play for my home team. I’m ready to give it my all and work really hard to achieve the goals of the club for the season. Joining Kerala Blasters feels like family and I can’t wait to play in front of the fans at Kochi”, said an enthusiastic and energetic Rahul. 

“Rahul is a versatile player who can play at multiple positions as a winger and as a striker. We hope to develop and shape his skills to become a stable and powerful winger that can bring goals and assists for the team. I look forward to working with him”, said the Blasters head coach, Eelco Schattorie. 

Rahul is the fifth former India U-17 player to be picked by the south-coast club, after Dheeraj Singh, Mohammad Rakip, Nongdamba Naorem and Jeakson Singh. The move is another step in the right direction for the Blasters following a disastrous Hero ISL 2018-19 campaign, where they finished second from bottom.

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