From Gokulam Kerala to East Bengal: Sandhiya Ranganathan Takes Flight to Kolkata

As reported by Marcus Mergulhao, East Bengal FC has signed Indian national team forward, Sandhiya Ranganathan, thus strengthening the team at the front line. The 26-year-old joined the Kolkata side after having had a two-year stay with the Malabarians in which she had cemented herself as the team’s top Indian striker.

Sandhiya Ranganathan is a right-winger known for her pace, dribbling skills, and breathtaking runs. She was nurtured as a young talent during her days with Jeppiaar Institute. In 2018, she made a name for herself in the ntaional stage by winning the IWL title with Sethu FC. As a reward for the impressive performance, she was selected as the MVP of the 2018-19 season. At Sethu FC, she scored a staggering 27 goals in just 25 matches over a period of 3 years.

Sandhiya’s journey continued with Gokulam Kerala FC, where she continued to find the net regularly. She, along with foreign strikers, scored goals for fun demolishing opposition’s defense like a pack of cards.

Image: GKFC Media

Beyond pace and finishing, Sandhiya offers versatility. The two time IWL champion can comfortably play as a midfielder, and this adaptability allows coaches to utilize her strengths in various formations, providing tactical flexibility.

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As far as building a squad is concerned, East Bengal has done a commendable job in this transfer window. The management is desperate for a better performance this season as they finished sixth last season when there were only seven teams. They already possess talented attackers like Sibani Devi and Margaret Devi. The addition of Sandhiya brings more intensity and experience into the line-up.

While East Bengal has promising youngsters like Sulanjana Raul in their squad, there is a dearth of quality players in the wingers’ position. Sandhiya’s arrival fills this void and provides much-needed experience. The prospect of a partnership between the seasoned Sandhiya and the young prodigy Sulanjana is exciting, offering a blend of experience and youthful exuberance.

The Tamilnadu girl has been a vital member of the Indian national team, showcasing her skills on the international stage. She has represented the national team on 41 occasions and has netted 10 goals. She was the joint top scorer in the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifier second round and has played a key role in India’s triumphs at the SAFF Women’s Championship 2019, and the South Asian Games 2019. She has also contributed to Tamil Nadu’s bronze medal win at the National Games 2022.

Sandhiya Ranganathan in Indian colors

The signing of Sandhiya Ranganathan signifies East Bengal’s intent to challenge for the IWL title. They will face stiff challenges from the likes of Odisha FC and Gokulam Kerala FC. Fans are eagerly anticipating how coach will utilize her and the potential impact of the Sandhiya-Sulanjana duo.

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With a potent attack bolstered by Sandhiya’s arrival, East Bengal FC appears well-positioned to make a strong attempt for the title in the upcoming IWL season if they make necessary foreign recruits.