Jeje Lalpekhlua joined SC East Bengal as the club prepares for its first season in the Indian Super League, which is set to be held in Goa from late November onwards. Jeje, who was with Chennaiyin FC for the past six seasons of the ISL, announced his exit from the club earlier and since then, there were strong rumours that he will be joining East Bengal. With the announcement on Sunday, those rumours were confirmed and Jeje will don the Gold and Red of East Bengal this season.
The Mizo sniper has played for East Bengal’s city rivals Mohun Bagan for three seasons. He first played for them in the 2014-15 season where he scored one goal in 12 appearances. He then spent two loan spells from Chennaiyin FC at the Kolkata club in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In the 2016 season, he scored four goals in 14 appearances and a year later, he scored five in 17 appearances.
When Jeje was a Mohun Bagan player in 2014-15 season, he spent a loan season at Chennaiyin FC, where scored four goals in 13 appearances. For Chennaiyin FC in the ISL, Jeje has made a total of 56 appearances scoring 19 goals. He has won two ISL titles with the club in six season. Jeje did not play the 2019-20 season due to an injury.
“Every footballer in India wants to play fro SC East Bengal one day. It is such a big institution. I am thrilled to join SC East Bengal in its first year of taking part in the ISL. I cannot wait to don the Red and Gold colours and give my best every time I take the field,” Jeje said in the post through which the club announced his signing.
On Saturday, SC East Bengal had announced the signings of Irish winger Anthony Pilkington and Welsh-Nigerian centre-forward Aaron Amadi-Holloway. The duo had already checked-in into the team hotel in Goa where they are quarantining, SC East Bengal had said in a release. The ISL franchise had earlier announced Aussie centre-back Scott Neville as their first foreigner.
The team is set to be coached by Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler. Earlier, a publication NewsTime reported a Fowler message to the club players that said: “You need to earn the Red and Gold Stripes. Hence, no Red and Gold colour in the practice kits. Only matchday kits will have them.”