New Delhi | Kerala Blasters FC has completed the signing of Japanese forward, Daisuke Sakai, on a one-year contract, the club announced on Saturday.
Having played in various countries and leagues in Japan, Thailand, and Belgium, Sakai is a technical, skilled & versatile forward capable of operating in various positions across the front line, as per a press release from the Indian Super League.
Daisuke has made an impact everywhere he has played. He has 24 goals and 10 assists till date in nearly 150 appearances. Having spent his formative years in Japan, the 26-year-old forward comes with a good footballing background and has also represented Japan at the U-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cup.
Commenting on the signing, Karolis Skinkys, Kerala Blasters Sporting Director, said: "It is great to see Daisuke Sakai join the Kerala Blasters squad. His profile gives the coach more options. He also has experience playing abroad in his career, which I am sure will help him adjust to India easily. I look forward to seeing Daisuke making his mark with Kerala Blasters in the ISL this season.”
"Going to India and playing in a different league will be a new experience for me, which I am very thankful for. I am very grateful that Kerala Blasters
have given me this opportunity. By doing well and contributing to the club’s success, I hope to repay the confidence the club has shown in me," said the player.
He is expected to link up with his new teammates in the coming week.
Also, further adding to the exciting midfield options in the squad, Hyderabad FC have completed the signing of Mizoram-born midfielder Lalchhanhima Sailo, the club announced on Saturday.
The 20-year-old joins HFC on a three-year deal with an option for another year, and will be a part of the squad at the club ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.
"I am very happy to join Hyderabad FC and be a part of ISL this season," said the youngster after putting pen to paper. "With the way the club shows trust in youngsters and what they have achieved as a team, it has been my long desire to be here and I thank the coach and the management for showing the trust in me," added Sailo expressing his delight.
Having started his professional career with Punjab U15s, Sailo spent three years nurturing his game before joining Indian Arrows, slowly growing into a regular in the first team in the I-League.
Sailo moved on to Aizawl FC in 2022, where he scored three goals in 19 games from a midfield role.
"I want to work hard and contribute to the club’s success while I evolve myself as a better player at the club," added an excited Sailo.
A hard-working midfielder with a keen eye for a pass, Sailo has 28 appearances for the India U16s while also making it to the U19s not so long ago.
He will be a part of the first team at Hyderabad FC, where he will look to impress and break into the first team ahead of the new season.