The swap deal between the two Indian Super League teams will also see goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte move in other direction.
FC Goa on Sunday announced their decision of signing of Kerala Blasters’s Naveen Kumar on a loan deal for the rest of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 season.
According to the understanding between the two teams, another goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte will be moving in the other Naveen in what will be a swap deal.
The deal will witness a reunion between Naveen and the Gaurs. He had assisted the team to a semi-final finish in the last edition of ISL.
Speaking on the eve of his return to FC Goa, Naveen said: “I’m thrilled to be back with FC Goa. I had a great time last season & I bring with me very positive memories of my time with this great club & its fans.”
“The chance to play with this fantastic team & to again work with Sergio Lobera was something I couldn’t turn down. FC Goa gave me a great opportunity last season & I’ve built on that. I hope I can show our fans why the club wanted to bring me back,” he further added.
“I’m very happy to see Naveen back. He’s a player that knows our style of football & for us, it’s very important that our goalkeeper is aware of that,” Sergio Lobera said after the decision of Naveen’s arrival was announced.
“Additionally, he shares a great camaraderie with the players & that should have a positive impact on the side.”
FC Goa has endured a successful season so far, with the side currently placed third with 20 points collected over 11 matches. That has not been the case for Kerala Blasters, who languish in the eight position. The 2016 runner-ups have managed to win only one match of the 12 that they have played, drawing six and losing the rest of the five matches.
It has not been a straightforward season for the south Indian outfit, both on as well as off-field.
The 26 year old goal keeper from Champai is now one of our own! Mawia joins from @FCGoaOfficial on a loan till the end of the season!#KeralaBlasters #HeroISL #LesFooball #WelcomeMawia pic.twitter.com/W3bW0J7Ylo
— Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) January 20, 2019
Last week rumors were rife that Indian Football team center-back Sandesh Jhingan is on his way out of the Blasters setup with two-times ISL champions among the interested parties. The team has also overseen a change in management, with North East United’s former coach Nelo Vingada taking over the reins of the Kochi-based side.
The ISL teams are currently on a winter break, with the majority of the players either competing in or coming from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.