East Bengal signs Ajax youth academy product Darren Sidoel

Darren Sidoel in the Reading training kit

East Bengal has signed Ajax youth academy product Darren Sidoel on a one-year deal until the end of the 2021-22 Indian Super League season.

After signing for the Red and Gold Brigade, Sidoel said,

“SC East Bengal presents a new opportunity for me. I have played in a few European countries in Europe and picked up quite a lot. I am eager to learn and I believe I can develop playing in the Indian Super League. I have played under the coach (Manolo) before in Spain and that helps. We have a good understanding and I am looking forward to reuniting with him again.”

The 23-year old utility defender also talked about the famous Ajax youth academy whilst discussing the huge fan base of East Bengal as well.

He continued,

“Everyone talks about the Ajax youth system and how good it is. I am proud to have been part of that system. I will look to share my experience with my new teammates at SC East Bengal. It is such a big club in Asia and I know how passionate the fans are here. They will be missed in the stands as we cannot help but not have them due to the circumstances. But they will be with us in spirit every game. I can’t wait to get started.”

Also read: East Bengal signs ISL 2020-21 Golden Glove winner Arindam Bhattacharja 

Sidoel was part of the Den Haag youth setup till 2012 before joining the Ajax youth academy. After spending a few years with one of the best youth academies in the world, the Dutch defender represented the reserve team of Ajax in the second division league in the Netherlands.

In 2018, the youngster joined Reading but never made a single appearance for the senior team and was loaned out to Roeselare in the Belgian second division. Ahead of the 2019-20 season, the defender joined Bulgarian top-tier club Arda Kardzhali and made 16 appearances for the club before joining Cordoba ahead of the 2020-21 season.

In the 2020-21 season, Sidoel didn’t feature in a lot of matches for Cordoba or Hercules (loaned out in the January transfer window) and has now joined East Bengal ahead of the 2021-22 ISL season.

Also read: Hyderabad signs ISL winner Bartholomew Ogbeche 

The new East Bengal manager Manolo Marquez Diaz managed Sidoel briefly at Cordoba back in 2020 and the Spanish head coach is glad to have the Dutch defender in his plans for the upcoming ISL season.

He said,

“I am happy to have Darren in my plans again. He has age on his side and is hard working. He can play across the pitch and is a utility player. I have had a good chat with him and he is raring to go.”