Player Profile: Nandhakumar Sekhar, the wing partner for Mahesh

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In the Rosogolla derby, East Bengal FC defeated Odisha FC in the 2023 summer transfer window as East Bengal completed the signing of Nandhakumar Sekhar from Odisha FC. Nanda Kumar joined East Bengal on a three-year deal. Nandha Kumar soon became one of the most popular footballers because of his excellent match-winning goal that helped East Bengal to win the historic Kolkata Derby after four long years.

Career Highlights: Nandhakumar Sekhar:

The 27-year-old winger started his youth career with the Hindustan Eagles. Later in January 2017, Nandhakumar Sekhar joined I-League side Chennai City FC. Playing for the Lions, Nandha scored his first professional goal against East Bengal in 2017.

Nandha was loaned out to Hero ISL side Delhi Dynamos in September 2017. Later, in 2019, the Delhi Dynamos franchise shifted their base to Bhubaneswar and rebranded as Odisha FC. Nandha has continued his ISL journey with the Juggernauts and spent four years in Odisha.

Nandhakumar Sekhar, who played well in the domestic circuit, made his senior national team debut against Vanuatu on June 12, 2023. Nandha also won the SAFF Championship and the Intercontinental Cup with the senior national team.

Performance with stats: Nandhakumar Sekhar:

Nandhakumar Sekhar played nine games for I-League side Chennai City FC and scored two goals. Nandha has 81 ISL appearances, in which he has scored 10 goals and provided 11 assists. His contribution on both flanks has been instrumental for each team he plays for.

Nandhakumar has played a total of 96 games for the Kalinga Warriors, in which he scored 16 goals and provided 13 assists. Last season, he had a breakthrough season for Odisha FC. Besides winning the Hero Super Cup, Nandhakumar Sekhar has scored 11 goals in 30 appearances across all competitions.

The Nanda-Mahesh duo:

The Nanda-Mahesh duo is going to be one of the best Indian wing pairs in the upcoming ISL season. Nandha and Mahesh both have good passing efficiency, excellent on-the-ball ability, can provide decisive forward passes, and can penetrate the opponent’s defense through the wings. Both wingers can operate on both wings with the same efficiency, which will give more strength to their partnership.

Naorem Mahesh, the Manipur-born winger, has provided the most assists among the Indians in the last ISL season. He has smart vision and can link up with his teammates very quickly. His dangerous crosses create a threat in the opponent’s defense and help his strikers to put their names on the scoresheet.

On the other hand, Nandhakumar, the Tamil Nadu-born winger, had his best season last year. His speedy runs, excellent cut-in and shooting capabilities, and excellent skills are an asset to any team’s attacking line. Nandha has the adeptness to score goals and provide assists, which can change the dimension of a game.

If the Nanda-Mahesh duo clicks, East Bengal is going to be very lethal through the wings. In the upcoming season, their effectiveness on both flanks will be crucial for the club’s success.

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