The 33-year-old Punjab-born Goalkeeper has become a familiar face on the Indian Football circuit over the years. Pawan has the experience of playing under the spotlight, having taken part in the I-League, Indian Super League, and AFC Cup. Pawan Kumar has an existing contract with Hero ISL side East Bengal FC.
Player Profile, Pawan Kumar:
Pawan Kumar started his football career with JCT FC. Later, he represented clubs like Air India FC, Salgaocar FC, Bengaluru FC, Chennaiyin FC, Mumbai FC, Mohun Bagan, NorthEast United, and Jamshedpur FC. He joined East Bengal FC ahead of the 2022–23 ISL season.
With his vast experience in Indian Football, Pawan brings proficiency to any squad. He is confident under the bars, vocal in commanding the defense line, excellent in positioning. He has all the potential to be an ideal custodian for any team.
Pawan Kumar has won the Indian Super League twice with Chennaiyin FC (2015, 2018) and the ISL Shield with Jamshedpur FC (2022).
Pawan Kumar’s Recent Performance in ISL:
In the ISl season of 2018-19, Pawan Kumar played regularly for NorthEast United FC. In that year, The Highlanders made it into the playoffs for the first time in their history. He had kept seven clean sheets while conceding only 13 goals in 14 matches.
But in the next three consecutive years, he played six matches in total. More surprisingly, he did not get a single chance at East Bengal under Stephen Constantine. Though the Red and Gold Brigade faced a lot of hardships throughout the year but their coach did not include his name in his playing eleven.
Pawan Kumar did not participate in any kind of competitive football match for a year. Moreover, he has spent most of his time sitting in the dugout in the last couple of years. So, for him, it would be difficult to get regular game time again in the upcoming outings.
It seems like he will have minimal time to show his capability in the upcoming ISL season. Let’s see why:
Having the young, Golden Gloves-winning, reliable custodian, Gill:
East Bengal has recently signed Prabhsukhan Singh Gill after paying a hefty transfer fee of around 1.2 crore to Kerela Blasters. East Bengal team management has great faith in him, which is why they desperately paid the huge amount of money without a second thought. So, in all probabilities, Gill is going to be their first-choice goalie this season.
Having a great backup in the form of Kamaljit:
Kamaljit Singh was the first choice GK of the Bangal Brigade last year. With the addition of Gill, he is going to be their second choice. Kamaljit will be used as a backup for Gill.
Having another juvenile prospect, Aditya:
After performing well for EB’s reserve squad, Aditya Patra is all set to get a promotion to their senior football team. So he is another promising contender to establish his name under the bars.
Assuming all the points, it is a day-light fact that it is most unlikely for Pawan Kumar to get a chance under the bars in the upcoming ISL season, if not for any miracle.
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