Bengaluru, June 27: Two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC (CFC) have made their first overseas signing of the season in the form of Senegalese defender Fallou Diagne.
The 32-year-old had played under new CFC boss Thomas Brdaric at Albanian outfit KF Vllaznia overseaswhere he won the Albanian cup in 2021-22.
Diagne made his debut for Metz as a 19-year-old in 2009, going on to make 99 appearances including a loan spell in the 2017-18 season. He has amassed 78 appearances in Ligue 1 including 37 appearances for Stade Rennais FC between 2014 and 2016.
The Senegalese international also made 65 appearances for SC Freiburg between 2011 and 2014 including 57 Bundesliga matches and three appearances in the Europa League. The 6'1 centre-back has scored 16 goals in his career so far.
The defender has earned three caps for reigning Africa Cup of Nations champions Senegal, including one appearance in an AFCON qualifier against Namibia where he played alongside Kalidou Koulibaly and Sadio Mane.
Ahead of his first stint in India, Diagne told CFC Media, "I'm excited because this is my first time in India. I'm very happy to join CFC and I hope to bring something to the team so that together we win more title."
Brdaric was happy to be re-united with Diagne.
"Diagne is a very experienced player who should stabilize and lead the defense. He radiates a calmness on the ball and is also an absolute role model in terms of discipline and diligence. He'll acclimate quickly and be an important part of the team," Brdaric said of the club's latest addition.
Speaking on the first new foreign signing for the club this season, CFC co-owner, Vita Dani said, "We're thrilled to welcome Fallou Diagne as our first new foreign signing ahead of the upcoming season. It's always good to bring in a player that the coach has worked with before. The experience he brings, having played in the German and French first tier leagues, will be invaluable to our young squad."
In the 2020-21 ISL season, the Yellow Brigade finished a poor eighth and failed to make it to the play-offs.
They had started the ISL 2021-22 season under Bozidar Bandovic before the well-travelled Montenegrin coach and the club decided to part ways midway through the campaign following a string of poor results.
Ex-India international Sabir Pasha then took over the Yellow Brigade on an interim basis. Recently they roped in Brdaric as the new head coach of the club ahead of the upcoming season.
In his most recent spell, the German coach led Vllaznia to the Albanian Cup for two successive seasons (2020-21 and 2021-22).
The team had also finished runners up in the Albanian Championship in the 2020-21 season. Brdaric was thereafter awarded Coach of the Year 2021.
In this transfer window, the Marina Machans have roped in a lot of domestic talent too with the latest coming in the form of signings of defender Aakash Sangwan and midfielder Sajal Bag on two-year contracts.
While the 26-year-old Sangwan is the fourth defender signed by CFC this summer, promising West Bengal youngster Bag, becomes the seventh midfielder to join the clu