Malappuram: To the surprise of many football fans in the State, Malappuram-based second division side Kerala United FC have roped in a Brazilian player.
The club run by United World Group that owns English Premier League side Sheffield United confirmed the arrival of 20-year-old Gabriel Lima Silva on a season-long deal.
Rumours of a Brazilian eyeing a move to Kerala were doing rounds for several days and football fans in Kerala had widely speculated the destination to be either Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters or I-League champions Gokulam Kerala FC.
However, Kerala United have landed a big coup with the capture of the 6'4'' defender who was previously part of Ukrainian top-flight side Shakhtar Donetsk's U21 team.
Kerala United that is captained by former Kerala Blasters player Arjun Jayaraj has named Silva as their first foreign signing of the season. The club that trains at the Payyanad Stadium in Malappuram is expected to announce a new head coach in the coming days.
Silva had begun his youth career at Sao Paulo-based Independente de Limeira before moving to Santo André. After his stint with Shakhtar, the defender had returned home to Atibaia earlier this year.
"This is an interesting challenge for me,” Silva was quoted by Kerala United FC. “I feel confident and I'm sure I will be able to perform my best here and help the club. I thank the United World football group for this opportunity,” said Gabriel.