Pune looks to bounce back from Gudjohnsen blow

FC Pune City is in talks to replace Iceland stalwart Gudjohnsen and hopes to have a new marquee player in the matchday squad for the first game of the season against local rival Mumbai City FC on October 3.

Eidur Gudjohnsen playing for Iceland during EURO 2016.   -  Getty Images

FC Pune City suffered a double blow before the commencement of the Indian Super League 2016 with marquee player Eidur Gudjohnsen (ankle) and Cameroonian Andre Bikey (thigh) ruled out for the season with injuries.

However, the club is in talks to replace Iceland stalwart Gudjohnsen and hopes to have a new marquee player in the matchday squad for the first game of the season against local rival Mumbai on October 3. Bikey, who played for NorthEast United FC last season, will also be a big miss in defence.

Club CEO Gaurav Modwel said, "Eidur is the leader of the team and an excellent player. It's a rude shock to learn about the injury and his presence, on and off the pitch will be missed by everyone at the club. We now need to look ahead and prepare ourselves for the new reality."

He added, "We are in talks to sign a replacement but it is not easy to find a player of Eidur's quality. We are hopeful that the new marquee signing will play some part in the opening ISL fixture."

Both, the player himself and coach Antonio Habas, were left to rue the timing of the injury.

A disappointed Gudjohnsen said, “What was an exciting start to my new journey in India has come to an abrupt end. Just a few days back, on my left ankle, what I thought was a niggle, turned out to be more than that. After getting it checked and having multiple opinions, I have been advised that it needs more extensive rehabilitation. The team doctors and league doctors recommended that if I want to continue playing in future, I must give myself some time to recover.”

Habas said, “Injuries to Eidur and Andre (Bikey) are unfortunate developments for us. Eidur had a very good pre-season training stint with us in Spain where he showed us his formidable skills. Injuries are a part of every sport and football is a team game so we have to move on. He leaves behind a lot of valuable inputs that came with his experience.. We wish both all the best for their future.”

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