Chennaiyin FC winger Sweden Fernandes has completed a loan move to Punjab FC for the upcoming Indian Super League season, Sportstar can confirm.
The 23-year-old spent the last season at NEROCA FC, on loan from Hyderabad FC, and moved to the Marina Machans after his contract expired with the Nizams. He scored three goals and assisted another in 15 games for the I-League side.
Sweden grew up in Quepem, Goa and has been a popular name in the local Goan football circuit. Having honed in skills in the youth sides of Salgaocar FC and Dempo SC, he was scouted by FC Goa in 2017, after which he joined the Indian Super League outfit, playing in its youth sides.
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He moved to Hyderabad FC in the 2020-21 season and has played for the Nizams in the Durand Cup. However, he failed to secure a spot in the first-team of Manolo Marquez.
Sweden’s next destination, Punjab FC – formerly called RoundGlass Punjab – is undergoing a revamp as it gears up for its debut in the ISL. The club won the I-League to become the first side to make it to the ISL through the promotion model.
It has retained its coach, Staikos Vergetis, as well as two of its foreigners from the previous season, Juan Mera and Luca Majcen. But in terms of transfers, it has gone big, bringing in 14 players so far, including the winger from Chennaiyin.
“Our aim is to maintain the nucleus and build on its foundations. This time, we have tried to retain at least 50 per cent of the former squad and we will try to increase that eventually,” Vergetis told Sportstar.
Sweden will join another Chennaiyin player, Prashanth K, who joined Punjab on a free transfer this summer. Moreover, he will also have a reunion with defender Nikhil Prabhu, with both players previously playing at Hyderabad FC.
Punjab FC made an early exit in the Durand Cup, with no wins in the group-stage and losses to eventual finalists Mohun Bagan Super Giant and Emami East Bengal.
With talented youngsters like Sweden, Amarjit Singh Kiyam and Prabhu, Punjab will look to have a better ISL debut than its Durand Cup campaign.