Sporting CP confirmed the news via an official statement on Thursday which mentioned that they have reached an agreement with Indian club for the transfer of the player. The official statement read, “Sporting Clube de Portugal - Futebol, SAD announces that it has reached an agreement with North East United Football Club for the definitive transfer of the player Sambinha, with Sporting SAD holding 50% of the athlete's pass. Sporting SAD wishes Sambinha the greatest personal and professional happiness.”
24-year-old Mamadu Samba Candé, popularly known as Sambinha, had played his youth football with Sporting. The defender started his senior career with Portuguese side S.U. 1º de Dezembro in 2011. After two seasons he moved to Sporting CP and plied his trade with the club’s B side until 2017. In between, he was sent on loan to Major League Soccer (MLS) side New England Revolution and Portuguese second division side S.C. Covilhã. Predominantly a centre-back, Sambinha can also play as a defensive midfielder. He becomes NEUFC’s first foreign signing this season.
While all the other ISL sides have almost completed their quotas of foreigners, The Highlanders started their recruitment process really late. They have a strong unit of Indian players which consists of famous names like Lalrindika Ralte, Rowlin Borges, Holicharan Narzary, T.P Rehenesh and others.