Former Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC have announced the signing of 31-year-old Lithuanian forward Nerijus Valskis for the 2019-20 campaign. The current Lithuania international joins the club on a free transfer after a brief spell at Israeli Premier League side Hapoel Tel Aviv. This will be Valskis’ first stint in India, having previously played in Asia at Ratchaburi FC in the Thai top-flight.
“I am very happy to join Chennaiyin FC, a club that has won the Indian Super League twice. I am excited to take up this new challenge in a new country and I can’t wait to help Chennaiyin achieve success again. I have had some great conversations with the Head Coach (John Gregory) and I look forward to working with him and more importantly learning from him and improving. I hope to contribute to the team by not just scoring goals but by working hard with my teammates and winning games and hopefully titles!” said an excited Valskis from his hometown of Kaunas in Lithuania.
Chennaiyin FC Head Coach John Gregory played a huge role in bringing Valskis to the shores of Chennai. The Chennaiyin FC gaffer speaks highly of the versatile forward, even referring to him as Nerka, his nickname.
“Nerka possesses goalscoring prowess and a proven hunger to attack the opposition. I have followed him closely, especially during his time in Israel, and he is someone with the potential to light up our forward line with his link-up play, mobility and natural talent. It will be our constant endeavour to bounce back to the heights this club is used to, and I am positive Nerka’s arrival will contribute richly in fulfilling that objective,” said Gregory on Chennaiyin FC’s foreign addition in attack.
Apart from Thailand and Israel, Valskis has plied his trade at clubs in Lithuania as well as Belarus, Latvia, Romania and Poland. Valskis enjoyed his best season personally at FK Suduva in the 2013 A Lyga campaign, the Lithuanian top-flight. He topped the scoring charts with 27 goals in 30 league appearances that season and was crowned the 2013 A Lyga Player of the Year for his exploits.
Valskis has 26 international caps for Lithuania, scoring one goal so far. His latest international appearance was last month against Serbia in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers, having also featured in the inaugural UEFA Nations League prior to that.