Chennaiyin FC are delighted to announce the arrival of 22-year-old winger Lallianzuala Chhangte on a permanent deal. The current India international put pen to paper on a long-term contract with the club, after a two-year spell with Delhi Dynamos FC and a recent trial with Norwegian top-flight club Viking FK.
“Chennaiyin FC are one of the biggest clubs in India with a rich history in the Indian Super League. I am elated to join them as they celebrate the completion of five glorious years. It is my ambition to add to their success and achieve a lot in the seasons to come. Personally too, I feel Chennaiyin is the right destination for me to further my development. The coach (John Gregory) has shown a lot of trust in me. I am keen to repay that and help the club get back to its rightful place at the top,” said an excited Chhangte from Goa, where he is currently with the India senior team, preparing for the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Qatar.
“In (Lallianzuala) Chhangte, we are adding one of India’s brightest talents to our ranks. Along with his electric pace and fearless approach, he has the hunger to succeed and develop further. We’ve all seen the potential he possesses and what he’s capable of. His involvement and progression with the national team also says a lot about his pedigree. We are now really excited to see him perform in the Chennaiyin blue,” said Head Coach John Gregory as the club gears up for pre-season ahead of the all-important 2019-20 ISL campaign that kicks off on October 23, with a trip to FC Goa.
Hailing from the town of Lunglei in Mizoram, Chhangte’s star began shining brightly when he was picked by the DSK Shivajians Liverpool International Football Academy in 2014. He impressed in the 2014-15 U-19 I-League, where he top-scored with 16 goals, as he also went on to train briefly at the Liverpool youth academy in England. The Mizo speedster subsequently represented the India U-19 and U-23 sides, with a loan spell at ISL side NorthEast United FC during the 2016 campaign. Chhangte was then drafted in by Delhi Dynamos, where he played in the previous two ISL seasons and registered eight goals and four assists in 36 appearances.
Nicknamed Zuala, the young winger made his senior India debut in December 2015 in the SAFF Championships. Only 18 at the time, he scored twice against Nepal in his second appearance, which made him the then third youngest goal-scorer for the country. With 11 senior international appearances and four goals under his belt so far, Chhangte gained more experience and exposure through a trial with Norwegian top-flight outfit Viking FK in the off-season recently.
“It has been a pleasure having Zuala (Chhangte) training with our squad. He is determined, willing to learn and hard-working – truly a professional footballer. In combination with his friendly and polite nature, it makes him a welcomed member of any squad. He should play at the highest level possible and continue his efforts with the Indian national team,” said Viking FK’s CEO Eirik W. Henningsen, about Chhangte in a club statement.
Chhangte, who will don the No. 7 jersey, will join up with the rest of the CFC squad in Ahmedabad later in September, following his national team involvement in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Oman and Qatar, scheduled for September 5 and September 10 respectively.