Bhutanese Sensation Chencho Gyeltshen Signed By Bengaluru FC, Awaiting NOC from Minerva Punjab

Shaon Roy  |  Transfer Window  |  9 Months Ago

Once ignored by some of the biggest clubs in India as his national team Bhutan, has been languishing at the bottom of the FIFA rankings, the 22-year old Bhutanese forward now has penned a yearlong deal with one of the biggest clubs in India and Asia – Bengaluru FC. With this opportunity at hand, Chencho is likely to spearhead Bengaluru’s attack in the AFC Cup, starting from August.


Interestingly, we were informed that Chencho’s agent approached both East Bengal and Mohun Bagan for a possible trial opportunity before the commencement of the 2017/18 season, though neither of the clubs showed any distant interest in the striker. Well, it was that time when Minerva Punjab FC owner Ranjit Bajaj trusted the Bhutanese and after much persuasion, both the parties eventually agreed on a significant pay cut and inked a yearlong deal, with an option for a two-year extension.


In his debut season, Chencho went on to become one of the best forwards I-League has ever seen, not just for Minerva FC. He netted seven times in in 17 times he took the field at a staggering rate of 0.4 goals/match besides various assists.  He became a key figure in the Minerva side as they mounted a surprise title challenge and eventually winning the league on the final Match day.

Chencho, is not just an inspiration on the field, but off the field too. Football which is at a very amateur level in Bhutan and making a living out of this sport is unheard of in this landlocked Himalayan country, but Chencho playing in I-League and getting paid has sparked enthusiasm and has set a platform for younger generations to take up football as a career.


He began his youth career at Yeedzin FC in 2008 and moved up the ranks in just a few years to make his first team debut in the Bhutan National League. At 17, he picked up his first National title when Yeedzin were crowned Champions of Bhutan. The following season he moved to fellow Bhutanese side Druk United with whom he scored a brace against Mohun Bagan in the 2014 King’s Cup.


A spell with Thimphu FC (2015) was followed by a move to Thailand’s Buriram United midway through 2015. Chencho won the U19 Championships with the Thai giants before being loaned out to Surin City thus becoming the first Bhutanese player to play professional football abroad. After another short loan spell with Nonthaburi FC (2016), he moved to Satun United (2016) before returning from Thailand.

After Benguluru FC made the official announcement of the signing on their twitter account, Chencho said, “Bengaluru FC is one of the top clubs in India but more importantly, it has been my dream to play for them and I’m happy that the move has happened. It’s a team with so many experienced players and the aim is to keep learning from them and improving with every passing day at the club.”


This 22-year old forward is coming into the Bengaluru FC squad with a vast experience and is most likely to form a great partnership upfront with the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Kumam. And who knows? The first player from his country to play in a foreign league, might well be the 1st ever Bhutanese player to win the AFC Cup!


However, the football fans would probably have to wait for a bit longer to see Chencho in the blue jersey as Bengaluru FC management still needs to obtain the NOC from his previous employers, Minerva Punjab and to do so, they will need to pay certain amount of transfer fee to the Punjab based club.


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