ISL 2020/21 Fresh Arrivals: Anthony Pilkington - East Bengal's ace winger
SC East Bengal have made some pretty good signings to prepare themselves for their maiden appearance in the Indian Super League next month. They have managed to put together quite the roster now, but one name that stands out among them is that of former Norwich City winger Anthony Pilkington.
The 32-year-old Republic of Ireland international is coming into the ISL with a big reputation. He has a rich experience of playing in the English Premier League and has earned nine international caps for the Republic of Ireland as well. Till date, Pilkington has scored 79 goals in a total of 386 games for different clubs in England and now he will be eager to make his presence felt in the ISL as well.
Pilkington's talent was identified at a very young age and that's why he spent a fair amount of time with Manchester United's youth system after starting his career at Preston North End. He moved to his hometown club Blackburn Rovers afterwards. Pilkington spent two years with them before moving to the Atherton Collies for a one-year stint in 2005.
After that, he spent the next five years with Stockport County and Huddersfield Town. The winger had a successful period with the two clubs as he scored 36 goals for them in 172 appearances.
His big break though came in 2011 when he made a move to Norwich City on a three-year deal, for a reported fee of £2 million -- rising to £3 million along with add ons. Pilkington's association with Norwich lasted for three Premier League seasons during which he scored against big clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.
He spent the next five years with Cardiff City before joining Wigan Athletic in 2019. And one year down the line now, he is all set to play for East Bengal in the ISL.
Claim to Fame
Pilkington was a part of the Cardiff City team that ended up as the runners-up of the 2017-18 EFL Championship. He had contributed with five important goals in 13 appearances for them that season. He also made it to the PFA Team of the year in League One during his stint with Huddersfield Town in 2010-11. Pilkington had netted 12 goals in 38 outings for them in that edition of the League.
What does he bring to SC East Bengal now?
The winger has pace, range and scoring ability. That means he can fit into any of the front three roles with ease. Pilkington also has impeccable crossing ability and that's why he will be a major scoring threat to opposition defences from set-pieces as well. With years of experience in English football under his belt, the 32-year-old will be eager to make an impact in this ISL season.
Feature image courtesy: AFP /