Southeast Asia Thailand

Port Sign El Salvador Striker Nelson Bonilla from Bangkok United

Port FC have pulled off yet another major signing, securing a deal for El Salvador international striker Nelson Bonilla from Bangkok United

The construction of a Galacticos squad in Klongtoei is continuing in high gear, as the side have secured a deal for coveted Bangkok United striker Nelson Bonilla, widely regarded as one of the deadliest strikers in the Thai League.

After an exciting debut season in Thailand, where the marksman scored 25 goals in 32 games for relegation-battling Sukhothai FC, Bonilla earned a big move to Bangkok United in 2019. Despite an injury-ridden campaign, the El Salvador international managed an impressive 16 goals from 20 appearances last season, consistently impressing when on the pitch.

Unfortunately, Bonilla was de-registered from Bangkok United’s foreign ahead of the 2020 season due to injury concerns and was later unable to return to Thailand from his home country due to travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now back in Thailand, he has found himself unable to return to Bangkok United’s lineup, as the side replaced him on the foreign player quota with Brazilian forward Brenner Marlos. The club’s head coach, Mano Polking, admitted in an exclusive interview with Football Tribe that it would be very difficult for the club to keep a player of Bonilla’s quality in the squad, and thus he was allowed to leave. Bonilla will join Port on an initial loan deal, which will reportedly become a permanent transfer when his contract with Bangkok United is up.

Port are taking a gamble by signing a player who has not played competitive football since last October, but one that will certainly pay off tenfold if the striker can find his best form. Bonilla will slot into what could become the most formidable forward line in recent Thai League history, partnering up with Heberty Fernandes who signed from Muangthong United during the January transfer window, and long-time Port fan-favorite Sergio Suarez.

Rumors suggest that Bonilla will likely be registered in place of Spanish defender David Rochela in Port’s foreign player quota, but the possibility remains that Heberty or Suarez will have to make way depending on external circumstances.

With the number of exciting creative players littered across the side’s midfield, an attacking focal point was desperately needed at the PAT Stadium in order to make the side genuine title contenders. Even in an era where we have become numb to the sheer number of Madame Pang’s statement signings, it is easy to see why this move could make Port a frightening force this season.