Southeast Asia Indonesia

Maung Bandung Bags David da Silva in Bid to Sustain Title Charge

Persib Bandung have made an early statement of intent as they prepare themselves for the second half of the 2021/22 Liga 1 Indonesia season. The Maung Bandung, currently challenging for league honors this season, have brought in former Persebaya Surabaya and Terengganu FC striker David da Silva into their squad. The Brazilian replaces outgoing Dutch striker Geoffrey Castillion and it is hoped that David’s ferocity in front of goal would bring Persib to their first top-flight title since the 2014 Indonesian Super League.

Despite tailing behind league leaders Bhayangkara FC by three points in 2nd place and with only three defeats to their name so far after 17 matches, Persib’s biggest issue has been their inability to secure more goals from their strikers. Sure, Wander Luiz is Persib’s current top scorer with 6 goals from 17 matches to his name, however, his strike partner Castillion could only muster 3 goals this season from the 13 matches that he’s been involved in – a far cry from the duo’s potency in the scrapped 2020 season where they scored six goals between them from three matches.

With defensive midfielder Mohammed Rashid sharing the goalscoring duties with Wander Luiz, the Persib management felt that they need another striker to not only distribute the goalscoring burden between the two but also add more edge to Persib’s attacking force and allow Rashid to focus his efforts in covering the midfield once again.

Taking advantage of Castillion’s soon-t0-expire contract, Persib wasted no chance to let go of their misfiring striker once his contract with the Maung Bandung runs out this month, before immediately swooping in to secure David’s signature.

“Castillion’s contract runs out this month and based on the recommendation of the coaching staff we’ve decided to replace him with David da Silva,” said Persib director Teddy Tjahjono, as quoted from Indosport.

David’s potency in front of goal is pretty much guaranteed in the eyes of Southeast Asian football fans. The Brazilian scored 36 goals in the Liga 1 for Persebaya across two separate stints for the Bajul Ijo, as well as becoming Terengganu’s top scorer in last season’s Liga Super Malaysia with 7 league goals. He also has experience playing in South Korea with Pohang Steelers, as well as the Middle East with the likes of Khor Fakkan (UAE), Al-Orobah (Saudi Arabia), Al-Mussanah (Oman), and Qadsia SC (Kuwait).

In the video posted by Persib’s social media channels announcing his arrival, an animated David was seen being welcomed by past Persib players as he made his way to the club’s headquarters at Grha Persib. This includes Nova Arianto, who told David that he has made the right decision in joining Persib, current Bali United man Taufiq who was part of the “Class of 2014” that won Persib’s last top-flight title, Budi Sudarsono who took pride in Persib’s long history and strong fanbase, and interestingly enough, David’s teammate at Terengganu, Makan Konate, who cryptically said, “Bandung right? Tell them, I miss that city.”

Malian playmaker Konate was closely linked to a return to Persib following the conclusion of his Terengganu contract, with the Maung Bandung also targeting former Persija Jakarta, Bhayangkara FC, and Madura United man Bruno Matos following the expiration of his contract with Vietnamese giants Viettel FC. Either Konate or Matos will replace Wander Luiz, who is set to leave Persib in the mid-season transfer window.

Persib were also linked with a number of quality players in this mid-season transfer window, such as Persikabo 1973’s Ciro Alves, former Madura United striker Greg Nwokolo, former FK Sloboda Tuzla man Miftah Anwar Sani, Bhayangkara’s Hansamu Yama, Bali United striker Lerby Eliandry, and PSS Sleman star Irfan Jaya. Should Persib are able to secure one or even all of their targeted players, then the Maung Bandung are ready to throw the gauntlet in the race for the 2021/22 Liga 1 title.