Marco Materazzi
Marco Materazzi (in the picture above) has always admired Baljit Sahni.IANS

Defending champions Chennaiyin FC have signed Baljit Sahni from Atletico de Kolkata. This is Chennaiyin FC's first major signing ahead of ISL 2016. 

Looking at the strategy, it is clear that coach Marco Materazzi does not want to tinker much with the team combination that went on to win the ISL 2015 title. They retained most of their key players from last season, including Bernard Mendy, Raphael Augusto, Harmanjot Singh Khabra, Karanjit Singh, Eder Fernandes and Pawan Kumar. 

Sahni's contract with Atletico de Kolkata expired had expired at the end of this season. Sahni spent time on loan at DSK Shivajians last season as well. Now, Chennaiyin FC have made the move and acquired the signing of the Punjab-born forward. 

Sahni won the title with Atletico de Kolkata in the first season in 2014. He was also a part of the ATK squad which reached the semifinals in 2015. 

Sahni was delighted to sign for Chennaiyin FC and expressed his happiness, as he will get to work under the legendary Marco Materazzi. 

"I had two memorable years with Kolkata but now I am looking forward to a fresh new challenge with Chennaiyin. When I heard that the legendary Materazzi is interested in me it didn't take long for me to decide that I would join his team," Sahni was quoted as saying by the official website of ISL.

"Chennaiyin has been the most consistent team in the ISL so far and they have a very settled side. So I have to work very hard to get into the first eleven but this is the kind of test you want as a player and my goal will be to help Chennaiyin retain the championship."

The Italian manager also went on to praise Sahni. Materazzi mentioned how he was monitoring Sahni from the very first season of the ISL and also explained how crucial a role the forward will play in the upcoming ISL 2016. 

"Baljit is a player I have admired and watched closely from the very first ISL campaign. He is already an ISL winner and his versatility will strengthen our team," Materazzi said.