Tampines swoop for former DPMM star Tosi

S.League title hopefuls Tampines Rovers have replaced Haitian forward Fabrice Noel with former DPMM striker Rodrigo Tosi for the remainder of the season.

Much had been made about Tampines' vaunted strike pairing of Mateo Roskam and Noel in preseason, but the former Malaysian Super League duo have failed to set the S.League alight to date.

After a miserly four goals in the first four games, the Stags have sought to ring in the changes by replacing Noel with Tosi, last season's S.League top scorer.

Noel scored the winning goal in Tampines' season opener against Albirex Niigata (Singapore) but subsequently injured his hamstring in the second game against Courts Young Lions, causing him to miss the next two matches.

While he has since recovered from his injury, the 29-year-old was deregistered from the club's playing roster to make way for Tosi, who joins from Brazilian second division club Parana Clube.

Speaking to FourFourTwo on Thursday afternoon, Tampines coach V. Sundramoorthy expressed his delight at landing the Brazilian forward, who scored a truckload of goals to inspire DPMM to a second-placed finish.

"For me, he's a really good inclusion into the squad," Sundram said.

"We had injuries to our two foreign forwards and we need the presence upfront. Tosi can do a good job; he can give us a lot since he scored 24 goals last season."

The Tampines head coach revealed that talks had progressed smoother than he'd intially expected, and they are looking to register Tosi as soon as he passes the mandatory 2.4km fitness test.

"It took us quite fast to convince him," Sundram said.

"He knows this is a famous club run by a good chairman in Mr Teo (Hock Seng) and (former DPMM teammate Roberto) Alviz is also here to help him settle in.

"He just came over after a flight of almost 30 hours and we’ll arrange him soon to take the 2.4km test."

If Tosi clears the test at the first opportunity, he will likely be available to feature in the Stags' next game against Geylang International next Friday.