The 20-year-old was named among India’s 24 probables for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017.

I-League outfit Gokulam Kerala are in advanced talks to sign defender Ajin Tom, Khel Now can confirm. The player has entered the final stages of negotiations on his contract with the Malabarians and is all set to sign for them in the days to come, if everything goes as per plan.

“Gokulam Kerala are very close to securing the signing of Ajin Tom. Final negotiations involving contract duration are going on at the moment and both parties are close to reaching a mutual agreement. The signing could happen in a week or two,” a source close to the developments informed Khel Now. We also understand that another ISL club remains interested to sign him, while another Indian top-flight team recently pulled out of the race.

Ajin Tom began his career by representing Wayanad and Kozhikode’s district teams twice each in the all-Kerala Championships. From there, he was selected to represent the state in 2013 and later, the national team’s U-16 and U-17 sides as well. He was part of the India U-16 team that finished runners-up in the 2015 SAFF U-16 Championship. He went on to captain the side in the BRICS Cup and a few other exposure tournaments and was named among India’s 24 probables ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017.

Former FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017 probable Ajin Tom speaks about his initiation to the game

In 2017, Chennaiyin FC signed the defender for their reserves team. He played a few matches for the Marina Machans, including the pre-season games in 2018 and the 2nd Division League in 2017-18 and 2018-19. A year later, Indian Arrows signed the 20-year-old after he represented Kerala in the Santosh Trophy. He then went on to make 10 league appearances in the recently concluded 2019-20 season.

The youngster is well-known for his versatility, having successfully donned the role of both a centre-back and full-back multiple times, especially last season. He has also often showcased a penchant for leading the attack from the back whenever needed.

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Meanwhile, Gokulam Kerala were placed sixth in the league last season, before it got cancelled due to COVID-19. Ahead of the upcoming campaign, they have already made some important announcements, with more of them set to follow in the coming weeks. In August, they appointed Vincenzo Alberto Annese as the new head coach, along with signing the likes of Rowilson Rodrigues, Deepak Devrani, Shayan Roy and Faslu Rahman among others.

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