Several players from the I-League have put pen to paper in the previous week for new clubs.
Indian football clubs are making steady progress with their squad building as major transfers are gradually being announced. Till now, it was mostly about the Indian Super League sides acquiring players, renewing contracts and appointing coaches but the I-League clubs have also started getting off the mark with their transfer dealings.
Here are the Indian football transfers from this week from both ISL and I-League.
The Gaurs have stayed relatively busy during the off-season, having appointed a new head coach and bringing in reinforcements. Similarly, they have snapped up Spaniard Javier Gonzalez as their new strength and conditioning coach for the upcoming season.
“They are a successful club in the ISL and will play in the AFC Champions League as well. I am also looking forward to working with coach Juan Ferrando to help our players get even better. I cannot wait to get started with the team,” said Gonzalez.
Makan Winkle Chothe
FC Goa were in search of a winger for the upcoming season after Jackichand Singh left for Jamshedpur FC. The search has ended for the Gaurs as they have roped former Punjab FC winger Makan Chothe. The 20-year-old made his name playing for the I-League club and has been one of their star prospects.
One of his stark attributes is his blistering pace and versatility to play all across the forward line. He featured in 14 I-League matches last season for Yan Law’s side and scored twice along with a solitary assist.
ATK Mohun Bagan
One of the most talked-about players in the Indian football circuit in the off-season was Prabir Das. It was primarily due to his brilliant performances for ATK in the last season. Das was undoubtedly one of the best Indian players in the last edition of the league and was a vital cog in Antonio Lopez Habas’s system. Therefore, there were offers from many top clubs but the 26-year-old decided to extend his contract for another three years.
With the merger taking place, it was like a homecoming for Das who has already represented Mohun Bagan earlier. “Words are not enough to express my feelings and how emotional I felt while completing my signing procedure with ATK Mohun Bagan FC,” he was quoted saying.
The Blasters have strengthened their midfield with the signing of Ritwik Das. The midfielder featured for Real Kashmir since their I-League 2nd Division days. One of the utility players in David Robertson’s side, Das made 11 appearances in the I-League in the 2019-20 season and was used in multiple positions, varying from midfield to defence.
His ability to shape his gameplay according to the coach’s demands makes him a very exciting talent. Blasters’ head coach Kibu Vicuna was also intrigued by his attributes and decided in favor to snap him up.
According to Goal, the Highlanders are in a quest to sign former NEROCA FC player Imran Khan. The Manipuri attacking-midfielder donned the Green and Maroon of Mohun Bagan at the start of last season but due to lack of game time, came back to NEROCA in the January transfer window.
Khan is known for his playmaking skills and ability to score goals from free kicks. He featured 11 times for the Orange Brigade and was the Man of the Match in the crucial Manipur Derby against TRAU. The 25-year old had previously been associated with FC Goa but was subsequently loaned out to Gokulam Kerala.
Gokulam Kerala FC
Ngangom Ronald Singh
The Malabarians have roped in former NEROCA forward Ronald Singh. The 23-year-old Manipuri striker can play in multiple positions and is known for creating goalscoring chances. He can play on both flanks and even as a withdrawn forward. Ronald’s primary ability that caught the eye of the critics was his quick feet and his ability to dribble at will. He has scored three goals for NEROCA FC as well.
“I am happy to be part of the Malabarians’ plans next season. It is an honour for me to play in front of the fans in Kozhikode. I wish to score more goals and make the team lift I-League title next season,” said the former NEROCA man.
The Manipuri outfit have appointed local coach Leisangthem Raman Singh as the assistant coach for the upcoming I-League season. Along with that, they have made a horde of new signings including defender Longjam Gobin Singh, young central midfielder Lungunhao Sitlhou and right back Ningon Chiphang to strengthen their Indian contingent for the upcoming season.
Similarly to their city rivals, TRAU FC have also signed several local talents for the next season. The Manipuri outfit is eager to improve its stature in the league, where they finished at the fifth position in the 2019-20 season. The Impahl-based side have snapped up versatile defender Thokchom James Singh and winger Myongsing Khongreiwo to bolster their defensive and forward lineups respectively.