The 36-year-old has been one of the most effective defenders in the ISL.

Mumbai City FC Captain Lucian Goian parted ways with the Islanders on July 9 following speculation about him seeking a challenge elsewhere. Subsequently, Chennaiyin FC have picked up the defender in the hope of him leading the backline this season, as a replacement for Mailson Alves.

“It feels great to sign with Chennaiyin. The coach (John Gregory) played a huge role in me coming here. When he asked me if I wish to return to India to win the ISL trophy, I simply said yes,” Goian told Sportstar.

“I believe Chennaiyin along with John (Gregory) are a club that knows how to win trophies and I can’t wait to get started and give my absolute 100% on the pitch. I am confident we will do everything to make the squad a team and bring the ISL title back to Chennai,” the Romanian added.

Goian was signed by the Islanders in 2016 and played three seasons with Mumbai City FC. Having made over 50 appearances for Mumbai, Goian was a rock at the back and was an integral component in their gameplay.

Following his excellent performances and leadership, he was entrusted with the armband in the 2017-18 season, where he was once again instrumental in helping Mumbai City finish inside the top four and qualify for the playoffs.

He was signed by A-League club Perth Glory for a short while in 2017 as an interim injury replacement, but Goian left the club within three months and returned back to Mumbai, eventually leading them to the qualifiers in the 2018-19 season, where they were knocked out by FC Goa.

The 36-year-old was one of the most sought-after defenders in the league and Chennaiyin now have a strong, commanding presence at the back. He made 246 tackles, 93 interceptions, 379 clearances and 63 blocks in the ISL last season, which speaks volumes of his abilities.

After securing a replacement for Alves in Goian, Chennaiyin will now be hopeful about putting behind their disappointment from last campaign and gearing towards a strong showing this season in the ISL.