The youngster made five appearances for HFC in ISL 2019-20.

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United have completed the signing of Gani Ahmed Nigam, Khel Now can confirm. The 23-year-old forward from Kerala has previously featured in the league with Hyderabad FC.

“Gani Nigam has joined NorthEast United for the upcoming 2021-22 season of the ISL. He will be a part of their squad for the league and will join the rest of his teammates in Goa soon,” sources close to the developments informed Khel Now. Interestingly, the youngster is the sixth Kerala-based player in the Highlanders’ squad, alongside VP Suhair, Mashoor Shereef, Muhammed Irshad, Jestin George and Mirshad Michu.

About the player

Gani Nigam’s earliest advances in professional football began when he joined the now-defunct FC Pune City’s youth team. After enjoying a stint with their U-18 side, he earned a promotion to their senior team ahead of the 2017-18 season.

Soon afterwards, he was loaned out to Chanmari FC who featured in the Mizoram Premier League (MPL). The forward returned to his parent club a few months later and went on to feature for their Reserves team in the Second Division League.

In July 2018, I-League outfit Gokulam Kerala announced his signing. Gani went on to make five appearances for them that season. He also scored his debut goal in a 3-1 win against Shillong Lajong on November 11. This was followed by a switch to Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2019-20 season.

The 23-year-old initially played for their Reserves team in the Second Division League, before getting a call-up to their ISL squad. On October 25, he made his league debut in a 5-0 defeat to ATK. He later made another four appearances for the Nizams’ first-team.

In 2020, Gani Nigam joined Mohammedan SC ahead of the I-League Qualifiers and scored a goal against Bhawanipore SC, as the Black Panthers earned qualification to the I-League. He then featured in eight league games for Mohammedan, as they finished sixth with 20 points.

Overall, the youngster has made 29 appearances across various national-level leagues, scoring five times along with providing two assists. He will now look to continue his career with NorthEast United.

NorthEast United’s pre-season preparations

As reported by Khel Now earlier, the Highlanders have completed the signing of Australian defender Patrick Flottmann. Khassa Camara, Federico Gallego, Deshorn Brown, Mathias Coureur and Hernan Santana complete their foreign contingent.

However, the biggest signing of all would be their appointment of Khalid Jamil as the head coach. Jamil took over following the sacking of Gerard Nus last season and led them to the playoffs. The club have now acknowledged his efforts by making him the first-ever Indian to become the head coach of an ISL side.

The Highlanders have revamped their Indian contingent as well, with the signings of Irshad, Tondonba Singh, Joe Zoherliana, Laldanmawia Ralte, William Lalnunfela and others. The team are now in their pre-season phase, having started training in Goa, where ISL 2021-22 will be held behind-closed doors.

They recently took on Jamshedpur FC in a friendly, where Jordan Murray’s brace helped the Men of Steel beat them 2-0.

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