Both players had previously been teammates at Gokulam Kerala.

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United FC have completed the signings of Mohammed Irshad and Jestin George, Khel Now can confirm. Both defenders have joined the Highlanders on three-year deals that will see them stay at the club till the end of 2023-24 season.

Khel Now also understands that Irshad had offers from few other I-League and ISL clubs – including one for an extension with his former club RoundGlass Punjab. Another I-League club also promised a bigger monetary package, however, Irshad was keen to play in the ISL with the Highlanders.

“He wanted to play in the ISL as that offers scope for a better future,” sources close to the development informed Khel Now.

In Jestin’s case, he originally had a year’s term pending in the contract with his previous club Gokulam Kerala. However, both parties decided to mutually part ways ahead of the upcoming season, and the 23-year-old announced his decision publicly on Saturday morning.

Mohammed Irshad’s career so far

26-year-old Irshad has played for DSK Shivajians, Gokulam Kerala, Minerva Punjab and RoundGlass Punjab in the I-League. In August 2020, SC East Bengal signed him ahead of their debut season in the ISL.

The centre-back later made his debut in the top-flight league against Mumbai City. He featured for the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 loss to the Islanders in December. Later that month, he earned his first ‘Hero of the Match’ award after starring in a 0-0 draw against Jamshedpur FC. Overall, he clocked 311 minutes across four games, accounting for 11 tackles, nine interceptions, 18 clearances and four blocks.

In January, he moved to RoundGlass Punjab and made seven appearances in I-League 2020-21.

Jestin George’s career so far

Jestin began his career with Bengaluru FC’s youth teams, before signing for Gokulam Kerala Reserves. A series of good performances with the Blues led to his promotion to the first team in 2018. Since then, he has made 13 appearances in the I-League, winning the title with the Malabarians in the 2020-21 season. He was also a part of the Kerala state team that lifted the Santhosh Trophy in 2018.

George could only feature in three games for Gokulam Kerala in the 2020-21 season. However, having shown plenty of promise already, he could emerge as a shining talent and one to watch out for the Highlanders next season.

Both Mohammed Irshad and Jestin George were a part of Gokulam Kerala’s first team in the 2019-20 season. They also lifted the Durand Cup with them that season, and will now reunite at NorthEast United in the ISL.

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