The 18-year-old was most recently a part of the Mariners’ arch-rivals SC East Bengal last season.

ATK Mohun Bagan have made their first signing of the summer window, as they’ve announced the acquisition of former East Bengal midfielder Lalrinliana Hnamte ahead of the new season. The Mariners have agreed a pre-contract agreement with Hnamte, who will sign a 2-year deal with the club.

Hnamte joined FC Pune City’s reserves side in 2016 before transitioning into the Hyderabad FC reserves side.  It was with his heroics in the reserves level that the youngster started gaining attention from other sides. The 18-year-old leapt into the scene last season after joining SC East Bengal.

The young midfielder made his debut in the ISL 2021-22 when he started in SC East Bengal’s opening game against Jamshedpur FC – which they drew 1-1. Hnamte would go on to feature 17 times for the Red & Golds.

He played in a variety of positions for East Bengal, proving his ability as a versatile, hard-working player. Hnamte can play in the wings, in central midfield and also in deeper roles if needed. He averaged nearly three tackles and two blocks per game last season, with a passing accuracy of 70% as well.

The hard-working midfielder got on the scoresheet once, which came in a 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin FC. Hnamte had only signed a one-year deal with the Red & Gold Brigaders and was a free agent once the campaign ended. He has now penned a two-year contract with the Mariners.

He also becomes their first signing of what is expected to be a busy summer window for ATKMB. With Juan Ferrando trusted to stay at the helm next season, the Mariners are expected to sign a number of domestic and foreign talents for next season.

Lalrinliana Hnamte, however, will not be able to play for them in the upcoming AFC Cup group stages. The Mariners have already registered a 28-man squad for that and will not be making any more additions to it.

The 18-year-old midfielder will be making his debut for the Mariners after signing with them from June onwards. If ATKMB decides to play in the Calcutta Football League or Durand Cup this year, there is a strong possibility that Hnamte will feature in that squad and get his opportunity to prove his worth of being a key part of next season’s ISL team.

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