Plenty of new signings and contract extensions have taken place in Indian football in the previous week.
Ahead of the 2021-22 season, Indian football clubs have finally started making quick moves to bolster their squads. The second wave of COVID-19 outbreak and uncertainty regarding ISL, I-League and Second Division League had caused teams to be cautious regarding transfers so far – but not anymore.
Along with the Second Division League, ISL and I-League set to begin by September, November and December respectively and clubs will now try to be pick up the pace in the transfers. A perfect example would be the past week, during when many teams signed and announced their new additions and/or contract extensions.
Without further ado, let’s take a quick look on what’s happening in the ISL, I-League and Second Division clubs in terms of transfers.
Indian Super League
Earlier this week, ISL outfit Hyderabad FC announced the signing of Abdul Rabeeh. The 20-year-old winger previously represented Kerala Blasters Reserves and Luca Soccer Club in the Kerala Premier League. He also won KPL 2019-20 with the Blasters.
Shameel Chembakath, who currently works as coach at Hyderabad FC Reserves played a big role in the signing. Shameel has prior experience of working with Rabeeh at Kerala Blasters and was also present during the Kerala Premier League in the previous season for scouting.
The Blues announced that fan-favourite Suresh Singh Wangjam has penned a three-year extension with the club.
Nicknamed El Torito, Suresh impressed for Bengaluru FC in ISL 2020-21 before representing the Indian football team at the international friendlies and the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. Bengaluru FC, on their part, are set to make some key changes to their squad following a disappointing campaign in the league last season.
ATK Mohun Bagan
ATK Mohun Bagan have not done that bad either, having announced officially their acquisition of Finland international Joni Kauko. The 30-year-old participated in the UEFA EURO 2020 with his national team and is being touted as one of the best signings ahead the season.
Khel Now understands that there is a lot of interest surrounding the player among fans, which is why we have profiled him in detail here. As a bonus, we have also analyzed how much of an impact he could possibly create with the Mariners in ISL 2021-22. You can read that article right here.
Meanwhile, the club are also trying to make star striker Roy Krishna stay, amidst offers from six other countries as claimed by his wife and agent Naziah Ali-Krishna.
In the Highlanders’ case, their fans were not happy with the news regarding Luis Machado’s exit. The Portuguese winger has signed for Polish top-division club Radomiak.
The 28-year-old scored seven goals and notched two assists for NorthEast United in the 2020-21 season of the ISL. He also linked up well with teammate Federico Gallego and played a pivotal role in their second playoffs appearance in three years.
“I would like to thank all the fans who were amazing and tireless throughout the season, your support was essential,” he wrote on Instagram.
Veteran right-back Reagan Singh has penned a two-year contract extension with Chennaiyin FC, the club announced earlier in June. He helped the Marina Machans keep six clean sheets in his 18 games last season. Additionally, the 30-year-old notched one assist as well.
“I will work hard and keep improving. I would also like to thank all our supporters for their unconditional support,” he said after signing the extension.
Earlier, youngster Rahim Ali and fan favourite Edwin Sydney Vanspaul also extended their stay with the club. The former ISL champions are expected to make announce more transfers in coming months.
While the club have not announced this yet, Khel Now can confirm that Isaac Vanmalsawma has joined Odisha FC on a two-year deal with an option to extend by another year if needed.
In ISL 2020-21, Vanmalsawma clocked 785 minutes across 16 games and completed 365 passes for Jamshedpur FC as they finished sixth in the league. He also made decent defensive contributions, registering 1.56 tackles and 1.06 interceptions per game. An AIFF Elite Academy product, the former Chennaiyin FC star has also played in the AFC Cup.
The Bhubaneswar-based ISL outfit are also expected to make more suitable transfers ahead of the new season.
Another signing that is not official yet, Jamshedpur FC have roped in former Kerala Blasters striker Jordan Murray on a two-year deal. The 25-year-old made his debut in the ISL with the Blasters in the previous season and went on to notch seven goals and an assist in 19 appearances for the Yellow Army. He also became only the second Kerala Blasters player after Bartholomew Ogbeche to score seven or more goals in a single season in the league.
The striker previously represented Central Coast Mariners in the A-League, which is the top division of the football league system in Australia.
The Malabarians announced the signing of Krishnananda Singh from TRAU FC. The midfielder agreed terms and signed a three-year deal that will see him represent the Malabarians till the end of the 2023-24 season.
Gokulam Kerala are also all set to complete the signing of star goalkeeper Midhun V. He became the Kerala’s ‘Footballer of the Year’ in 2018 after playing a pivotal role in the state team’s Santhosh Trophy win. The shot-stopper has also been a part of the SBI (State Bank of India) Kerala team.
Mohammedan SC are among the most active I-League teams in terms of in the transfers right now. On Saturday, they announced the signing of Lalramchullova who did well as a full-back for Aizawl FC in their title-winning 2016-17 season. Last season, he was with SC East Bengal but failed to register even a single appearance in the ISL.
The Black Panthers have so far confirmed the arrivals of Kabir Toufik, Balwinder Singh, Monoj Mohammad, Firoj Ali, Sanjib Ghosh, Sushil Meitei and Azharuddin, along with overseas signings Shaher Shaheen, Nikola Stojanovic and Stefan Ilic.
Sreenidhi Deccan FC
I-League entrants Sreenidhi Deccan FC have roped in defender Lalchungnunga ahead of I-League 2021-22, Khel Now can confirm. The 20-year-old made four appearances for Aizawl FC in the league last season, after getting promoted from their youth team in 2019.
Sreenidhi are quickly building a squad for the forthcoming campaign, under head coach Fernando Santiago Varela who previously led Gokulam Kerala and Churchill Brothers. The Visakhapatnam-based outfit have already signed goalkeepers CK Ubaid and Shibin Raj as well as defender Dinesh Singh.
The I-League club are expected to make a number of new transfers as the window progresses.