The 31-year-old has been the club’s primary creator in the midfield since the 2019-20 season.

Spanish midfielder Javi Hernandez has reaffirmed his future in the Indian Super League (ISL) by signing a one-year extension deal with ATK Mohun Bagan. After playing a crucial part in Antonio Habas’ side’s success in the 2019-20 season, he has been retained by the side and is expected to play an important role as they attempt to defend their title and compete strongly in the AFC Cup next season.

Speaking after signing his new deal with the club, Javi Hernandez said, “I am extremely delighted to stay with ATK Mohun Bagan. I cannot wait to meet my teammates and the new boys who have joined this season.”

“Kolkata holds a special place in my heart. The club has given great memories and the fans have shown me much affection. We would like to perform well in the AFC Cup while representing the Green & Maroon. Our aim is to attain glory once again this year,” he added.

Javi Hernandez becomes the seventh foreigner confirmed to be part of this new alliance next season, as the club has retained much of ATK’s successful foreign core from last season. The likes of Roy Krishna, David Williams, Edu Garcia and Carl McHugh have all signed extensions with the club while former A-League star Brad Inman has joined up with the Green & Maroons. Former Jamshedpur FC defender Tiri has also returned to the City of Joy after enjoying some success under Antonio Habas in the initial years of ISL.

Javi Hernandez featured heavily in the ISL during the 2019-20 season for the Kolkata giants, being the club’s creator in chief from midfield. The 31-year-old tormented oppositions with his precise passes and his creativity allowed ATK to flourish going forward. He managed to pick up five assists, while causing a lot of problems with brilliant set-piece delivery – which can especially be a prized asset next season with ATKMB having roped in the likes of Sandesh Jhingan, Tiri and Manvir Singh.

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Hernandez’s tendency to make an impact in the big games will also make him a favourite among the Mariners’ fans, as he scored his only goals in the ISL in the final against Chennayin FC. Having already created impressive chemistry with most of the existing foreign core and Indian attackers, Javi Hernandez should continue his impressive work from midfield next season and act as that quintessential creative link for ATKMB in the coming season.

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