Kolkata: Defending Indian Super League (ISL) champions ATK Mohun Bagan announced Saturday the signing of high-profile defender Sandesh Jhingan. The 27-year-old Arjuna awardee, Sandesh Jhingan is said to be the highest-valued footballer in India. However, the newly-formed ATK Mohun Bagan (ATKMB) did not reveal the signing amount. The defender has joined Mohun Bagan on a five-year contract sources said.
“I am delighted to have joined ATKMB. I had a detailed chat with the coach and the owners. I admire their vision. I am very happy that they felt that I could be a part of the family,””Jhingan said in a press release, issued by the club.
The former Kerala Blasters defender was keen to ply his trade in Europe, preferably Portugal. However, because of the pandemic Jhingan changed his plans and joined ATKMB. The club will compete in the AFC Cup 2021.
Jhingan will form a troika with his India teammate Pritam Kotal and Spaniard recruit Tiri. He will have a chance to prove his mettle at the international level.
There is also promising Indian youngster Sumith Rathi in chief coach Antonio Habas’ arsenal. “I have a lot of friends already there in the team. I am looking forward to join them and start working together,” Jhingan said.
Jhingan missed the entire 2019-20 season due to an injury. It remains to be seen how he lives up to the expectations of the frantic Mariners fans.
Jhingan also had a word for the fans. “I want to say to all the loyal fans of ATKMB that together we will become not the only the greatest team in India but in Asia as well. For ‘Glory Joy ATK Mohun Bagan’,” he added.
Jhingan will join the squad in Goa where they are currently quarantining. Training will start shortly for the ISL which begins in the third week of November.
Habas was excited to get Jhingan in the side. “Sandesh (Jhingan) brings a new energy into the team. He is an adept player and adds immense value to our overall strategy,” Habas said.
The former Kerala Blasters player won the ‘AIFF Emerging Player of the Year’ award in 2014. He debuted for the national team in 2015.