Jahouh joins Odisha FC; Suresh extends BFC stay; Blasters and MCFC announce departures

New Delhi: Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC have secured the signature of Mumbai City FC midfielder Ahmed Jahouh on a two-year deal, the club announced the signing through their social media handles on Wednesday.

With an impressive trophy cabinet that includes two ISL League Winners’ Shields (one with FC Goa and another with Mumbai City FC) as well as a ISL title (with Mumbai City FC), Jahouh brings a wealth of experience and a winning mentality to the Odisha FC squad.

Jahouh’s journey in the ISL began at FC Goa, where he quickly established himself as one of the league’s finest midfielders. Under the tactical guidance of Sergio Lobera, renowned for his attacking brand of football, Jahouh’s skills thrived, and he became an indispensable part of FC Goa’s success.

His exceptional passing range, vision, composure, and his contributions played a pivotal role in the team’s triumph in the ISL League Winners Shield.

Following his successful stint with FC Goa, Jahouh reunited with coach Lobera at Mumbai City FC, further solidifying his reputation as a midfield maestro. Once again, he showcased his exceptional abilities, dictating play from the centre of the park and providing a shield for the defence.

Jahouh’s tireless work rate, combined with his exceptional ability to break up opposition attacks and initiate quick counter-attacks, played a crucial role in Mumbai City FC’s title-winning campaign in the ISL 2022-23 season.

Furthermore, his presence in the dressing room will provide invaluable guidance and mentorship to the younger players, creating a positive environment for growth and development.

Bengaluru FC midfielder Suresh Wangjam has signed a new five-year deal with the club, the Hero ISL side announced on Tuesday. The 2020-21 AIFF Emerging Player of the Year put pen to paper on an extension that will run till the end of the 2027-28 season. Suresh, who joined the Blues in 2019, has made 87 appearances across four seasons with the club.

“I’m really delighted to sign a new deal at Bengaluru FC because this feels like home now. The way the club and its supporters welcomed me and the way I have been allowed to embrace the city makes me very happy, and this was an easy decision to make. I’m looking forward to making more memories with this team and its amazing supporters,” said Suresh, after completing the formalities on his new deal.

The 22-year-old, who has picked up 17 caps for the Indian National Team, was an integral part in the Blues’ 2022 Durand Cup win and their eventual run to two other finals in the 2022-23 season. Suresh was also part of the India U17 squad that took part in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup.

“Suresh is a player who has consistently improved in the time he has been here and we’re really glad to have him commit his future to us. He’s a big favourite among our supporters, and I am sure that he will be a part of many great moments with this club in the years to come,” said Blues’ Director of Football, Darren Caldeira.

Having joined the Blues’ ranks ahead of the 2019-20 season, Suresh has featured in 68 Indian Super League games and was also named Bengaluru FC’s Fans’ Player of the Season in his debut campaign with the club.

Kerala Blasters FC have parted ways with five first-team players – Victor Mongil, Apostolos Giannou, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Harmanjot Khabra, and Muheet Khan as a result of the expiry of contracts dated May 31, 2023.

A ISL winner with ATK FC back in the 2019-20 season, Victor Mongil joined forces with Odisha FC in the 2021-22 season before signing for the Blasters ahead of the 2022-23 season.

The defender clocked 853 minutes across 19 games this season and was the preferred centre-back after first-choice defender Marko Leskovic. Mongil deputised in this role when Leskovic was injured, registered 25 clearances, 21 tackles, 19 clearances, and 15 blocks.

Meanwhile, Apostolos Giannou made his Hero ISL debut, making his move to the Kochi-based side from Australian side Macarthur FC. Playing second fiddle to Aussie fellow Dimitrios Diamantakos, Giannou had limited gametime, appearing for 668 minutes across 17 matches. The forward was involved in four goal contributions comprising two goals and two assists in the process.

On the other hand, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi became an instant fan favourite amongst the Blasters’ faithful the moment he netted an outrageous long-range strike against East Bengal FC in the inaugural Hero ISL 2022-23 game. The midfielder was of prime importance under head coach Ivan Vukomanovic’s gamestyle, operating in between the lines as a midfielder and while also acting as a ball carrier by dropping deep in the side’s build-up play.

Kaliuzhnyi featured in 18 games as he netted four goals and supplied one assists. Boasting a passing accuracy of 81%, the Ukrainian bossed the midfield with 96 tackles, 28 blocks, 22 interceptions, and 18 clearances in the season.

One of the senior most campaigners in the ISL, Khabra plied trade with two other Hero ISL clubs, Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC, winning the ISL title with each of the clubs. Following an underwhelming season with the Blues in the 2020-21 season, Khabra made a switch to the Tuskers ahead of the 2021-22 season.

Operating as a right-back, Khabra didn’t feature in many games, appearing just seven times during the Hero ISL 2022-23 campaign as compared to his 19 appearances last season. Contributing to a solitary goal and an assist, the defender racked up 18 tackles, 12 interceptions, eight blocks, and eight clearances this season.

Risen through the ranks from the Kerala Blasters FC academy, Muheet Khan has been part of the Blasters’ senior team since the 2020-21 season and leaves the club after making zero appearances.

Mumbai City FC have confirmed the departures of midfielder Raynier Fernandes, defenders Hardik Bhatt and Gursimrat Singh Gill. The club announced the departures through their social media handles on Wednesday.

Fernandes bid farewell to the Islanders after five long years. The central midfielder arrived at the club in 2018 and became a vital cog in the Islanders’ side. He played a key role in the team’s historic achievement of winning an unprecedented ‘double’ of the ISL League Winners’ Shield and the ISL Trophy in the 2020-21 campaign.

During his time at the club, he made 76 appearances, scoring three goals and providing four assists. Fernandes spent the entire 2022-23 season on loan at Odisha FC, where he appeared in 24 games across all competitions and contributed with four assists.

Having signed on loan from Rajasthan United FC in the winter transfer window, Bhatt featured in just one game for the Islanders in the ISL 2022-23 campaign. Nonetheless, Bhatt featured for his side in all three games during the Super Cup.

Similarly, Gursimrat Singh Gill appeared just once for the Islanders and was largely part of the reserves side for Mumbai City FC in their League Shield-winning 2022-23 campaign. The defender played two games for the Islanders in the Durand Cup where the side lost out to Bengaluru FC in the final.


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