Anas joins ATK after parting ways with Kerala Blasters
Veteran defender Anas Edathodika has completed a move to two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions, ATK on a one-year deal. The club announced the signing via their Twitter handle on Friday. Anas joins a host of high-profile arrivals at ATK, which includes the likes of David Williams, Roy Krishna and Michael Soosairaj. Notably, ATK are the fourth Hero ISL club the defender will represent, after having had earlier stints with Delhi Dynamos FC, Jamshedpur FC and Kerala Blasters FC.
The 32-year-old first came to the fore more than a decade ago while playing for Mumbai FC. He made over a hundred appearances for the club in four years, operating in his preferred centre-back position and impressed with his assured performances. Anas scored a total of five goals for the club and later made the short trip to the north to sign for Pune FC.
In 2015, former Dynamos head coach Roberto Carlos took note of Anas’ ability and signed him up. The centre-back backed up his manager’s faith to deliver a stunning season for the Lions, where they qualified for the semifinals for the first time in their history.
Anas stayed one more year in Delhi, during which he was also loaned out to Hero I-League club, Mohun Bagan. The defender was rewarded for his consistent performances at the club level and made his national team debut in March 2017. He formed a formidable partnership with Sandesh Jhingan for the Blues Tigers, helping make India much stronger defensively.
He moved to Jamshedpur for the Hero ISL 2017-18 season, but injuries curtailed his involvement to only seven matches. He moved to his home state club Kerala Blasters before the start of the 2018-19 campaign, but again, wasn’t as involved as he would have wanted to be. He raked up a total of eight caps last season and was also part of the Blue Tigers squad for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Anas retired from international football after the Asian Cup but decided to roll back his decision last month and was chosen for Igor Stimac’s national camp for the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2019.
ATK have been very active in the transfer market in a bid to provide a strong squad for new head coach, Antonio Lopez Habas. With the arrival of former A-league strikers Williams and Krishna, the club is more than stacked in the forward areas, while Anas’ presence will surely add stability to the backline.
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