ATK Mohun Bagan rope in Indian midfielder Lalrinliana Hnamte from SC East Bengal

ATK Mohun Bagan have signed Indian midfielder Lalrinliana Hnamte from arch-rivals SC East Bengal by striking a pre-contract agreement that will keep him at the club for two years, marking the Mariners’ first investment in the summer transfer window ahead of the Hero ISL 2022-22 season.

The footballer joined the Pune City FC U18 side, back in 2016, and featured in the 2018 I-League U18. Subsequently, he featured for the Hyderabad FC reserves side. Consistent performances in the age-group levels attracted attention from all corners, with Indian Super League (ISL) club SC East Bengal roping in the playmaker for the 2021-22 ISL.

 

Hnamte was a regular for the red and gold brigade, having played 17 matches last season, proving to be a vital cog in the midfield, with 220 passes to his name. The youngster also scored once, which helped SC East Bengal secure a point in a 2-2 draw against Chennaiyin FC.

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However, the footballer will not be able to take part in the upcoming 2022 AFC Cup group stage matches. ATK Mohun Bagan have already registered a 28-member squad for the continental event, with no tweaks on the cards. The Calcutta Football League or the Durand Cup might provide the perfect opportunity for Hnamte to make his debut, if the Mariners feature in any of those meets.

ATK Mohun Bagan scripted a top four finish in the Hero ISL 2021-22, but were ousted by Hyderabad FC over a two-legged semi-final. Juan Ferrando, who was appointed midway through the season, is expected to stay as the head coach for the upcoming term, especially after the improved performances in the Hero ISL 2021-22 and the 2022 AFC Cup playoffs.

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