ATK Mohun Bagan sign defender Ashutosh Mehta from NorthEast United FC
2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) finalists ATK Mohun Bagan have signed defender Ashutosh Mehta from NorthEast United FC. The 30-year-old had a great last season with the Highlanders and played a big role in their semi-final appearance. He featured in 18 games in all and scored one goal – his first in the Hero ISL -- besides providing two assists.
His good performances in the league earned him a maiden call-up to the national team for two international friendlies in March earlier this year and he made his India debut against Oman in a 1-1 draw in Dubai. After joining the Mariners, who will soon play in the AFC Cup, Mehta expressed his delight in no small measure.
“I like the football philosophy and the unyielding attitude of Habas sir. The team has great unity. The team fights until the last minute. I am so proud to be able to sign for the best team in the country.
“I have an idea about the popularity of Kolkata football. I also know about the excitement, passion and love of ATK Mohun Bagan’s football fans for the club. ATK Mohun Bagan is a star-studded team. The challenge for me now is to secure a place in the first 11," he told the ATKMB media team.
Head coach Antonio Lopez Habas also expressed his happiness with the signing of one of the seasoned defenders in the country. “He is a complete player. He has great physical capacity, good airplay and remarkable technical-tactical conditions. At the same time, he can play in different positions in defensive lines of 3-4-5. We have a lot of expectations from him for the next season,” the Spaniard said.
Mehta, who has featured in 60 Hero ISL games so far across six seasons, is the fifth acquisition for the Mariners since losing the 2020-21 final to Mumbai City FC earlier this year. He follows Liston Colaco, Amrinder Singh, Joni Kauko and Deepak Tangri into the team.