NorthEast United FC add quality and depth to their ranks with decisive transfers

NorthEast United’s ten games unbeaten streak under interim coach Khalid Jamil, after being winless in six matches, in the second half of the 2020-21 season was nothing less than a fairytale. Courtesy of which, the Highlanders not only made it to the semi-finals but were level pegging with ATK Mohun Bagan till the second leg of the semi-final.

Now as full time coach, Khalid Jamil would have his eye set on the top spot in the upcoming 2021-22 season. The Highlanders finished in third position with 33 points, six points off the league winners, in the previous season.

In order to push the gap, NorthEast United FC have made the following transfers.

INs

Hernán Santana:

The 31-year-old center-back has joined Northeast United on a free transfer from Sporting Gijón. The Spaniard was crucial to Mumbai City FC’s success in the 2020-21 season. He made astonishing 71 tackles and 41 interceptions in 19 appearances. In addition, he scored 2 goals as well.

Hernán is a tall and strong defensive midfielder with experience of playing for elite clubs in the Spanish second division. Having won ISL last season, he will bring a winning mentality to the dressing room.

Sehnaj Singh:

The 28-year-old midfielder has joined the Highlanders on a free transfer from SC East Bengal. The man from Punjab has represented India at the youth as well as senior level. He was part of the Indian Arrows set up in 2011, an initiative to promote young talents by providing them with game time. From the 2016 to 2018-19 season, Sehnaj had a great stint with Mumbai City FC. He made over 40 appearances for the Islanders.

Moreover, he has won Hero ISL with ATK in 2020. He is a seasoned campaigner who is aware of what it takes to be successful at this level.

Justin George:

The 23-year-old center-back has joined NorthEast United FC on a free transfer from Gokulam Kerala FC. The Keralite had an outstanding three seasons with the Kozhikode-based club.

He won the 2019 Durand Cup and 2020-21 I-League with the Malabarians. His gradual rise in stature has been attracting some eyeballs. The youngster now has the perfect opportunity to show his mettle at the biggest stage. Khalid Jamil would look to slip him into the starting lineup immediately.

Mathias Coureur:

The 33-year-old forward has joined the Highlanders on a free transfer from Samsunspor, a second-tier Turkish club. The Frenchman began his youth career at Le Havre, which is one of the oldest French clubs. Coureur won the 2011-12 Segunda División B, Spanish third-tier league, with Atlético Baleares.

Later, he moved to Bulgaria to play for Cherno More, where he won the 2014-15 Bulgraian Cup and 2015 Bulgarian Supercup. Mathias also has the experience of playing in Georgia, South Korea and Kazakhstan.

The forward scored 4 goals in 17 appearances for Samsunspor, after joining them in mid-season.

Joe Zoherliana:

Zoherliana has joined NorthEast United FC on a free transfer from Bengaluru FC. The man from Mizoram spent his developmental years at Shillong Lajong and FC Pune City. He then played for Aizawl FC before moving to Bengaluru FC.

Emanuel Lalchhanchhuaha:

The 19-year-old midfielder has joined the Highlanders on a free transfer from Bengaluru FC. Born in Mizoram, the teenager was scouted by Naushad Moosa, assistant coach of Bengaluru FC. He brought him into BFC’s youth system. Soon, Emanuel rose through the ranks and earned a place in the squad for the 2020-21 season.

The teenager didn’t get a chance to make his Hero ISL debut last season. He would hope he gets his chance in the 2021-22 season.

Laldanmawia Ralte (Danmawia):

The 28-year-old midfielder has joined NorthEast United FC on a free transfer from Hyderabad FC. Lack of game time forced the Mizo to make this move. During his two seasons with the Nizams, Danmawia made only 7 appearances.

The midfielder would aim to restore himself in the starting XI.

Mohammed Irshad:

The 26-year-old Center-back has joined the Highlanders on a free transfer from Round glass Punjab. The Keralite was a regular starter for the Gokulam Kerala side that won the 2019 Duran Cup. Irshad joined the reserve squad of DSK Shivajians in 2013. Three years later, he made his debut in the I-League with them.

Irshad started the 2020-21 ISL season with SC East Bengal, where he made 4 appearances and won a Hero Of The Match award. But cometh the January transfer window, he signed for Round Glass Punjab FC.

William Lalnunfela:

The 26-year-old striker has joined Northeast United FC on a free transfer from Jamshedpur FC. The man from Mizoram played 11 matches in his Hero ISL debut last season.

William’s notable performances came during his time at Aizawl FC. After joining them in 2016, he helped his team secure promotion to I-League.

Tondonba Singh:

The 27-year-old fullback has joined the Highlanders from Mumbai City FC. The Manipuri had a decent run with Chennaiyin FC before moving to the Islanders. In his two seasons with the Marina Machans, Tondonba challenged Jerry Lalrinzuala and garnered a consistent run in his absence due to injury.

Although things became more difficult at Mumbai City, he could only manage 25 minutes of game time throughout the season. With his move to NorthEast United FC, the fullback would compete for a spot in the starting XI in the 2021-22 season.

Mirshad K. Michu:

The 27-year-old goalkeeper has joined NorthEast United FC from SC East Bengal with whom the Keralite spent the last four seasons -- making 13 appearances in total.

Mirshad began his career with Kerala football team and was part of the Gokulam Kerala FC squad in the 2017 Kerala Premier League.

Manvir Singh:

The former Indian Arrows product has signed for NorthEast United FC from Sudeva Delhi FC. The 20-year-old last played in the I-League, where he scored one goal in 11 appearances. The forward has represented the national team at U-20 level. He began his career with Ozone FC.

Pragyan Medhi:

The 17-year-old has arrived at NorthEast United FC from Indian Arrows. The local Guwahati lad made a single appearance last season. The midfielder was part of DSK Shivajians youth system. He has represented India at the U-16 and U-17 levels.

OUTs

Lalengmawia Ralte (Apuia):

The 21-year-old midfielder has signed for Mumbai City FC for a transfer fee close to Rupees 2 crores. The man from Mizoram was named 2020-21 ISL Emerging Player Of The Season. The former India U-17 player, who played in the 2017 U-17 World Cup, brought calmness and intelligence to midfield for the highlanders.

Apuia’s numbers in the 2020-21 season, speak volumes about the contributions he made for the team. The midfielder played 22 matches, in which he made an astonishing 93 tackles and 46 interceptions.

Dylan Fox:

The 27-year-old center-back has signed for FC Goa for a transfer fee close to Rupees 30 lakhs. The Australian partnered with Benjamin Lambot at the heart of the defense. He played 21 matches, in which he made 94 clearances and 18 blocks. Being Wellington Phoenix Player’s Player of the season in the 2017-18 season, fans had high expectations from him and he delivered on those expectations.

Benjamin Lambot:

The 34-year-old center-back has signed for RFC Liège, a third-division Belgian club, on a free transfer. The Belgian formed a solid partnership with Dylan Fox in the previous season. He made 79 clearances, 39 tackles, and 33 blocks in 21 matches. In addition, he got 2 goals as well.

Wayne Vaz:

The 27-year-old center-back has signed for Mohammedan Sporting on a free transfer. The Mumbaikar played 10 matches for Northeast United FC in the 2019-20 season. However, he didn’t feature in a single game next season.

Wayne had a good run with Churchill Brothers from 2017 to 2019. He made 26 appearances and scored a goal for the Goan side. Mohammedan Sporting will compete in I-League in the upcoming season.

Rakesh Pradhan:

The 28-year-old fullback has signed for Mohammedan Sporting on a free transfer. The Assamese was loaned to Odisha FC in the January transfer window of last season and could only manage 9 appearances throughout the season.

However, in the 2019-20 season, Pradhan was one of the regular players for the Highlanders. He played 15 matches that season, in which he made 95 clearances, 45 tackles, and an assist.

Before moving to Northeast United FC, Pradhan had an amazing spell with Shillong Lajong. He scored 2 goals in 31 appearances for them.

Ashutosh Mehta:

The 30-year-old right-back has signed for ATK Mohun Bagan on a free transfer. The Mumbaikar was instrumental to Northeast United FC’s success last season. He played 18 matches, in which he made 62 tackles and 50 clearances. Not to mention, a goal and two assists he contributed in the offensive play.

Luís Machado:

The 28-year-old winger has signed for Radomiak Radom, a first-division Polish club. The Portuguese was a leader up front for the highlanders in the previous season. He scored 7 goals and made 2 assists in 22 matches. Machado’s skills and technique caused all sorts of trouble to the opposition’s defense.

Kwesi Appiah:

The 31-year-old striker has signed for Crawley Town FC, a fourth-division English club, on a free transfer. The Ghanian time at NorthEast United FC was cut short due to an injury. He managed to make 8 appearances and score 3 goals in the first half of the season. Deshorn Brown was brought in as his replacement in the January transfer window of last season.

Ninthoinganba Meetei:

The 20-year-old winger has signed for Chennaiyin FC. The Manipuri had a brilliant start to the 2020-21 season but was disturbed by injuries. Despite showing signs of promise, he couldn’t get into a flow. Ninthoi garnered 13 appearances and 698 minutes of game time for the Highlanders in the entire season.

Idrissa Sylla:

The 30-year-old forward has signed for SC Farense, a second-division Portuguese club, on a free transfer. The Guinean scored 3 goals in 18 matches. The former Anderlecht and Queens Park Rangers struggled to hit the ground running.

Britto PM:

The 28-year-old midfielder has signed for the Indian Navy on a free transfer. The Keralite could only manage 251 minutes of playing time.

Nim Dorjee Tamang:

The Sikkimese has represented India at youth levels. However, he has struggled to make his mark in the Hero ISL so far. In two seasons at NorthEast United FC, he could only manage 7 appearances before signing for Hyderabad FC.

Gurmeet Singh:

The 21-year-old goalkeeper has signed for Hyderabad FC on a free transfer. The man from Punjab made his ISL and Super Cup debut in 2019. Last season he made 8 appearances for NorthEast United FC.

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