Mumbai City FC defender Mehtab Singh has decided to extend his stay with the Islanders after signing a three-year extension at the club, keeping him with the club until May 2026.

Having played three seasons in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), Mehtab has already tasted plenty of success in that time. The 25-year-old joined Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2020-21 season and has since been an essential cog in the Islanders’ squad.

The defender has amassed a total of 46 appearances in the blue of Mumbai, scoring three goals and registering 137 clearances, 68 blocks, 64 tackles, and 52 clearances across three seasons in the Hero ISL. 

“I’ve spent three years here and it feels good to have signed a new contract. This has been a great club with a great coach. The club is developing and so has been my game. I have been constantly learning here with the players, the team, and everything else. More importantly, I feel confident while playing for the club and that is what I intend to do moving forward with the club,” Mehtab expressed after putting pen to paper.

The Punjab-born player has garnered a steady gametime in his three years in the Hero ISL, the most out of which came under head coach Des Buckingham. Under the Englishman’s stewardship, the defender made significant strides as a ball-carrying defender, racking up 1016 successful passes in the Hero ISL 2022-23 season, most by any Mumbai City FC player and second-most in the league, behind only FC Goa’s Anwar Ali.

“I have a really good relationship with him, more like a fun and learning relationship. Personally also, he helps me develop a lot, to play in a certain manner, to improve my game in some aspects. Now, I’ve understood his kind of playing style even better, so now it has become even easier to play in his team,” he stated on his relation with Buckingham.

“His involvement has helped me a lot. After being here for three years and playing two years under him, I know what kind of game (style) is being played, what kind of game (style) needs to be played, when it needs to be played,” he added.

The centre-back’s consistent performances in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season, the AFC Champions League, and the AFC U23 Asian Cup earned him a callup to the senior national team. Head coach Igor Stimac picked the defender for the Blue Tigers’ Hero Tri-Nation International tournament where he made his debut in the side’s 1-0 win over Myanmar. 

“It was my dream to play for the national team and it has been a matter of pride for my family and my village that I’m playing for the national team. My family has helped me a lot and with that focus I started the 2022-23 season and it felt great to make my debut in the senior team,” he said.

Mehtab has been one amongst several other players to have not played a single Hero ISL game alongside the fans until the 2022-23 season. Having made his first-ever appearance in a bio-bubble, the defender missed out on the experience and the atmosphere of playing at Mumbai City FC’s home ground - the Mumbai Football Arena.

“It was not fun to play in an empty stadium without the presence of fans. It felt good to be playing in front of the fans as they continuously kept supporting us. They cheer us up and provide us with immense energy while we are playing for the team,” he concluded.

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