The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Bengaluru FC announced the signing of the Spanish Midfielder Javi Hernandez on a two-year deal for the upcoming season. The Blues confirmed the signing via their social media handles on Wednesday.

Hernandez who played for Odisha FC in the Hero ISL last season had a standout campaign, tallying six goals and five assists in 19 appearances. He contributed significantly to the team's effort to qualify for the playoffs, but the Kalinga Warriors finished their campaign in seventh place, 11 points behind the top four places.

The Spaniard expressed his joy at joining the new club, he said, “I am delighted to join Bengaluru FC. I wanted to stay in the Indian Super League, and for me, Bengaluru FC is one of the best places to be. I’m looking forward to the new season, meeting my new teammates and staff, and towards helping the team achieve its objectives,”.

The 33-years-old midfielder came through the youth ranks of UD Salamanca before joining the Real Madrid Castilla. The offensive midfielder left Spain to play for clubs in Romania, Poland, and Azerbaijan after stints with a number of different Spanish clubs.

“I am aware that over the last two seasons, the club has not been able to reach the levels it aims to. I am motivated to give my best in every training session and every match, to help this team achieve its targets and that is to be among the best in the country. I believe this club and its fans deserve that,” added the Spanish midfielder.

The Spaniard started his Hero ISL journey in the 2019-2020 season when ATK FC roped him in from polish club Cracovia Krakow. His arrival led ATK FC to their third championship win, and he scored two goals in the final against Chennaiyin FC. Hernandez stood out in the midfield for ATK FC that season, he scored 5 goals and made five assists in twenty matches.

The Spanish midfielder in the 2020-21 season found his home in the newly formed ATK Mohun Bagan. The Mariners reached to finals that season, he made 17 appearances for them and managed to score only one goal. 

“Javi is a player who we have seen over the last few years and is someone whose statistics speak for themselves. Creativity and keeping the ball are his strengths, add to that his experience, and I have no doubt he will be a role model both on and off the field. I am particularly excited to see him link up with the young talent we have in the squad and help them and the team grow,” said Bengaluru FC club director, Parth Jindal.

Hernandez would be hoping to replicate his last season's performance for his new team. A player of Hernandez's stature would certainly help Bengaluru FC mount a more potent challenge for the top four next season.

Laishram Premjit Singh's journey at Odisha FC come to end

Odisha FC have announced the departure of winger Laishram Premjit Singh from their squad ahead of the new season of the Hero ISL. The club made the announcement through their social media handles on Tuesday.

The 20-years old winger started his career in 2019 at Manipur club TRAU FC. He had a decent season run in the I-League, he played nine matches for TRAU FC. Then he was promoted to the Hero ISL after his performance at TRAU FC caught the attention of scouts from Odisha FC. 

In his debut season, he played six matches for Odisha FC but he couldn’t hamper a long-lasting impact in those six matches. 

Odisha FC have already announced numerous departures during the off-season. That includes Javi Hernandez, Gaurav Bora, Narender Gahlot, and Daniel Lalhimupia.

Five players depart from Chennaiyin FC's foreign contingent 

With a revamp on the cards, Chennaiyin FC announced the departures of midfielder Ariel Borysiuk, Vladimir Koman, Mirlan Murzaev along with their defender Slavko Damjanovic and forward Lukasz Gikiewicz from the foreigner contingent after their respective contracts with the club expired.

Borysiuk, Koman, and Murzaev joined the Marina Machans in the 2021-22 season. Koman was the most successful among the three, he registered 3 goals and 1 assist to his name in 17 appearances. While Murzaev got 3 goals and 2 assists and Borysiuk managed to score one goal.

On the other hand, former FK TSC Backa Topola fullback Slavko Damjanovic was brought to the Marina Machans last season. He has had an impressive stint with the club so far with a total of 19 appearances, making a staggering 613 passes and 25 interceptions during this time. 

The 34-years old forward Gikiewicz also joined the Chennai-based side in the 2021-2022 season. The forward made 18 appearances for the Chennaiyin outfits and had one goal and one assist to his name.

The Chennai-based side are on the course of a rebuild and after the departure of five players from their foreign contingent. The Marina Machans will be looking to keep themselves busy in the off-season transfer window.