Hero Indian Super League (ISL) side Mumbai City FC completed the signing of Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo, fondly called as Tiri, on Thursday. The Spanish centre-back has signed a one-year contract with the Islanders that will see him don the sky blue until the end of the 2023-24 season.

Born in Los Barrios, Spain, the 31-year-old started his professional career at his hometown club Cádiz CF. He made 49 appearances for their ‘B’ team from 2009 to 2012, even making two appearances for the Cádiz first team in 2010. In 2012, Tiri moved on to play for Atlético Madrid, where he became a core member of Atlético Madrid ‘B’ side, representing them on 85 occasions between 2012 to 2015.

In 2015, the defender made his first move to the Hero ISL when he joined Atlético de Kolkata and was a key member of the ATK squad that reached the semi-final. He returned to the Kolkata-based side for the 2016 season after a brief stint back home with the Atlético Madrid ‘B’ team. Tiri established himself as one of the most consistent defenders in the league during the 2016 season that saw Atlético De Kolkata lift the Hero ISL trophy.

Tiri moved to Spanish third division side Marbella FC in 2017 and after making six appearances for the Spanish side, he returned to the Hero ISL. The centre-back joined Jamshedpur FC ahead of the 2017-18 season where he played every minute of the campaign for the Men of Steel. With Tiri in defence, Jamshedpur FC finished in 5th place, narrowly missing out on the playoff spots in their debut season in the Hero ISL.

After three years with Jamshedpur FC, making 49 appearances and scoring three goals, Tiri made the move to Mohun Bagan Super Giant in 2020. The Spaniard went on to become a key cog in the Mariners’ defence playing a crucial role in the Hero ISL and in their AFC Cup campaign. Tiri suffered an unfortunate injury ahead of the 2022-23 season that kept him out of league action before making a return in the Hero Super Cup 2023.

With 110 league appearances over a span of eight years, Tiri is one of the most experienced and decorated foreign recruits in the history of the Hero ISL. The Spaniard joins Mumbai City FC ahead of the Islanders’ league title defence and a landmark 2023-24 AFC Champions League campaign.

Tiri said: “I’m glad to be here and join Mumbai City FC. The culture at this club is highly spoken of across the league and the ambitions here are for everyone to see. I have played in India for a long time but I want to continue winning and I’m looking forward to defending the league title and winning trophies with Mumbai City FC. It’s a new chapter for me and one that I’m very excited to get started with.”

Des Buckingham, Head Coach, Mumbai City FC, said: “Tiri is a player I have tracked and enjoyed watching since arriving in India. He is a very good defender and possesses a lot of the qualities we look for in our players in this position. His consistently high performances and understanding of the Hero ISL will help him settle quickly and help us continue developing our play. I am very happy he has decided to join us and look forward to his experiences helping our team continue striving for success in the coming season.”

Chennaiyin FC secure the signature of promising goalkeeper Pratik Singh, defender Sachu Siby

Chennaiyin FC have roped in talented goalkeeper Prateek Kumar Singh and defender Sachu Siby to bolster the team’s defence ahead of the upcoming season.

This will be the first outing in the Hero ISL for both youngsters who have shown great promise and potential in the domestic circuit.

Chandigarh-born Prateek is a product of Raman Vijayan Soccer School and has represented ATK FC at youth level. The 23-year-old began his professional career with Chennai City FC in 2019 and has played 15 matches so far.

“I am extremely excited to embark on this new journey with Chennaiyin FC. I’m looking forward to having a great season with my new teammates and the fans,” Prateek commented.

On the other hand, Siby, who hails from Kerala, was impressive in the 2022-23 Kerala Premier League where he played a vital role in Kerala United’s title-winning campaign.

“Happy to be a part of Chennaiyin FC! This is a dream come true and I will wear the blue with pride and joy. Grateful for this incredible opportunity to chase my passion alongside an amazing team,” Siby expressed his excitement.

Siby became the third defender to join the Marina Machans this season after Ankit Mukherjee and Bijay Chhetri as the club look to strengthen their squad.