Hero Indian Super League (ISL) outfit NorthEast United FC, on Wednesday, confirmed the signing of defender Hira Mondal on a free transfer. Mondal was earlier a part of Bengaluru FC but parted ways with the club in November by mutual consent and has been without a team since then.  

Mondal will face competition from Tondonba Singh and Gurjinder Kumar for the left-back position at NorthEast United FC. The Highlanders will hope that Mondal’s addition will help them tighten up their defence as they look to end their season on a high. 

A full-back who enjoys advancing into offensive positions, the 26-year-old rose to prominence for his outstanding performances for the West Bengal Santosh Trophy team and for Mohammedan SC during the 2020-21 Hero I-League. He was also named in the I-League Team of the Season.

The defender then signed for East Bengal FC after impressing with Mohammedan SC, and was one of the key players for the team despite the Red & Golds finishing at the bottom of the table last season. He made 16 appearances for the team and made an impact at both ends of the pitch. The full-back was in high demand after an impressive season for East Bengal FC and signed for Bengaluru FC ahead of the Hero ISL 2022-23 season.

Mondal appeared in four Durand Cup games for the Blues before the start of the Hero ISL season, eventually winning the illustrious trophy. However, he did not feature in the squad for any of Bengaluru FC’s games in the ongoing Hero ISL season. 

Led by new head Vincenzo Annese, the Guwahati-based side have conceded 33 goals this season, which is the most by any team, and are placed at the bottom in the Hero ISL standings. With just eight games remaining, NorthEast United FC will be pushing to record as many points as possible and give themselves the thrust they sorely need to climb up the table and out of last place.