Indian Super League (ISL) side Punjab FC announced the signing of Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan Gil for the 2023-24 season on Thursday. The 32-year-old joins the club after spending the last season in NorthEast United FC where he scored a total of 15 goals across all competitions.

Wilmar joins Punjab FC with a wealth of footballing experience in South America, having played in the top leagues in Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil. He has also had stints in Europe and Asia, playing in Portugal, Bulgaria, South Korea, China, and the UAE.

In his last season, the prolific striker scored eight goals for the Highlanders in just 11 matches in the ISL. Wilmar continued his scintillating form in the Hero Super Cup, where he scored seven goals to lead his team into the semifinals and become the tournament’s highest goal scorer. Wilmar is the fifth foreign signing of Punjab FC and will add more heft to the club’s attacking prowess.

Speaking about the signing, Football Director of Punjab FC, Nikolaos Topoliatis said, “We are delighted to have Wilmar Jordan Gil in our team. He is a proven goalscorer who will add a lot of firepower to our attack. We are confident that he will be a valuable asset to the team and will contribute significantly to the team’s success.”

Kerala Blasters FC add Freddy Lallawmawma to their ranks

Kerala Blasters FC have reached an agreement with Punjab FC for the transfer of midfielder midfielder Freddy Lallawmawma, for an disclosed fee, the club announced on Thursday. Freddy puts pen-to-paper on a three-year contract until 2026.

Over the past two seasons, the 21-year-old Mizoram native has been a commanding and combative presence in the Hero I-League with Punjab FC, winning the title with them last season.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Lallawmawma is adept at playing in multiple playing positions within the midfield and full of industry- qualities that he has displayed extensively and consistently over his career thus far.

Commenting on the signing, Karolis Skinkys, Kerala Blasters Sporting Director, said: "Freddy is a very good addition to the squad. He is young and eager to learn with the mentality to impact and control the game in the midfield. I hope he can quickly settle into the squad and contribute to the team's success."

Freddy Lallawmawma said: "I am extremely grateful for this exciting opportunity. Kerala Blasters is one of the biggest clubs in the country and I see this opportunity as the next big step in my growth as a player. I promise to do everything within my control to do whatever role the club requires me to fulfill."

Freddy is expected to link up with his new teammates in Kochi this week, where the team is preparing for the dubai leg of its preseason.

Promising midfielder Bekey Oram signs for NorthEast United FC while Emil Benny departs 

NorthEast United FC announced the signing of promising youngster Bekey Oram on Thursday. The 19-year-old midfielder has signed a three-year contract with the Highlanders.

Bekey's football journey began at an early age when he represented the Odisha state football team in the U-13 category. His talents quickly caught the eye, and in 2017, he joined the Bengaluru FC academy, where he progressed through the various age groups, ultimately earning a place in the reserve team.

Notably, he was a vital part of the squad that clinched the Reliance Foundation Development League title for two consecutive years. Talking about taking the next big step of his career, Bekey, who won the Golden Ball in RFDL 2022, said, "I'm excited to be part of NorthEast United FC. The club's focus on nurturing young talents and providing opportunities is the reason I joined them. I'll give my best to contribute to the team's success."

Assistant Coach Naushad Moosa expressed his thoughts on Bekey’s arrival, saying, "Bekey Oram is a player with exceptional technical abilities, undoubtedly one of the best midfielders I’ve worked with at Bengaluru FC. He’s versatile and his ability to play multiple positions will strengthen the team significantly. His dedication and discipline are commendable, and I believe he has what it takes to impress the head coach Juan Pedro Benali and earn his spot in the first team."

NorthEast United FC CEO, Mandar Tamhane, added, "We are pleased to welcome Bekey Oram to the NorthEast United FC family. We have taken significant steps to build a nurturing and competitive atmosphere for our players, and his arrival aligns perfectly with our vision. We believe that he has a bright future ahead of him and will excel within our setup."

NorthEast United FC also announced that they have parted ways with midfielder Emil Benny. Benny joined the Highlanders from Gokulam Kerala FC, where he won back-to-back I-League titles. He made 32 appearances for Gokulam Kerala and scored four times while representing the team at the AFC Cup. The young midfielder played 16 matches for NorthEast United FC during the 2022-23 season and provided three goals. 

Givson Singh joins Odisha FC on a season-long loan deal

Odisha FC on Thursday said that they have signed midfielder Givson Singh on a loan deal from Kerala Blasters FC. Singh is a talented attacking midfielder who has represented the Indian national team at the junior level.

He made his senior club debut with I-League side Indian Arrows before being signed by Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the 2020-21 season. Chennaiyin FC acquired the services of the midfielder on loan from Kerala Blasters FC during the 2022-23 season.

Singh scored his first professional goal against Churchill Brothers in a 2-1 win over the Goans. Givson converted from the spot in an injury-time penalty against Punjab FC to secure a point for the Arrows. He made 16 appearances during the season scoring 2 goals and providing 2 assists.

In 2020, Givson was roped in by Kerala Blasters FC on a three-year deal where he made his debut against Mumbai City FC coming on as a substitute in the 86th minute.

Givson played his first game of the Hero ISL 2021-22 season against Odisha FC coming on to replace Chencho which the Blasters went on to win 0-2.

Singh has represented India at the international level playing for the U16, U17, and the U19 sides.

Mumbai City FC complete signing of young winger Seilenthang Lotjem

Mumbai City FC announced the signing of Seilenthang Lotjem on Thursday. The promising 19-year-old winger joins the Islanders on a three-year contract until the end of the 2025-26 season.

Hailing from Manipur, Lotjem was signed by Sudeva Delhi FC in 2020 at just the age of 16 after coming up through the JCT Academy in Punjab. In just his second season with the club, Lotjem was brought into Sudeva Delhi’s First Team and featured regularly in the 2021-22 I-League, making 10 appearances and scoring one goal.

Lotjem shot to prominence in the very next season as he went on to feature 21 times for Sudeva Delhi and most notably, scored 6 goals, making him the joint-highest Indian goalscorer in the 2022-23 I-League at just the age of 18.

Lotjem, who is capable of playing across the attack, will wear the number 21 shirt for the Islanders.

Seilanthang Lotjem said: “It’s a proud moment for me to sign for Mumbai City. My focus is entirely on working hard and growing as a player every single day and to play at a club like Mumbai City and under a coach like Des Buckingham, it’s an opportunity I want to make the most of. I am ready to get started with my new teammates, learn from them and hopefully, I can help contribute to the club’s ambitions.”

Des Buckingham said:  “Lotjem is an impressive young talent as shown in his performances in the I-League over the past two seasons. His abilities and versatility make him an exciting prospect and I am certain he can fit into our club and the young group that we have. Lotjem is a confident young player who will help us achieve our goals this season while continuing to develop and build our squad over the long term.”