Indian Super League (ISL) side Odisha FC have completed the signing of Rohit Kumar, who joins the club on a two-year deal.

The midfielder has over 80 ISL appearances, adding 9 for the country. The DSK Shivajians graduate debuted for the #BlueTigers in 2023 against Kyrgyzstan as the midfielder replaced Thapa in the second half. India secured a comfortable 2-0 victory.

The midfielder has won major honours with club and country such as the Durand Cup with Bengaluru FC, the SAFF Championship, the Tri-Nation Series, and the Intercontinental Cup with India.

Commenting on the occasion Rohit said, “I’m thrilled & excited to be a part of the project here at Odisha FC. My conversations with the coach have been very positive, and I’m looking forward to working under him and learning from him.

“I’ve watched his teams play for many years in the league and always wanted to challenge myself in this type of system. Teams coached by Sergio Lobera have always been difficult to play against, and I’m looking forward to seeing myself play this style of football.”

Head coach Sergio Lobera his thoughts on our latest addition:

“Rohit is a player I have liked a lot for a long time, he fits perfectly into our style of play, he is good with the ball and without the ball and he is very competitive.”

Chennaiyin FC rope in Wilmar Jordan Gil

Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC rope in Colombian forward Wilmar Jordan Gil for the upcoming 2024-25 season. He brings a wealth of experience and skill to the club, having been part of the ISL for two seasons.

Wilmar made his ISL debut with NorthEast United FC in 2022. He then continued his impressive journey with ISL debutants Punjab FC the following season, scoring eight goals in 15 appearances.

Joining Chennaiyin on a one-year deal, Jordan’s arrival marks the club’s fifth signing for the 2024-25 season and their third foreign acquisition, following Elsinho Dias and Chima Chukwu. The club had earlier announced an extension for captain Ryan Edwards.

Coach Owen Coyle expressed his excitement, stating, “Wilmar has had a fantastic career and scored goals everywhere he has been. Scoring 24 goals in 33 appearances between NorthEast and Punjab is a great ratio for a striker. We are delighted to add that kind of firepower to our attack.”

Throughout his career, Wilmar has excelled on various stages, including domestic leagues and international competitions. He began his senior career with Monagas in Venezuela, where he made 35 appearances and emerged as the top scorer with 20 goals. Wilmar’s journey took him to Gyeongnam FC in South Korea in 2011, and then to the Bulgarian side Litex Lovech in 2013, where he once again topped the scoring charts with 20 goals. He has also had stints with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda, U.A.E. side Emirates Club on loan, Portuguese club Chaves, and Colombian side Atlético Huila.

Reflecting on his new journey with Chennaiyin FC, the 33-year-old expressed his excitement about joining the club, saying, “I am very happy to be part of this great club and team, and very grateful to the directors and the coach for this great opportunity they have given me. I have always dreamed of playing in Chennai, and now I am given this beautiful opportunity. With a lot of work, humility, and sacrifice, we can fulfill all the objectives we set for ourselves and win the title.”

Saul Crespo extends stay at East Bengal FC

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit East Bengal FC have announced the extension of Spanish midfielder Saul Crespo, who will remain at the Kolkata club until the end of the 2025-26 season, the club announced on Tuesday.

Commenting on Crespo’s extension, Mr Vibhash Vardhan Agarwal from Emami Group said, “Saul has been a vital member of the team who contributed heavily to our resurgence last season. In order to achieve consistent results it’s important to maintain a strong core, and Saul’s extension will help us enhance the team stability.”

East Bengal FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat said, “Saul is an important player in the team composition. His best moments during the past season helped us achieve our best performances. If Saul commands the midfield, our attackers receive the right balls to create problems for the opponents.”

Having joined East Bengal FC in June last year, Crespo recorded seven goals and one assist during his first season with the Red and Gold Brigade. His string of consistent performances helped East Bengal FC win the Kalinga Super Cup and finish runners-up in the Durand Cup.

The 27-year-old was, in fact, the Player of the Match in the Kalinga Super Cup final.

In ISL 2023-24 Crespo netted four goals, including goals in three consecutive matches against Mohun Bagan Super Giant, Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC respectively.

Besides, he also registered an 82% passing accuracy, 863 touches, 84 recoveries, 11 interceptions and 23 clearances in fourteen ISL appearances last season. In the away match against Kerala Blasters, Crespo set the record for the most passes into the final third (22) by an East Bengal player in the ISL.

Delighted to extend his contract with East Bengal FC, Crespo said, “I am very happy to continue my journey with this historic club. This team is my family now. I’ve received a lot of love from the fans and I am grateful to them for their continued support.”

Jay Gupta pens long-term deal with FC Goa

Indian international Jay Gupta has penned a new long-term deal with FC Goa, which will see him at the club until the end of the 2027-28 season.

The dynamic defender will remain an integral part of the Gaurs for the upcoming 2024-25 season and beyond, solidifying his role in the team following a standout debut season.

Since joining FC Goa last summer, Gupta has become a cornerstone of the team’s defence, showcasing exceptional performance and consistency.

Over the course of the season, the defender made 31 appearances, scoring two spectacular long-range goals in the ISL, and providing three assists. His contributions were pivotal in FC Goa’s journey to the semi-finals of the Durand Cup and the ISL Cup playoffs, as well as securing a third-place finish in the ISL League Stage.

The 22-year-old’s impressive form also earned him a call-up to the Indian senior men’s national football team camp at the end of the season, and last week, he finally made his international debut in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier clash against Kuwait.

Lokesh Bherwani, Director of Football at FC Goa, expressed his excitement about the extension. “Jay’s impact on the team has been nothing short of phenomenal. The last season was his first ever at the senior level in Indian football, but he was able to prove himself with talent and commitment, in such a short span of time,” he said.

“His development and achievements over the past year are a testament to his hard work and dedication. We are delighted to secure his services for the foreseeable future, and it represents our ambition to build on the strong foundation laid last season. We believe he will continue to play a crucial role as we aim for greater heights in the upcoming seasons,” he added.

Jay Gupta himself shared his enthusiasm as well, about continuing his journey with the Gaurs.

“FC Goa gave me a big opportunity at the beginning of last season and asked me to prove my worth, and despite some testing phases throughout the season, their support and encouragement helped me do well. You get what you deserve, and that’s what my journey has been and what I admire about this Club. There is no better place to be, for an aspiring youngster who has been given the chance to prove his worth and play his heart out in front of a passionate fan base,” he said.

“The team showed a lot of positivity and consistency right at the beginning of last season, which replicated into a stream of positive results. With that, I think we laid a very strong base for what FC Goa are all about and what we see ourselves fighting for nothing less than the titles.

“We will continue to do this together, and I’m confident that we’ll have another really good season this time,” the defender signed off.