ISL: Sandesh Jhingan parts his ways with ATK Mohun Bagan

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Kolkata: Defender Sandesh Jhingan ends his journey with ATK Mohun Bagan after spending half a season with the Mariners.

Juan Ferrando's men glided to the semi-finals of the ISL 2021-22 season on the shoulders of Sandesh Jhingan alongside Tiri, Pritam Kotal, and Subhasish Bose.

The defender left for Croatian top-tier club HNK Sibenik after the culmination of ISL 2020-21. But an injury-marred campaign crippled his move to the club following which Jhingan rejoined the Kolkata-based club.

Making his ISL debut with Kerala Blasters FC, the centre-back was adjudged as the Emerging Player of the League in the inaugural season in 2014.

Undoubtedly one of the best defenders ISL has ever produced, the 29-year-old still remains in contention as one of the best defenders to ever play for the nation.

The centre-back, who was named as AIFF Player of the Year for the 2020-21 campaign, is also an Arjuna Award winner. Jhingan has built his reputation over the years by plying his trade for big clubs such as Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC.

Jhingan made nine appearances for the Mariners in ISL 2021-22, making 30 clearances, 25 tackles, 14 interceptions, and 13 blocks along with a passing accuracy of 86 per cent.

On the other hand, Eli Sabia signed a contract extension with Jamshedpur FC ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL).

"I see Jamshedpur as a club and a city with big ambitions. We became Champions of India last season, and I come again with the aim of defending this title, bringing more glory and breaking more records in front of the packed JRD Tata Sports Complex. Look forward to working with a head coach who is renowned for getting the best out of the players" said Eli in a statement.

The centre-back with his tall and commanding presence joined Jamshedpur ahead of the 2021-22 season and was an integral part of the Men of Steel that won the ISL League Winners' Shield. The defender recorded impressive stats of 66 clearances, 25 interceptions, 1 goal and 1 assist forming a formidable partnership with Peter Hartley.

Aidy Boothroyd was delighted to see the player retained and said "I am happy that Eli has chosen to stay with Jamshedpur Football Club. He is one of the best defenders in the league and has shown his leadership qualities both on and off the pitch. He has the attitude to keep performing and I'm excited to work with him."

Hailing from Sao Paulo, Eli began his career at local club Paulista, progressing through the ranks before appearing for the senior team. He had several high-profile loan spells during his time at Paulista, with one of them at Swiss top division outfit FC Lausanne in 2007- 08 besides stints at Brazilian giants Santos and Atletico Paranaense.

At Santos in 2009-10, he was teammates with Brazilian superstar Neymar, who was enjoying his breakthrough season at the time. The 32-year-old comes with five seasons of the ISL under his belt including his time at Chennaiyin FC, where he also helped his team to the finals of the ISL 2019-20 and the Super Cup in 2019.

Eli will don jersey number 13 and will join his teammates for pre-season which is scheduled to begin mid-August. (ANI)

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