Mon, 05 Jun 2023

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], June 21 (ANI): ATK Mohun Bagan have signed full-back Asish Rai and winger Ashique Kuruniyan ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

The 23-years-old full-back has been an important player for the Hyderabad FC over the last two seasons and he played a crucial role in winning them their first-ever ISL title in the 2021-22 season.

As for Ashique, he has been among the top performers for Bengaluru FC in the last few seasons.

Rai started his youth career in 2017 when he joined the Pune City Academy. The fullback then joined the Indian Arrows later in November. In the 2018-19 season, he made the most of his opportunities, appearing in every game for the Indian Arrows.

Playing for Indian Arrows proved to be a watershed moment in his career, with solid performances throughout the season helping him to gain an ISL contract from Hyderabad FC ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Since joining the club, the 23-years-old full-back has appeared in 48 games, making 152 clearances and sixty-three interceptions. Though Rai didn't have a great start to his ISL career at Hyderabad FC in his first season, he picked up after the arrival of head coach Manuel Marquez. He flourished under his guidance and became one of the best full-backs of the ISL.

Ashique began his career at the Pune FC academy and then he moved to Villarreal "C" team in Spain in 2016 on a loan. His stay in Europe was cut short due to injury, the Kerala-born winger returned home. He joined Pune City FC in 2017 and made his debut against Jamshedpur in the ISL 2017-18 season.

After spending two years at Pune City FC, the 23-years-old winger moved to Bengaluru FC in the 2019-2020 season. He has had an impressive stint with the club so far with a total of 39 appearances, making a staggering 1105 passes and 40 interceptions during this time.

Kuruniyan who has been capped 24 times for the Indian National Team, recently played a pivotal role in the team's qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup. With time he's becoming a mainstay in the national team and he's very much part of coach Igor Stimac's future plans.

The addition of both these players will undoubtedly help Juan Ferrando's side, who just qualified for the AFC Cup 2022 inter-zonal semi-finals by finishing their campaign at the top of the group. (ANI)

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