19-year-old Raj Basfore has earned himself a lucrative contract at one of the biggest clubs in the country in ATK Mohun Bagan. The young defender will don the historic green and maroon colours and add to the club’s defensive line, which has often seemed out of rhythm in the ongoing Indian Super League season.
Born in 2003, Raj Basfore is a product of the Kalyani Municipality Sports Academy before signing a contract with Calcutta Football League club United SC. He was snapped up by the Indian Arrows setup and featured in all games for the side in the 21/22 I-League season. He played 10 games in the league stage and a further 5 in the relegation phase, acquiring over 1300 valuable minutes for the young colts.
Basfore’s claim to fame came in the 2022 U20 SAFF Championship where he started three games in the round-robin stage. India’s three clean sheets in the tournament came in the three games that the teenager started in – against Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Maldives. Despite not starting in the high-scoring final against Bangladesh, the man from West Bengal had already made his mark on the big stage.
The Mariners weren’t the sole bidders for the versatile youngster as other ISL clubs also monitored his situation closely. News of this move comes a month after the Green and Maroon brigade signed a few other youngsters from the Indian Arrows setup – the likes of Amandeep Singh, Pritam Meetei, Taison Singh, and Suhail Bhat. The club’s intent to bolster their squad with young Indians is evident as Head Coach Juan Ferrando wants a bigger pool of players for various competitions.
With the Super Cup set to follow the ISL, it is expected that these new youngsters will give us a glimpse of their talent and get sufficient game time that will help them blossom.
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