Mohun Bagan Super Giant have acquired the services of Anirudh Thapa in what is the biggest deal ever signed by any Indian footballer in history. The man from Dehradun has put pen to paper on a contract that runs till 2028, earning a whopping 3 crore rupees every season, making him the highest-earning Indian. Thapa was a player that had been long admired by the Mariners, from the days of Antonio Habas, and the saga finally came to a close on 12th June, Monday.
Mohun Bagan had to fend off competition from their usual transfer window rivals Mumbai City FC. Chennaiyin FC have received 3 crores as transfer fees for their captain and prized possession. The 25-year-old is also set to enjoy some additional perks by joining the historical club and moving to Kolkata.
The Green and Maroon brigade were close to roping him in a year back but the then-24-year-old chose to stay with the Chennai-based club, signing an extension of two seasons. He joins the Mariners with a year left on his CFC contract.
Thapa rose up the ranks of AIFF academies, before catching the eyes of Chennaiyin FC in 2016. He quickly established himself as a key player in the midfield, showcasing his technical abilities, vision, and composure on the ball. He has been with the Marina Machans ever since, captaining them in the last two seasons.
His performances at the club level did not go unnoticed by the national team selectors. Thapa received his first call-up to the Indian national team in 2017. He made his international debut on June 4, 2017, in a friendly match against Nepal. Since then, the former CFC man has represented India in numerous international competitions, including the AFC Asian Cup and the SAFF Championship. He is set to be an important cog in the Indian midfield with the AFC Asian Cup coming up in a few months.
Juan Ferrando, Mohun Bagan’s Head Coach will relish the reality of having Anirudh as an option to employ in his midfield that was often lacking ideas except when Hugo Boumous got on the ball. With Joni Kauko’s uncertain future at the club, the 25-year-old will have big shoes to fill as he could operate in the heart of their midfield.
As is often the case, Bagan have been spending heavily in this window, having roped in Anwar Ali and Jason Cummings as well. Anirudh Thapa is a longstanding favourite of the club and will be influential in their charge for the AFC Cup, the ISL League Winners’ Shield, and defending their ISL trophy.
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