Kerala Blasters FC have completed the signing of midfielder Danish Farooq Bhat from Bengaluru FC by paying a considerable transfer fee!
The Blasters were in the market to find a replacement for their former midfielder Puitea who signed for ATK Mohun Bagan earlier in the January transfer window.
With most of the players in the midfield other than Jeakson and Ivan, young and inexperienced the team started searching for a custodian who has regular playing experience in the league and found Danish Farooq as the best candidate for this case.
Danish, who is popularly known as ‘Kashmiri Ronaldo’, had shot to fame after playing for the Real Kashmir Football Club. He began his career by playing for a local team Chinar Valley FC and later on he joined the J&K Bank Football Academy at the age of 13, he joined the J&K Bank football team and soon became their mainstay. He spent his entire youth career playing for them.
J&K Bank football academy was where he wore the armband across age groups and also led them to win as many as 12 titles.
In 2015, his performances earned him a move to Lonestar Kashmir in the I-League second division, and a season later to Real Kashmir FC. He represented the Lonestar Kashmir FC team in around 17 games and scored 4 goals. Later in 2016, he joined Real Kashmir where he was given the number 10 shirt. Danish was the joint highest goal-scorer for Real Kashmir in the 2017–18 season and that is when his popularity grew.
An attacking player by trade, the Kashmir-born player is adept at playing on the flank and has previously turned out in midfield. Having amassed as many as 48 appearances in his the last three seasons in the I-League, Farooq had also registered seven goals and five assists in that time. With Farooq in attack, Real Kashmir clinched the first major domestic title in the club’s history by winning the historic IFA Shield in 2020.
The Kashmiri footballer joined the club Bengaluru FC in June 2021 and Danish has always maintained that playing for the national side was his ultimate goal which he ultimately got rewarded with when he was called to the national team camp by coach Igor Stimac for the International friendlies against Bahrain and Belarus in March 2022.
Football runs in Danish Farooq’s blood. His grandfather was also a footballer — “he played at the local level” the most recognizable face from Kashmir once informed. His uncle also played for SRTC.
Incidentally, Danish happens to be the son of famous Kashmiri footballer of the yesteryear Farooq Ahmad, who has represented Jammu and Kashmir in the Santosh Trophy and also played for the famous Kolkata club Mohammedan SC.
For Bengaluru FC he featured in 27 ISL matches, 8 Durand Cup games, and also 3 group stage fixtures in the 2021 AFC Cup. In all of that, he managed to get on the scoresheet on 5 occasions, and also had 2 assists to his name. He was part of the team that won the 2022 Durand Cup and even regularly featured this season in the ISL.
Blessed with high technical abilities and game intelligence, Danish’s ability to control the game’s tempo and his vision helps him give accurate passes making him an important midfielder for any player.
Having someone like Jeakson at his side will help him flourish and allow him to play freely and express himself. Without a doubt, he will be playing a key role for Coach Ivan Vukomanovic’s side during his time there.
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