ISL – Odisha FC sign Rohit Kumar from Bengaluru

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Rohit Kumar, the 27-year-old Indian midfielder from Bengaluru FC, has completed his move to Odisha FC, as IFTWC can exclusively reveal.

The Juggernauts have begun to make moves in the market early, signing Rohit Kumar from Bengaluru. A defensive midfielder by trade, he is highly versatile and can play anywhere in the middle of the pitch, giving Sergio Lobera far more flexibility there. In addition to his exceptional defensive skills, Rohit showed during his tenure at Bengaluru FC his knack for occasionally chipping in with a goal.

Rohit

Originating from Delhi, Rohit started his football career at the DSK Shivajians LFC program. He later made his senior debut for the team in the 2016 Durand Cup, where he scored his first senior goal on his debut. He then moved to the Indian football league’s top division after being drafted in by FC Pune City, which was the result of his outstanding performances for the Shivajians. After making 12 appearances and scoring twice for the Pune team in his debut season, he later inked a two-year contract extension. However, after the 2018–19 season, the club was dissolved, and Rohit joined Hyderabad FC, where he played for the team that came last in the league with just two wins.

With the goal of reviving his career and becoming an established figure in the ISL, Rohit Kumar committed to a long-term deal with Kerala Blasters after his spell with Hyderabad. However, the midfielder’s move didn’t work out as planned; during the season, he only made six starts and failed to make an impact playing for the Blasters under then-head coach Kibu Vicuna. In an effort to secure more game time and demonstrate his potential, Rohit then took a surprise decision to join rivals Bengaluru FC after mutually terminating his contract with the Blasters. Rohit Kumar struggled with injuries during his debut season and didn’t have the anticipated impact.

Rohit Kumar

During his second season with the team, things really started to click for Rohit. The midfielder had a surge in playing time under new head coach Simon Grayson, and he was important in the Blues’ 2023 Durand Cup victory. That season, Bengaluru had a rough start to the league but pulled off an amazing turnaround in the second half to go on an 11-match winning streak and qualify for the finals. A pivotal figure in that stretch was Rohit Kumar, who played most of the minutes and scored three goals during the run that began when he made his first start of the season. Additionally, he was instrumental in Bengaluru FC’s journey to the Super Cup finals.

Igor Stimac, the head of the national team, was impressed by the Bengaluru FC midfielder’s outstanding club performances, and in March 2023 awarded the midfielder his first-ever national team call-up for the Hero Tri-Nation series. He even made his Indian debut against Kyrgyzstan in the competition. Additionally, he played a significant role in the Indian team that went on to win the Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship in the summer of 2023. He also signed a two-year extension with Bengaluru FC.

Rohit

But following that incredible campaign, Rohit’s form began to decline and he was benched after making little impact in his first three games. After Grayson left and Zaragoza took over as manager, Rohit’s place in the starting eleven was even more in doubt because players like Harsh, Shivaldo, and Fanai were picked ahead of him. Additionally, he was left out of the national team squad as well.

Rohit would be hoping that this transfer to Odisha, under one of the greatest coaches the league has ever had, will help him return to his best. As he has demonstrated with players like Puitea, Princeton, Amey Ranawade, and Jerry, to name a few, Lobera has a reputation for restoring players to their best. The Juggernauts, who lost the Super Cup by a small margin and were ousted in the ISL semifinals, will try to bolster their squad even more and aim for more success in the next campaign. Odisha supporters will be hoping to see their team make more acquisitions like Rohit. 


Follow IFTWC for more updates on Indian Football.

Shyam Sundar
Shyam Sundar
A youthful, diehard supporter of the Indian Football Team and Chennaiyin FC. Before the Lockdown, I didn't often watch Indian football! I occasionally kept up with the Blue Tigers, but not consistently. But ever since the lockdown, I've become really interested in Indian football. I may not have a background in journalism, but Indian football is something I am really passionate about.

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