Mohun Bagan captain and defender Pritam Kotal is in advance talks to sign for Kerala Blasters FC, IFTWC can confirm. It is understood that Blasters have been long admirers of the 29-year-old versatile and experienced defender who is also a regular part of Indian men’s national team.
Kotal is one of the most experienced Indian players in the league and his leadership skills have been instrumental in helping the Mohun Bagan team build good chemistry both on and off the field. Kotal has always been very vocal when his teammates made mistakes and also appreciated them when they played well. His addition to the Kerala Blasters from next season will certainly be highly beneficial to the team in terms of leadership at least.
Pritam Kotal has made 143 appearances in the ISL and has five goals and eight assists to his name. A no-nonsense defender, Pritam Kotal doesn’t fear to put his body on the line for his team whether it’s about tackles, blocks, interceptions, or even clearances. Pritam’s aerial prowess is definitely his biggest strength in his game along with his defensive skills for which he has built a reputation over the past few years.
The versatile defender who can also play as a right-back or a center-back as per the team’s need is a regular in the national team as well. Pritam has appeared in 52 matches which is quite fascinating considering there are not many who can cross the half-century in terms of appearance for India.
Some of Kotal’s biggest honours in his career include winning the Indian Super League thrice (2016, 2019/20, 2022/23), the I-League (2014/15), and the 2015/16 Federation Cup. With India, he has lifted the SAFF Championship thrice, the Intercontinental Cup, and the Tri-Nation Cup both twice.
Hailing from Uttarpara, Pritam started his youth career with Chirag United and Wari Athletic Club in Kolkata. However, his senior career started off in 2011 with Pailan Arrows (later known as Indian Arrows).
Kotal had a two-year stint with Pailan Arrows before joining Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in 2013. He was a part of the Green and Maroon Brigade up until 2017 and became a fan favorite during his first stint with the Mariners having made 61 appearances for them. Kotal was sent on loan on three occasions during his earlier stay with Mohun Bagan. The first was in 2014 when he joined Pune City FC, the second was another loan stint with Pune in 2015, and the third one was with the ATK.
Pritam signed for Delhi Dynamos (now revamped as Odisha FC) during the 2017/18 ISL season and he stayed for a season in the capital before returning back to the City of Joy to sign for ATK in what was his second stint with the Kolkata club. Pritam had a two-year stint with ATK between 2018 and 2020 which also saw him become ISL champion in 2020 for the second time with the club.
From the 2020/21 season and till now he has been associated with ATK Mohun Bagan (now Mohun Bagan Super Giant) and led them to the Indian Super League title last season in his second stint as a Green and Maroon player. Pritam has also appeared in Asian club competitions with Bagan, particularly in the AFC Cup in the last two seasons.
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