After Jhinghan’s shocking exit, Kerala Blasters have now set their sights on ATK defender Salam Ranjan Singh. Sandesh Jhinghan was a fan favorite and a defensive lynchpin for the club. An inspirational figure among the Blasters faithful Sandesh has left a lasting legacy at Kerala Blasters.
Kibu Vicuna led side have a daunting task of filling Sandesh Jhinghan’s boots. Truth be told, there are not many Indian Defenders who can match the quality of Sandesh Jhinghan. Sandesh’s presence in defence was dearly missed last season as an ACL injury ruled him out for the entire season. As per reports, Kerala have identified the 24 year old ATK defender as the possible successor.
After starting of with Pune FC Salam Ranjan has played for prominent clubs like Bengaluru FC, East Bengal and Northeast United. He spent the last season mostly on the bench playing just 4 matches for the 3 time ISL champions ATK. The Manipuri defender was kept out of the side by 18 year old starlet Sumit Rathi, who went onto win the ISL Emerging Player Award.
Salam Ranjan has 11 senior team caps for the Blue Tigers. He was part of the 23 man squad which took part in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 and has also featured for the India U-23 team. The promising defender is yet to fulfill his potential and this move to the South may act as a helping hand to revive his career. With age on his side, more game time can help him flourish and become a mainstay at the heart of defense for the Blasters.
Reports also suggest that veteran defender Anas Edathodika is also being targeted by the Kerala Blasters. The 33 year old has played previously for the club in the 2018/19 season. The same fitness level and performance can’t be assured, but his experience can turn out to be vital for the club’s success.