Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Mohun Bagan Super Giant on Friday completed the signing of midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad from Kerala Blasters FC on a five-year contract.
Mohun Bagan exchanged their experienced defender and captain, Pritam Kotal, in a swap deal for Samad, who had been with Kerala Blasters FC since 2017.
"The Club has reached an agreement for the transfer of Sahal Abdul Samad in exchange for a player and an undisclosed transfer fee," Kerala Blasters said in a statement.
Sahal made his ISL debut with Kerala Blasters FC in the 2017-18 season. The midfielder had his breakthrough campaign in the following 2018-19 season as he won the ISL Emerging Player of the Year award.
His exploits with the Blasters earned him a call-up to the Indian national team where he made his debut at the King’s Cup in Thailand.
Having amassed 97 appearances for the Blasters, the 26-year-old left the club as the highest-capped player for the Yellow Army. In his 97 appearances, the midfielder has repaid with 10 goals and nine assists across all competitions. His nine assists are the most by any Indian player for the Kochi-based side.
Meanwhile, Kerala Blasters announced the signing of Kotal from Mohun Bagan on a three-year contract, which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2026.
"The club's rich history and passionate fanbase make it an exciting opportunity for me. I am eager to contribute my skills and leadership to the team and work towards achieving our collective goals. I am grateful for the trust placed in me by Kerala Blasters FC, and I promise to give my absolute best on the field," Kotal said.
Kotal’s football journey began with the youth team of Chirag United, where an impressive stint opened doors to the India U-19 side. In 2011, He joined the All India Football Federation’s developmental I-League side, Indian Arrows before earning a move to Mohun Bagan in 2013 and making his ISL debut in 2014.
Since then, he has represented several ISL teams, including Delhi Dynamos, ATK, and Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Throughout his nine seasons in the ISL, he has made a total of 143 appearances.
He is one of the most experienced defenders in Indian football and has amassed 11 trophies in his career so far, both for club and country. This includes three ISL titles, three SAFF Championships, and two Hero Intercontinental Cups.
Since making his international debut in 2015, he has been a mainstay in the defense and has regularly featured for the Blue Tigers. He has made over 50 appearances for the Indian national team.