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FC Goa sign Dheeraj Singh from ATK Mohun Bagan on a long-term deal

Dheeraj Singh
Dheeraj Singh representing India at the U-17 FIFA World Cup

FC Goa has secured the services of young goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh from ATK Mohun Bagan FC on a long-term deal that lasts until the summer of 2024.

The 20-year old has signed a three and a half year contract with the Gaurs after not even playing a single match for Antonio Lopez Habas’ side.

Dheeraj was glad to sign for the Gaurs and praised the side’s style of play while joining the club.

He said:

“I am very happy to be part of FC Goa. The club plays a beautiful brand of football, and the fans are amazing here in Goa. I am looking forward to wearing the colors and representing the people.

“When Goa came with the offer and I heard their plans for me, I was excited and I feel I can really grow in this club. I am still in the learning stage and know I can get better with every season.”

FC Goa director of football Ravi Puskur is glad to bring the youngster to the club and reiterated the club’s commitment to promoting young Indian players.

He said:

“We’re delighted to bring Dheeraj on board for FC Goa. He’s one of the brightest prospects in the country and despite being only 20 (years old), he has already shown his readiness to compete at the highest level. He’ll be exposed to a different style of football here and we’re confident that he will adapt to it and will thrive while doing so. His arrival once again reiterates our commitment to giving youth a chance and providing them with a platform to shine upon.”

Dheeraj Singh rose to fame with his excellent performances in goal for the India U-17 national football team in the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India in 2017. His outstanding performances for the India U-16 side in the 2016 U-16 AFC Championship went a bit under the radar but since then the goalkeeper is highly rated and the FC Goa fans would be expecting a lot from him.

After his stellar show in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, Dheeraj was consistent for the Indian Arrows throughout the 2017-18 I-League competition.

Kerala Blasters FC impressed with the youngster’s performances, brought him on board ahead of the 2018-19 Indian Super League season, and he made 13 appearances for the Tuskers keeping 4 clean sheets. Ahead of the 2019-20 ISL season, Dheeraj was snapped up by ATK and has only made 1 ISL appearance since then in a dead rubber match against Bengaluru FC.

Mohammad Nawaz’s contract troubles

The highly-rated custodian has been brought in after Mohammad Nawaz refused to sign an improved contract with the Gaurs. Nawaz has been a mainstay in goal for FC Goa over the previous few seasons and the 20-year old’s contract runs out at the end of the ongoing ISL season.

Against Jamshedpur FC, Nawaz was dropped for his antics behind the scenes and Naveen Kumar stepped into the role and kept a clean sheet proving his mettle. The 31-year old goalkeeper might retain his place in goal against ATK Mohun Bagan FC for the big clash on Sunday.

Mohammad Nawaz is expected to leave for Hyderabad FC according to the sources of Parimatch News and join the other upcoming Indian youngsters with the Nizams.