Kerala Blasters sign Danish Farooq from Bengaluru on deadline day

Danish Farooq hails from Jammu & Kashmir’s Srinagar

Kerala Blasters bolstered their ranks with the signing of talented Indian midfielder, Danish Farooq Bhat, from rival club Bengaluru on the winter transfer window deadline day. Farooq joins the Tuskers for a three-and-a-half-year deal, which will see him playing in yellow till the 2025-26 Indian Super League season.

The Tuskers have had a stop-start season so far, where they have struggled to replicate their charismatic brand of football from the last season. Among others, the midfield has been an area of concern for their Serbian head coach, Ivan Vukomanovic.

To make this worse, the club lost promising youngster Lalthathanga Khawlring, popularly known as Puitea, to title rivals ATK Mohun Bagan very early in the winter transfer window. Hence, the arrival of Farooq is expected to add balance and dynamism to the team.

Making the announcement on Twitter, Kerala Blasters stated

“The club is delighted to announce the arrival of Danish Farooq from Bengaluru FC. He signs a 3.5-year contract which will keep him at the club till 2026.”

Born in Jammu & Kashmir’s picturesque summer capital, Srinagar, Farooq started his career with Chinar Valley. He later joined J&K Bank Football Academy, where he won 12 trophies before moving on to Lonestar Kashmir.

After a year with Lonestar Kashmir, where he featured in the I-League second division, the 26-year-old joined Real Kashmir. He played a crucial role in his team’s I-League second division triumph in the 2017-18 season, while also helping them to an IFA Shield in 2020.

Farooq made a total of 75 appearances for Real Kashmir, where he scored 15 goals. After three seasons in the I-League, Bengaluru came knocking for the midfielder, signing him on a two-year deal ahead of the 2021-22 ISL season.

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He made 21 appearances for the Blues in his first season in ISL, where he scored three goals – against ATK Mohun Bagan, Mumbai City, and Odisha. He has also played a vital role for his team this season, making a total of 14 total appearances. The Srinagar lad scored one goal this season, which helped his team win all three points against Jamshedpur.

“I am really excited to join Kerala Blasters. The atmosphere at Kochi is absolutely electric, I can’t wait to wear the famous yellow jersey and give my best for the team,”

Farooq said after joining the Tuskers.

Kerala Blasters’ sporting director, Karolin Skinkys said the player’s playing style, passion and quality fits the requirements of the team.

The Lithuanian said,

“Danish was one of the key targets from the last season when we saw him in the context of Hero ISL. He has that playing style, passion, and quality that Kerala Blasters need. I’m happy that we were able to finalize this transfer and reinforce our team at a crucial moment this season.”