Kochi : In a significant development in Indian football, star player Sahal Abdul Samad has bid farewell to Kerala Blasters and is now on the verge of joining Mohun Bagan Super Giants. Kerala Blasters confirmed the transfer, stating that an agreement had been reached between the two clubs involving the exchange of a player and an undisclosed transfer fee. The news has sent ripples across the Indian football landscape, drawing immense attention from fans and pundits alike.
Sahal Abdul Samad’s journey with the Kerala Blasters began when his impressive performance in the 2017 Santosh Trophy caught the attention of scouts from the club. He was subsequently signed to his first-ever professional contract and initially played for the reserve side in the 2017-18 I-League 2nd Division. Sahal’s exceptional performance led to his appointment as captain for the remainder of the season, during which he scored seven goals in ten matches and finished as the league’s third top scorer.
His breakthrough season came in the 2018-19 campaign, where Sahal featured prominently for the Kerala Blasters. He was included in the starting eleven in the season opener against ATK and went on to score his first goal for the club against Chennaiyin. Sahal’s passing ability and key contributions on the field earned him accolades, including the ISL Emerging Player of the Season and the AIFF Emerging Player of the Year awards. His impressive performances led to a contract extension with the Kerala Blasters until 2022.
Under manager Eelco Schattorie, Sahal adapted to different positions on the field due to the team’s injury concerns. Despite the challenges, he continued to make valuable contributions, providing crucial assists from the right side of the midfield.
Sahal’s association with the Kerala Blasters reached new heights when he became the club’s poster boy following the departure of Sandesh Jhingan. Despite rumours of his potential departure in August 2020, Sahal reaffirmed his commitment to the Blasters, signing a contract until 2025. He made a comeback from injury in December 2020, showcasing his versatility as a winger under the guidance of manager Kibu Vicua.
With his dynamic performances, Sahal created numerous chances for his teammates, earning praise and recognition as one of the most influential Indian players in the league.
However, the recent announcement by Kerala Blasters confirmed Sahal’s departure as he prepares to join Mohun Bagan Super Giant. Reports suggest that Mohun Bagan paid a transfer fee of ₹1.75 crore and exchanged their captain, Pritam Kotal, as part of the deal, making it one of the most expensive transfers in the history of Indian football.
In a subsequent move, defender Pritam Kotal is set to join Kerala Blasters in a swap deal, adding further excitement to the player reshuffling between the two clubs.