Victor Mongil and Ivan Kaliuzhnyi among five players released by Kerala Blasters FC | ISL 2023-24
Kerala Blasters have announced their decision to part ways with five players following the end of their contract. Three foreign players, Apostolos Giannou, Victor Mongil, and Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, and two Indian players, Harmanjot Khabra and Muheet Khan, are set to leave the club.
Earlier, the Blasters also bid farewell to their captain Jessel Carneiro after four years. The full-back is reported to be on the verge of signing for arch-rivals Bengaluru FC.
Harmanjot Khabra joined the Yellow Army in 2021 after a fruitful spell with Bengaluru FC. He was an important part of the side that reached the finals of the ISL last season. However, Khabra had a limited role in this campaign, as Ivan Vukomanovic preferred Sandeep Singh and Nishu Kumar over him.
Overall, the defender made 28 appearances for the Kerala Blasters, scoring twice. Muheet Khan, meanwhile, was recruited in 2020 and represented the Kerala Blasters youth team. The 21-year-old goalkeeper will be on the lookout for a new club.
The three foreign players, on the other hand, were all signed ahead of the 2022-23 season. Ivan Kaliuzhnyi was a key figure in the side until an injury at the backend of the season reduced his game time. His long-range goals against FC Goa and East Bengal FC will certainly be cherished by the Manjappada.
Giannou largely played a backup role to the influential Adrian Luna. He made seventeen appearances in the ISL and scored twice. Victor Mongil joined the Blasters from Odisha FC and featured 22 times for the club. Following a three-year spell in India, the defender is currently playing in the Kings League in Spain.
Kerala Blasters will look for defensive reinforcements
With the likes of Jessel Carneiro, Victor Mongil, and Harmonjot Khabra leaving, the Blasters lack experience at the back. They swiftly moved to secure Prabir Das from Bengaluru FC on a free transfer, but there are still gaping holes in the squad.
The full-back area has been a problematic one for Vukomanovic since Sandeep Singh’s injury mid-way through the last season. While they’ve added Das to their ranks, there are currently no left-backs in the first team.
Rumors suggest that the Tuskers are on the lookout for ATK Mohun Bagan’s Subhasish Bose to strengthen the position. They could also be on the market to sign a replacement for Victor Mongil.
Forward Jaushua Sotirio is certainly a welcome addition to the club. He is set to play alongside Dimitrios Diamantakos, while Luna could be pushed wider to accomodate the striker.
Kerala Blasters have a solid team at their disposal and with a couple of new signings, they will hope to challenge the frontrunners once again.