Indian Football Transfers: East Bengal rope in Abhishek Ambekar and Pintu Mahata on long-term deals
I-League side Quess East Bengal announced the signings of two more young players, on long-term deals, as the two players swapped sides from Mohun Bagan to East Bengal, a move which would have been termed outrageous a few years back, given the intense rivalry both teams share.
The new additions to the Red and Gold Roster are Abhishek Ambekar and Pintu Mahata who have been signed on three-year and two-year deals respectively.
Abhishek Ambekar, who spent most his professional football career in Mumbai, has come a long way. He made his professional debut with Air India against Prayag United in a 5-1 loss in the 2012-13 I-League and went on to play 3 more games for the departmental side. Since then, he has plied his trade mostly in the Mumbai City Leagues, playing for Mumbai Tigers and Mumbai FC.
The stars shone on him as he made his comeback into the National Circuit after four years, when Minerva Punjab picked him in their squad for their debut I-League campaign in 2016-17.
He got 16 games under his belt for the Ranjit Bajaj-owned side and was instrumental in the side's maiden I-League title in the 2017-18 season. Several of his floated crosses and low balls ended up with Chencho Gyeltshen who profitted on numerous occasions.
Impressed by his performance for the Warriors, Mohun Bagan picked him up in the next season (2018/19), and even though he only showed glimpses of his talent, while trying to make his mark, he did feature for the Mariners consistently throughout the season under Shankarlal Chakrabarty and Khalid Jamil.
Ambekar got 15 games to play for the Mariners.
Pintu Mahata, growing up in the Mohun Bagan youth system, he has been adjudged as the next big thing in the Kolkata Maidan. Handpicked by the Mohun Bagan scouts from the 'Jangal Mahal' area of West Bengal, the youngster is a fantastic talent. He made it to the Mohun Bagan Senior team in the previous season after spending years in the Mohun Bagan Youth Academy and had a few good games to his credit. He made some terrific crosses and out ran several defenders with his suddent outburst of pace.
Mahata quickly rose to glory after he scored the opening goal in the CFL 2018 Kolkata Derby against his current side, East Bengal in a 2-2 draw. Mahata got 7 games in the I-League and was a crucial part of Shankarlal's plans. His crosses were often troublesome which allowed Mohun Bagan to have a good start to the League but the Mariners failed to maintain momentum for long.
Abhishek Ambekar and Pintu Mahata on both the wings will be key supplements for Alejandro Menendez's side as it will give the Spaniard an option to stretch the opposition with efficient wing play, when East Bengal's usual two touch play fails to work. Ambekar and Mahata will only get better once the foreign names come into the East Bengal roster.