ISL 2017/18: South African youngster Sibongakonke Mbatha reportedly joins ATK
Defending champions of ISL, ATK, are said to have completed the signing of South African attacking midfielder Sibongakonke Mbatha on a short-term loan deal.
ATK have lost the plot on their title defence this season, and are currently languishing in the eighth spot on the ISL table. In a bid to provide a boost to their attack, the Red and Whites are said to have brought in the 20-year-old Mbatha.
Sportskeeda had earlier reported that Mbatha was in talks with the Kolkata club, and now the transfer seems to have come to its fruition.
The 20-year-old Mbatha, who is a product of the Transnet School of Excellence, had been signed by South African club Bidwest Wits FC in January 2016. Bidwest later went on to loan the youngster out to Platinum stars in August last year, a deal that came to an end on January 30. Mbatha has also played for the South African U-20 national team.
While the transfer window had already ended on the international front, that was not the case in India, where clubs can sign players between January 16 to February 15. Siyavuma Sports Group, which represents Mbatha, even posted a tweet, in which they confirmed the transfer. However, there has been no confirmation about the transfer from ATK as of yet.
With just three games to go, ATK have lost their chance to make it to the top four spots on the ISL table, which would ensure a spot in the semifinal playoffs.
However, the club does have a chance of making it to the main draw of the inaugural season of the Super Cup, which gets underway in March. ATK, who are likely to finish in the bottom four spots, will have to take part in the Super Cup qualifiers, after which, they can make it through to the Round of 16.