ISL 2018: Anwar Ali signs for Mumbai City FC from Minerva Punjab, becomes most expensive Indian teenager
What's the story?
Mumbai City FC have confirmed the signing of star teenaged defender Anwar Ali, after the youngster joined on a three-year deal from Minerva Punjab.
In case you didn't know...
Anwar Ali was the scorer of a spectacular free-kick as the Indian U20 football team created history by defeating Argentina U20 in the COTIF Cup in Spain, on Tuesday. The Blue Colts defeated the six-time U20 World Champions in what was a remarkable day for the sport in India.
Ali stepped up on the 68th minute to strike a brilliant free-kick off the post and into the net, doubling India's lead. The Blue Colts were leading one-nil thanks to a first-half goal by Deepak Tangri. Although Argentina equalised late on, the young Indians held firm to record a historic win; Ali's freekick being the turning point of the match.
The heart of the matter
The Islanders have finally confirmed the arrival of Anwar Ali, via their official Twitter account. The youngster, who spent last season at the Indian Arrows on loan from Minerva Punjab joins on a three-year deal.
Incidentally, Mumbai have coughed up a sum of over Rs 35 lakh to sign Ali, which makes him the most expensive Indian teenager, Sportskeeda has learnt.
There have been a few rumours that Ali would make a loan move to Minerva Punjab for the season. However, the former FIFA U17 World Cupper is now set to move back to Indian Arrows on loan, in order to keep up with the All India Football Federation's youth programme. Ali had spent the last season on loan at Indian Arrows.
Mumbai City did not enjoy the best of campaigns last time around, as they finished seventh on the league table. The Islanders lacked quality in several departments and had to pay dearly for that.
However, they have started rebuilding their team with a goal to return to the summit. So far, they have brought on key players such as Subhasish Bose, Shouvik Ghosh, Mohammed Rafique, and others. The Islanders have looked towards the future as well, securing one of the best prospects of Indian football for the next few years.
Do you think Anwar Ali is a good signing for Mumbai City FC? Do let us know in the comments below.