ATK Mohun Bagan FC have officially announced the signing of Spanish centre-back Jose Luis Espinosa Arroyo, fondly known as Tiri, for the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL). The 29-year-old had previously played for ATK in the 2015 and 2016 seasons of the league.
The defender was roped in the last week of May after rumours of the departures of senior centre-backs Agus and Victor Mongil started surfacing. While Agus ended up retiring from all forms of professional football, Mongil moved to Georgian top-flight club, FC Dinamo Tbilisi.
In the 2019-20 season, Agus played 14 matches of the league before getting injured and was subsequently ruled out for the whole season. In the ISL final, John Johnson stepped in for Agus while Victor Mongil also made an appearance off the bench.
Tiri is expected to be the first-choice foreign centre-back for the club in the 2020-21 season, with John Johnson acting as a cover for him. The former Jamshedpur FC player will be reuniting with Antonio Lopez Habas, who was the manager of the club during Tiri's two-year stay with ATK.
In his earlier spell at ATK, the Spaniard made 24 appearances for the club across two seasons, playing every minute of those 24 matches. He helped the club lift the ISL trophy in the 2016 season, earmarking ATK as a champion club before signing for Jamshedpur FC.
Tiri was also a vital cog of the Jamshedpur FC defensive system, playing every match of the 2017-18 season. He ended up making 48 appearances for the club, helping the team keep 13 clean sheets and even scoring 3 goals in his time at the club.
In the 2020-21 season, Tiri would be expected to play in a back three- preferred by Habas- with Pritam Kotal and Sumit Rathi playing either side of him. New signing Subashish Bose is also expected to challenge Rathi for a role on the left side of the back three after the former Mumbai City FC left-back put pen to paper in Kolkata.Published 12 Sep 2020, 18:08 IST