ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin FC release Jeje Lalpekhlua, Lucian Goian and more

Jeje Lalpekhlua kissing the club crest (Photo: Twitter)
Jeje Lalpekhlua kissing the club crest (Photo: Twitter)

Chennaiyin FC have ramped up their preparations for the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) as they announced the arrival of their new coach as well as the departures of a few players.

Former Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo took over the reins at the Chennai-based club on 31st August and, after a week of pondering, has decided to not renew the contracts of several players including club legend Jeje Lalpekhlua and former captain Lucian Goian.

Jeje made 76 appearances for the club in his six-year stay in Chennai, which is the all-time record for the ISL club. The 29-year-old won the ISL title with the club on two occasions and won the 'Emerging Player of the Season' award in 2015.

On his departure from Chennaiyin FC, the Mizo Sniper said:

"I would firstly like to thank each and everyone of you, this is the club that gave me my first steps into the ISL and it is because of this club that I am who I am today."

He continued:

"A big thank you to each manager and each player, the Super Machans and B Stand Blues are the lifeblood of this team, I hope we can meet once again, he concluded."

Romanian defender Lucian Goian was also released after captaining Chennaiyin FC to a runners-up finish in the 2019-20 season of the ISL. He made 20 appearances and scored 2 goals, including a goal against FC Goa, in the 4-1 semi-final defeat.

Among other players, promising defender Tondonba Singh, Afghani defender Masih Saighani, Zohmingliana Ralte and back-up goalkeeper Sanjiban Ghosh have also been relieved of their duties as Chennaiyin FC look forward to a rebuilding season under their new manager.

Chennaiyin FC have roped in 19-year-old Samik Mitra, who represented Indian Arrows in the last season of the I-League, as a replacement for the departing Ghosh. The teenager would learn a lot under the mentorship of the senior goalkeeper Karanjit Singh, who has been representing Chennaiyin FC since the 2015 season and has renewed his contract for another season.

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