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Sandesh Jhingan returns to ATK Mohun Bagan

Sandesh Jhingan returns to ATK Mohun Bagan from HNK Šibenik
Sandesh Jhingan | Source: HNK Šibenik

Sandesh Jhingan made his return to ATK Mohun Bagan after mutually terminating his contract with Croatian club HNK Šibenik. The Indian international joined Croatian top-tier club HNK Šibenik in August last year from ATK Mohun Bagan. However, he picked up a calf injury and did not end up making an appearance for Šibenik.

From Chandigarh, Jhingan spent his formative years at the St. Stephen’s Football Academy. In 2011, Sandesh signed his first professional contract with Bhaichung Bhutia’s United Sikkim FC who were competing in the 2nd Division League. He helped them win promotion to the I-League in 2012 and left the club after they were relegated from the 2012-13 I-League in what was only their first year in the division.

After leaving United Sikkim, the centre-back turned up for the now dissolved Mumbai FC in the 2013-14 I-League following which he joined newly-minted Kerala Blasters in the ISL in July, 2014. He won the Emerging Player of the League that season and helped the Blasters reach the final where they lost to ATK.

Sandesh continued to be a constant presence at Kerala Blasters and during off-season was loaned out to Sporting Clube de Goa, DSK Shivajians and Bengaluru FC who were competing in the I-League in early 2017. The 2019-20 season was a forgettable one for Sandesh after he picked up a cruciate ligament injury while on international duty. He was ruled out for the entire season and left KBFC towards the end of the season by mutual consent.

He made his national team debut in 2015 and helped the Indian team to the Hero Intercontinental Cup in 2018. He was conferred with the Arjuna Award by the Government of India in August in 2020 for “outstanding achievement in sports.” He has been capped 40 times for the Senior Men’s Indian NT.

After leaving Kerala and prior to the start of the 2020-21 season, ATK Mohun Bagan signed the defender on a record-breaking five-year contract reportedly worth around six crore rupees. He made 22 appearances during the season and helped ATKMB reach the ISL final. He picked up the AIFF Player of the Year 2020-21 for his performances with ATKMB and the Indian NT. Overall, in the ISL, Sandesh has made 98 appearances.

Although tied down to a long-term contract at ATK Mohun Bagan, Jhingan had a clause in his contract that would allow him to move to a European club if an offer came along. ATKMB accommodated his request which enabled his move.

The 28-year-old centre-back has returned to ATK Mohun Bagan for the duration of the season.

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