Young Indian attacking midfielder Samuel Lalmuanpuia is set for a short-term loan move to ATK Mohun Bagan. The Odisha FC youngster, who can also play as an out and out centre-forward, will follow in the path of Marcelinho who is also joining the Mariners till the end of the current Indian Super League (ISL) campaign. Bradden Inman is reportedly the one who will move in the other direction.
Samuel has found first team football hard to come by this term. He has only featured thrice in this season’s campaign for a combined 67 minutes. And although Odisha have been struggling for goals, the presence of Diego Mauricio and Manuel Onwu ahead of him has meant that the 22-year-old has been way down Stuart Baxter’s pecking order. However, that is set to change for him at the Kolkata giants. With Roy Krishna getting isolated upfront and David Williams and Manvir Singh showing signs of burnout, Samuel should find himself partnering the Fijian more often than not going forward. His pace and trickery also provides head coach Antonio Lopez Habas something different to work with.
The Chandigarh Football Academy product has previously played in the I-League for Shillong Lajong and Minerva Punjab. With the former, he scored 13 goals and assisted five in 64 top-level games. He also played all six AFC Cup matches for the latter during the 2018-19 season, scoring once. His first foray in the ISL was with Kerala Blasters last season for whom he made five appearances. His summer move to Odisha FC also hasn’t panned out the way he would have wanted it to but now he has another opportunity to make a mark in this season’s tournament.