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ISL Transfers: East Bengal signs Mark Zothanpuia on a three-year deal

East Bengal has signed promising midfielder Mark Zothanpuia on a three-year deal till the 2027 season.

ISL Transfers: East Bengal signs Mark Zothanpuia on a three-year deal

Pritish Raj

Updated: 22 Jun 2024 4:12 PM GMT

East Bengal FC on Saturday announced the signing of promising India U-23 player Mark Zothanpuia on a three-year contract that will run until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Zothanpuia is a versatile footballer who can play in both midfield and defense.

Welcoming Zothanpuia to the East Bengal FC family, Vibhash Vardhan Agarwal of Emami Group said, "Mark is one of the most versatile young players in India and is a valuable addition to our squad. The future is bright for him and we’ll nurture him to bring out his best abilities."

Emami Group is the majority stakeholder in East Bengal FC.

Head coach Carles Cuadrat highlighted Zothanpuia's versatility, saying, "Mark is a young player with excellent qualities. His versatility will allow us to consider him for different roles to help the team.

"He has gained a decent amount of ISL experience and is joining Emami East Bengal at the right phase of his career, to reach the next level as a player. We'll give him the right environment to ensure his growth and success."

Born in Mizoram, Zothanpuia was part of FC Pune City's youth team and Hyderabad FC's reserve team before being promoted to Hyderabad FC's first team in the 2020-21 season.

The 22-year-old rose to prominence in the previous season, starting regularly for Hyderabad FC and emerging as one of their key players.

Zothanpuia was part of HFC's 2021-22 ISL Cup-winning squad. He played a total of 1,971 minutes across 24 matches (18 in the ISL, 3 in the Kalinga Super Cup, and 3 in the Durand Cup) last season.

Primarily a midfielder, Zothanpuia seamlessly adapted to the left-back position where his consistency earned him a spot in the India U-23 squad for the friendlies against Malaysia in March this year.

Having played as left-back, left wing-back, defensive midfielder, and center-back in the 2023-24 ISL, Zothanpuia registered 1 assist, an 81% passing accuracy, 23 key passes, 73 successful duels, 95 recoveries, 20 interceptions, and 26 clearances, besides creating 24 chances in 18 appearances.

Expressing his excitement, Zothanpuia said, "It's a dream for any young Indian player to play for a big club like East Bengal. Kolkata is the Mecca of Indian football and I can't wait to experience the amazing support from the East Bengal fans.

"I am grateful to Coach Carles and the Emami East Bengal management for showing faith in me."

The player registration is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

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