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ISL

ISL: East Bengal FC sign Nishu Kumar on 1-year loan deal

Nishu Kumar joins East Bengal on a one year loan deal from Kerala Blasters.

ISL: East Bengal FC sign Nishu Kumar on 1-year loan deal
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Nishu Kumar joins East Bengal from Kerala Blasters (Image via KBFC)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 Jun 2023 9:36 AM GMT

East Bengal FC announced the signing of defender Nishu Kumar on a season-long loan deal from Kerala Blasters FC on Tuesday. Nishu won the Hero Indian Super League title with Bengaluru FC in the 2018-19 season under current East Bengal FC Head Coach Carles Cuadrat.

He was also part of the KBFC squad that finished runners-up in the 2021-22 Hero ISL. An ambipedal full-back, Nishu has the rare ability to operate on both sides of the pitch.

Commenting on Nishu’s move to East Bengal, Debabrata Mukherjee of Emami Group said, “Nishu’s quality, experience and versatility make him a fantastic addition to our squad. He has already won the ISL title playing under Coach Carles and we are looking forward to seeing the very best of Nishu in East Bengal colours.”

25-year-old Nishu is elated to join the century-old club. He said, “It’s a matter of great pride for me to join an iconic institution like East Bengal. This club has a huge fan base, which is always a great motivation for a player to give his best.”

He added, “I am also thrilled to reunite with Coach Carles, who groomed me in my formative years at BFC. We will be playing a lot of matches in the upcoming season and I will give my best in every match and try to bring joy to our fans that they truly deserve.”

Coach Carles, during whose association with BFC Nishu won a Federation Cup title (2017), a Hero Super Cup title (2018) and a Hero ISL title, praised the young defender’s versatility and work ethic.

The experienced Spanish coach said, “Nishu is a very talented and hardworking player. He has ample ISL experience under his belt, having won the league in 2019 and reached another final in 2022. It was while playing under me that he got selected for the Indian national team. He is someone who always gives his best effort on the pitch.”

Born in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar, Nishu Kumar learnt the rudiments of the game at the Chandigarh Football Academy before graduating from the AIFF Elite Academy.

In 2015, the young defender joined Bengaluru FC and went on to win the Hero I-League in his debut season in professional football. Subsequently, Nishu became an integral part of the BFC setup during his 5-year-long stint with the Blues.

After featuring in nine matches during BFC’s maiden Hero ISL campaign in 2017-18, Nishu took his game a notch higher by playing a pivotal role in the Blues’ first Hero ISL triumph the following season.

Nishu’s string of consistent performances for BFC earned him his senior national team debut in a friendly against Jordan in Amman on November 18, 2018, where he scored in his maiden international appearance. After helping BFC reach their third consecutive Hero ISL semi-finals in the 2019-20 season, Nishu signed for KBFC ahead of the 2020-21 Hero ISL.

Nishu Kumar in training

In the 2022-23 edition of the Hero ISL, Nishu made 17 appearances and registered one assist, 12 interceptions, 22 clearances and 15 successful tackles. Besides, he also played every minute of KBFC’s Hero Super Cup 2023 campaign.

Overall, in his 82 Hero ISL matches so far, Nishu has racked up three goals, two assists, 82 interceptions and 189 clearances. The player registration is subject to completion of regulatory processes.

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