Ankit Mukherjee has terminated his contract with ATK Mohun Bagan and is all set to join rivals SC East Bengal on a free transfer, the Mariners announced on Tuesday.
A post on their Twitter handle read, “As per the mutual agreement, Ankit Mukherjee and the club have decided to part ways. We wish all the best in his career going forward.”
The 24-year-old full-back will now play for the Red and Gold Brigade for the remainder of the Indian Super League (ISL) season.
SC East Bengal had already released nine players from their squad earlier this season and made available for loan. While defender Gurtej Singh and goalkeeper Rafique Ali Sardar have gone on loan with Mohammedan Sporting to play in the 2020-21 season of the I-League, the status of the other players is unknown.
Ankit Mukherjee is a product of East Bengal’s youth system. He started his career with Calcutta Football League (CFL) club Aryan FC, where he played for two seasons. Then he joined Mohammedan Sporting in 2017.
He was so impressive for the Black Panthers in the I-League that he got an ISL contract with ATK for the 2018-19 season. Mukherjee also went on to play nine matches under head coach Steve Coppell and he scored a goal as well, which came against erstwhile Delhi Dynamos. However, he fell down in the pecking order once Antonio Lopez Habas took over and got just nine minutes of playing time last season.
So, his decision to part ways with the club is pretty understandable and he has now moves to a setup where his services will be of utmost importance. East Bengal are placed at the second spot from bottom in the ISL table at the moment and they have conceded the most goals among all teams as well. Mukherjee’s addition will strengthen their backline and will add a much needed edge to their offensive play as well, as he is very good in charging down the flanks too.
Robbie Fowler has been mostly working with makeshift full-backs like Bikash Jairu and Surchandra Singh in order to keep the team working. But Mukherjee’s addition will help him in solidifying the backline and hopefully that will take their quality a notch higher.