Dhanpal Ganesh extends contract with Chennaiyin FC until 2022

A key figure in Chennaiyin FC's 2017-18 title win, Dhanpal Ganesh has been sidelined for the title defence so far with a knee injury he suffered during pre-season.

Dhanpal Ganesh underwent knee surgery in September and is expected to return to the fold in the new year   -  ISL/Sportzpics

Chennaiyin FC midfielder and local fan-favourite Dhanpal Ganesh has signed a new three-year contract, keeping him with the two-time Indian Super League champion until May 2022.

Speaking after signing the contract, Dhanpal said,  "I am delighted to have renewed my contract with my home club. Chennaiyin FC have showed tremendous faith in me despite my knee injury, and I cannot wait to get back to the pitch and repay that faith. I also owe a lot of gratitude to my fans and followers, who have kept encouraging me while I continue my recuperation on the sidelines. This season has not gone to plan yet, however we will focus ahead and aim to bounce back stronger in 2019 with plenty to play for including our historic AFC Cup campaign."

Chennaiyin FC co-owner, Vita Dani, welcomed the news. “We are delighted to have Ganesh as a part of the CFC (Chennaiyin FC) family for three more years. He was instrumental in our success last season and has established himself as one of the best midfielders in India. It is unfortunate he is out with an injury currently, however we are positive he will come back stronger and help upturn the team’s fortunes,” she said.

John Gregory was equally happy with the development, saying, "There is nothing more endearing to the fans than their local boy committing his future to the club. Ganesh is an integral part of our squad and we are eagerly awaiting his return from injury. This is the perfect new year present. He is progressing well and is raring to go out on the pitch and continue from where he left off last season."

Ganesh was a pivotal figure in Chennaiyin's 2017-18 title-winning team, making 17 appearances and scoring two crucial goals. The hard-tackling central midfielder proved to be the perfect shield for the backline, helping it keep eight clean sheets en route to beating Bengaluru FC to the ISL title. Ganesh has seven international caps to his name and he featured regularly in Stephen Constantine’s plans for the AFC Asian Cup 2019. Ganesh is currently out with a knee injury suffered during pre-season but is set to feature in the new year.