ISL transfer news: Bengaluru FC signs Ashique Kuruniyan

Ashique Kuruniyan has signed for reigning ISL champion Bengaluru FC in a four-year deal that will keep him at the club till the end of the 2022-23 season.

Ashique Kuruniyan is Bengaluru FC's sixth new signing this season.   -  Special Arrangement

Bengaluru FC has completed the signing of India national team player Ashique Kuruniyan from FC Pune City for an undisclosed transfer fee ahead of the upcoming Indian Super League season.

The Malappuram-born winger has signed a four-year deal that will see him at the club till the end of the 2022-23 season.

Ashique is BFC's sixth new signing this season after Manuel Onwu, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Suresh Wangjam, Prabhsukhan Gill and Raphael Augusto.

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Ashique, who completed formalities on a long-term deal, expressed his pleasure at completing a move he described as a dream. “I am really glad to have committed my future to a club like Bengaluru FC. Every young footballer in the country wants to play for BFC and I am happy to be able to realise this dream. I have a lot to learn from the senior players at the club, as well as the coaching staff and while I know that there is massive competition for places, I am confident and ready for the challenge,” said the youngster.

Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat said the addition of Ashique gives his squad the kind of depth it needs considering the Blues will be competing in Asia too, this season. “Ashique is the kind of player who can help us in both, attack and defence. His talent, pace and guile gives us the right kind of selection problems, but more importantly, gives us options. We’re playing the AFC Cup this season and it’s important that we add Indian talent to the squad for the continental campaign. We’re looking forward to have him join the club,” said Cuadrat.

After a few stints at academies in Kerala, Ashique began his career at the Pune FC Academy under current BFC assistant coach Naushad Moosa in 2014. During an impressive couple of season in the AIFF Youth Leagues, he earned a call up to the youth national team.

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After moving to FC Pune City in 2016, Ashique had a brief stint in Spain with Villarreal C before returning to Pune for the Indian Super League ahead of the 2017-18 season.

The 22-year-old featured 26 times in the ISL for Pune City, scoring three goals in the last two seasons. He became a regular in the national team during the final few months of former coach Stephen Constantine's reign. He featured 12 times for India since his debut in the 2018 Intercontinental Cup and played all three games at the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE in January.

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