ISL: Odisha FC midfielder Vinit Rai joins Mumbai City FC on loan

Mumbai: Reigning Indian Super League (ISL) champions Mumbai City FC on Thursday confirmed the arrival of midfielder Vinit Rai into their team.

The 24-year old joins the Islanders from Odisha FC on loan until May 31, 2022, a media release said.

A product of the Tata Football Academy, Rai kicked off his professional career through the ranks at Dempo before moving to the ISL with Kerala Blasters in 2016 and followed it with a loan stint at Minerva Punjab FC in the I-League. In 2017, the Assam-born midfielder made a move to Delhi Dynamos FC (later renamed Odisha FC) after being picked in the 2017 ISL Draft.

Since then, Rai has gone on to become Odisha FC’s most capped player (72) and was also named as one of the club’s captains ahead of the 2021-22 season. In the ongoing season, the midfielder has amassed 8 appearances in the Indian Super League before making the move to the Islanders.

Vinit will wear the number 16 shirt for Mumbai City FC and will be eligible for selection for the Islanders’ next fixture against SC East Bengal on January 7.

“I’m delighted to join a Club who are not just the reigning champions but have ambitions of achieving even more this season. We have a squad full of talented players here at Mumbai City and I am determined to fight for my place and do my best to help the Club achieve our collective goals this season,” said Vinit Rai.

“I also want to extend my gratitude to everyone at Odisha FC for the support they’ve given me. Having said that, I am ready and I cannot wait to get started with my new teammates,” he added.

Head coach Des Buckingham called Rai an “experienced footballer” and a top player in his position.

“Vinit is an experienced footballer. He is one of the top players in his position and knows exactly what it takes to be successful in the ISL. Vinit’s arrival gives us more options in the middle of the park and we’re confident he can add value to what we’re trying to do here at Mumbai City,” said Buckingham.

“Having spoken to him, I know that he is a thorough professional. Vinit knows what we expect from him and I am sure he will make a mark in his time with us,” he added.


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