With Gurpreet Singh Sandhu joining the ranks of Bengaluru FC, the question on everyone’s mind is how will he be eligible to play in the Indian Super League’s (ISL) fourth edition.
Bengaluru FC had opted to retain the services of India internationals Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh alongside youngsters like Nishu Kumar and Malsawmzuala.
They also successfully retained Daniel Lalhlimpuia and roped in talented youngsters like Bidyananda Singh, who snubbed an offer from Atletico de Kolkata, and Robinson Singh.
In the ISL draft last month, they picked up three goalkeepers, namely Lalthuammawia Ralte, Abhra Mondal and Calvin Abhishek.
There are three ways in which Bengaluru FC can ensure Gurpreet gets to play in the ISL. The first option is that from the sixth round of games, the club has the right to include him in the squad. In this case, the former East Bengal custodian would have to miss the first five matches of the season.
Option two is that should any of the three goalkeepers pick a minor injury (could even be a cut on their finger) ahead of their first ISL game, Bengaluru can very well bring in Gurpreet as a replacement. In this scenario, Gurpreet could play for the club from the very first ISL game.
The third and most likely option will be to register him as an additional player. Bengaluru FC retained four players and bought another 12 Indians in the ISL player draft. Every club has the option to either sign a minimum of two additional players with the maximum number of Indians per squad being 18.
Gurpreet can be registered as an additional player which could take their Indian squad strength to 17 (not considering Daniel Lalhimpuia who has been registered in the reserve side).