East Bengal: Samad Ali Mallick, Mohammed Irshad join Punjab FC; Abhishek Ambekar moves to Sudeva FC

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East Bengal, Mohammed Irshad, Samad Ali Mallick, Abhishek Ambekar
The three players have mutually terminated their contracts with East Bengal...

Mohammed Irshad, Samad Ali Mallick and Abhishek Ambekar have permanently parted ways with East Bengal, Goal can confirm.

While Mallick and Irshad will join I-League side Punjab FC, Abhishek Ambekar is on his way to join I-League new entrants Sudeva FC.

It has been learnt that the mid-season release of players in December, East Bengal had contacted several I-League and Indian Super League (ISL) clubs over the transfer of the players so that they get game time.

While Punjab FC showed interest in signing Mallick and Irshad, Sudeva were keen to rope in Abhishek Ambekar. But both the I-League clubs wanted to sign the players on a permanent transfer. Hence, in the interest of the players' betterment, the club agreed to terminate the contracts of the three players on mutual agreement. East Bengal's head of operations, Pratham Basu, closely monitored all the developments.

Mohammed Irshad had joined the Red and Golds at the beginning of the season and had appeared in four Indian Super League (ISL) matches donning the Red and Golds shirt. He had earned the man of the match award against Jamshedpur FC where a 10-man East Bengal had managed to earn a goalless draw.

Samad Ali Mallick has been a part of the Kolkata club since the 2015-16 season and has appeared in 36 I-League matches in last four seasons. Mallick was initially included in the East Bengal squad at the beginning of the season and had travelled to Goa with the team but he did not appear in a single ISL match and was released from the squad back in December.

Abhishek Ambekar, who joined, the Red and Golds in 2019, played four matches in the ISL this season. In all the four games, he had come on as a substitute.

The club has already announced the departure of goalkeeper Rafique Ali Sardar and defender Gurtej Singh who have joined I-League club Mohammedan Sporting on loan.

After a shaky start to their maiden ISL campaign, the Red and Golds have slowly improved as the season has progressed. After collecting just one point from their first five matches, the Kolkata club is now unbeaten in their last seven games. They are currently in the ninth position on the league table with 12 points from as many matches. They next face league leaders

Punjab FC did not have the best of starts in the ongoing I-League season as they have lost two out of their first three matches. They have managed two collect just three points in as many games and currently stand in the eighth position on the league table.