Ahead of the upcoming edition of the Indian Super League (ISL 2023-24) NorthEast United FC have parted ways with five first-team players – Imran Khan, Arindam Bhattacharja, Gurjinder Kumar, Provat Lakra and Mashoor Shereef – the club announced on Monday.
This comes after NorthEast United FC has announced the departure of eight players – Alex Saji, Aaron Evans, Sehnaj Singh, Kule Mbombo, Joseba Beitia, Wilmar Gil, Alisher Kholmurodov, and Laldanmawia Ralte.
As we say farewell, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our players for their unwavering dedication and we wish them boundless success on their exciting new paths.— NorthEast United FC (@NEUtdFC) June 26, 2023
Thank you! #NEUFC #StrongerAsOne #8States1United pic.twitter.com/YAW8FlCTgX
Khan, Kumar, Lakra and Shereef were all part of the NorthEast United FC squad that reached the semi-finals during the ISL 2020-21 season under head coach Khalid Jamil.
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Midfielder Khan has been one of NorthEast United FC’s most influential players over the years, recording two goals and four assists across 37 ISL appearances.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Bhattacharja joined the Highlanders in 2022 from East Bengal FC. The former ISL Golden Glove winner played 10 matches last season for NEUFC, recording 34 saves.
Defender Singh, who signed for the club in 2015, leaves the club after making 45 appearances in the ISL. He featured in 11 games for the club during the 2022-23, also recording an assist.
Shereef, who also joined NorthEast United FC in 2020, leaves the club after 34 ISL appearances across three seasons. His impressive performances during the 2020-21 season saw him being called up to the senior national team, where he made his debut against UAE. However, he featured in just eight games for NEUFC last season.
On the other hand, full-back Lakra has been involved with the Highlanders since the 2018-19 season. He has played 36 ISL games. The Kolkata-born defender did not feature for NorthEast United FC during the 2022-23 season as the club finished bottom of the standings.