Ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Super League (ISL 2023-24), Kerala Blasters FC have parted ways with five first-team players – Victor Mongil, Apostolos Giannou, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi, Harmanjot Khabra and Muheet Khan as a result of the expiry of contracts dated May 31st, 2023.
An ISL winner with ATK FC back in the 2019-20 season, Victor Mongil joined forces with Odisha FC in the 2021-22 season before signing for the Kerala Blasters ahead of the 2022-23 season.
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The defender clocked 853 minutes across 19 games this season and was the preferred centre-back after first-choice defender Marko Leskovic. Mongil deputised in this role when Leskovic was injured, registered 25 clearances, 21 tackles, 19 clearances, and 15 blocks.
Meanwhile, Apostolos Giannou made his ISL debut, making his move to the Kochi-based side from Australian side Macarthur FC. Playing second fiddle to Aussie fellow Dimitrios Diamantakos, Giannou had limited game time, appearing for 668 minutes across 17 matches. The forward was involved in four-goal contributions comprising two goals and two assists in the process.
On the other hand, Ivan Kaliuzhnyi became an instant fan favourite amongst the Blasters’ faithful the moment he netted an outrageous long-range strike against East Bengal FC in the inaugural ISL 2022-23 game. The midfielder was of prime importance under head coach Ivan Vukomanovic’s game style, operating in between the lines as a midfielder while also acting as a ball carrier by dropping deep in the side’s build-up play.