Bijoy Varghese Inherits Sandesh Jhingan’s Retired No. 21 Jersey With Kerala Blasters | football news

The Kerala Blasters have brought their No. 21 jersey out of retirement, just under two years after it was announced that the number previously worn by Sandesh Jhingan was retired in tribute to the outgoing club captain.
The No. 21 on his back for the upcoming Indian Super League season will be another centre-back, youngster Bejoy Varghese, who has just extended his contract with the Kochi club until 2025. Interestingly, the club decided to deal public on Thursday 21 April.

The 22-year-old defender from Thiruvananthapuram has played for the Blasters reserves in the Kerala Premier League since 2021 before moving to the first team in the 2021/22 ISL season and during the campaign in which Blasters made five games and reached the final .
The Blasters hope Bijoy will repeat the feats of Jhingan, who joined the club in 2014 as a 21-year-old and helped the club reach two finals while becoming a huge fan favorite and club captain in the process.

Jhingan left the club with intentions to pursue a career abroad in 2020, when the club also “permanently” retired his shirt number to honor his services. Jhingan has since returned to play for ATK Mohun Bagan in ISL after a brief stint with Croatian club HNK Sibenik.
In February 2022, Jhingan had sparked controversy over his sexist remarks after a 2-2 draw with Blasters and Blasters supporters had urged the club to bring back the number 21 in a bid to denounce the India international. And the Blasters are now obliged to hand that number over to young Bijoy.
“I’m really excited to be a part of Blasters for a long time. I’m really happy to work under coach Ivan (Vukomanovic) and intend to work harder, improve my game and sharpen my skills. I hope to bring memories to all the passionate fans of the club by giving my 100 per cent in all the games I play,” Bijoy said after signing the overtime.
“Bijoy is a great example that anything is possible, he worked hard and never gave up. I hope he will be a positive example for all young players starting in KBFC youth,” said the club’s sporting director Karolis Skinkys.

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