Indian football star Sandesh Jhingan, who has captained the national team in the past, announced his decision to leave ISL side Kerala Blasters earlier this week. The towering centre-back spent six years in Kerala playing in the ISL and other domestic leagues. Rumour has it that Jhingan has received multiple offers from Qatar, UAE and Australia and is considering his options at the moment. The former Kerala Blasters man took to Twitter with a heartwarming post directed towards Kerala Blasters supporters issuing a word of thanks for their love and affection over the years.
Kerala Blasters and Sandesh Jhingan part ways on mutual consent.— K e r a l a B l a s t e r s F C (@KeralaBlasters) May 21, 2020
Sandesh leaves our family, to pursue fresh challenges with nothing but love and respect from the entire KBFC community.
(1/3)#YennumBlaster #YennumYellow #ThankyouSandesh pic.twitter.com/vADmIVfahK
Sandesh Jhingan has been the spine of Kerala Blasters' defence since the club's inception in 2014, helping them reach the ISL final twice (in 2014 and 2016). His absence due to injury this past season saw Kerala Blasters finish seventh in the league behind new franchise Odisha FC. The Chandigarh-born defender was an extremely popular figure for Kerala Blasters' fans and made 76 appearances for the club over his six-year stay in Kerala. Meanwhile, attacking midfielder Samuel Lalmuanpuia who played for Kerala Blasters last season has also departed in order to join Odisha FC ahead of the start of next season.
“As a tribute to his contributions to the club, we will be permanently retiring his jersey number 21. We know that he will always remain a Blaster at heart.”— K e r a l a B l a s t e r s F C (@KeralaBlasters) May 22, 2020
- Nikhil Bhardwaj, on @SandeshJhingan's departure #YennumBlaster #21Forever pic.twitter.com/pqCTq1qIwW
In an official statement, Nikhil Bhardwaj (Kerala Blasters FC owner) heaped praise on Sandesh Jhingan. The statement said that Kerala Blasters will be retiring the number 21 jersey worn by Sandesh Jhingan during his time at the club. Nikhil Bhardwaj was quoted as saying, "We would like to take this opportunity to thank Sandesh for his commitment, loyalty, and passion for the club and its supporters. KBFC respects Sandesh's desire to pursue a new challenge and we wish him all the best for this new journey. We know that he will always remain a Blaster at heart. As a tribute to his contributions to the club, we will be permanently retiring his jersey number 21."