ISL 2021-22: Defending Champions Mumbai City FC sign Odisha FC’s captain Vinit Rai on loan

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ISL 2021-22: Defending champions Mumbai City have been very active on and off the field as they snap up Odisha FC midfielder Vinit Rai on loan till the end of this Indian Super League season. Follow all the ISL 2021-22 LIVE Updates only on InsideSport.IN

The Islanders announced the deal on Wednesday and it was a shocker for the entire Indian football fraternity. People were clueless as Vinit was selected as one of the captains this season for Odisha FC. However, Odisha FC head coach has recently preferred the combination of Paul Ramfangzauva and Thoiba Singh in the double pivot over the India international. Malaysian midfielder Liridon Krasniqi can also fill in that role if needed.

So considering the options and the circumstances, Vinit Rai has left the Kalinga Warriors to join Mumbai City. The Islanders are short of centre midfielders as Rowllin Borges’ availability is a big question mark due to persistent injury problems. Therefore Des Buckingham needed depth and the team management pulled off an absolute blinder in the form of Vinit Rai.

The defending champions have released a statement confirming the arrival of the India international. The statement read, “Mumbai City are pleased to announce that the Club has reached an agreement with Odisha FC for the loan of 24-year-old midfielder Vinit Rai until the end of the season.”

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The 24-year-old midfielder is most signed as a backup since there is no guarantee about Borges’ availability. Borges was an integral part of Mumbai City’s success last season but with his injury concerns, things went downhill for the combative midfielder. Hence big money signing Lalengmawia and the ever so dependable Ahmed Jahouh are the preferred option for head coach Des Buckingham. But he understands that having depth in such a position is of great importance if they plan to defend the title this time.

ISL 2021-22: Defending Champions Mumbai City FC sign Odisha FC's captain Vinit Rai on loan
ISL 2021-22: Defending Champions Mumbai City FC sign Odisha FC’s captain Vinit Rai on loan

Mumbai City started the campaign with a dominant win over FC Goa and continued that form against last season’s finalists ATK Mohun Bagan with a 5-1 win. However, they have lost their way in the last few games. Buckingham’s men are currently on a three game winless run. They were humiliated in their last game against Odisha FC as they succumbed to a 4-2 defeat.

The Islanders have also conceded as many as ten goals in the last three matches and at this stage, this signing makes a lot of sense. Vinit has all the qualities to succeed in Buckingham’s system. But it will be interesting to see if he finds any gametime over the preferred players.

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