A Puzzling Transfer? Mumbai City FC Gamble on Daniel Lalhlimpuia

Mumbai City FC confirmed the signing of Daniel Lalhlimpuia on a free transfer. The striker joins the Islanders on a one-year contract until the end of the 2024-25 season.

Hailing from Mizoram, the 26-year-old began his football career at the Chandigarh Football Academy before moving to the AIFF Elite Academy. He has represented the national team at several youth levels, captaining the U-19 team, and made his senior national team debut in 2016.

At the club level, Bengaluru FC granted him his professional debut in the I-League. Daniel gained Indian Super League experience with Chennaiyin FC on loan and later played for Delhi Dynamos, Odisha FC, and Punjab FC, and has made over 135 club appearances in total.

However, at least some football fans are perplexed with this new signing. Mumbai City is a team that has an attack-oriented game philosophy. In the season 2023-2024, the Indian strikers of the team, Bipin Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Gurkirat Singh terrorized the opposition defense with breathtaking runs and clinical finishes. Is Daniel, at this point, as good as those three? Can he replace Gurkirat Singh who left the team to join Chennaiyin FC?

Daniel Lalhlimpuia in Bengaluru FC colors

More concerning is that Daniel’s goal-per-match ratio is decreasing with time. He had a fruitful time at Bengaluru FC, scoring on eight occasions and assisting twice in 50 matches at seventeen. However, he struggled to find the back of the net at Delhi Dynamos, Odisha FC, and Punjab FC. Last season, he played only 9 matches and didn’t score a single goal. At 26, he has almost a decade of professional career left and he needs a redemption with the Islanders. Maybe the pinpoint assists from Brandon are what he is looking for next season.

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ClubMatchesGoalsAssists
Bengaluru FC5082
Delhi Dynamos/Odisha5463
Punjab FC2810
Credit: Transfermarkt

Peter Kratky, the head coach, entrusted the young players to do the job for him and it had been obvious throughout the last season. Considering the current form, Daniel should consider himself lucky to play under Kratky and need to revive his career.

SeasonMatchesGoalsAssists
2023-24900
2022-231910
2021-22911
Credit: Transfermarkt

Daniel Lalhlimpuia said:
It’s a dream come true for me to join Mumbai City FC. The club’s environment is highly regarded, and I’m excited to train with the best players in the country. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter of my life with Mumbai City and contribute in every way possible to help the team achieve its objectives for the upcoming season.

Petr Kratky – Head Coach, Mumbai City FC, said:
Daniel is a talented player who fits our playing style and is committed to working hard. We believe he will be a great addition to our attacking unit and can contribute to achieving our targets. We welcome Daniel to the club and look forward to working with him.”

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