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Indian international Arata Izumi joins Mumbai FC on loan for upcoming season of I-League

IT'S OFFICIAL: Arata Izumi has joined Mumbai FC on a loan spell from ISL outfit Atletico de Kolkata ahead of the 2015-16 I-League season. The news was confirmed on Arata Izumi's official Facebook page,

Hellooooo, Mumbai! Kai zhala? Back here after 6 years, and boy does it feel good! Happy to be reunited with my boy NP...

Posted by Arata Izumi on Sunday, December 27, 2015

The 33 year old attacking midfielder, who was born to an Indian father and Japanese mother, arrived in India back in 2006 to play for East Bengal after stints at Albirex Niigata Singapore and Mitsubishi Mizushima in Japan. He spent the next two seasons with Mahindra United and subsequently joined Pune FC in 2009. It is there that he played till the 2014-15 season, making 155 appearances for them in all competitions and scoring 29 goals.

In ISL 2015 he played for Atletico de Kolkata, making 9 appearances and scoring 5 goals.

But since the club close to his heart, Pune FC, where he spent the prime of his career and also acquired an Indian citizenship in due course, shut down its first team over AIFF's lack of vision for the I-League, Arata Izumi was looking for a new club ahead of I-League 2015-16 and that is where Mumbai FC came in for the scoop.

Signing players like Arata Izumi signals a phase-shift in Mumbai FC's approach to the top division league in India; while so far they have been running an economical operation that never really saw them challenge for the title, this time they seem to want to put up a stronger fight than previous seasons. These efforts are likely to coincide with renewed efforts to connect with local fans and build a matchday culture at the club's home ground, the Cooperage Stadium.  

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