Chennaiyin FC have announced the signing of defender Deepak Devrani on a one-year deal from Gokulam Kerala FC, ahead of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2021/22 season.

The 28-year-old, who played a crucial role in Gokulam Kerala FC’s I-League winning campaign in 2020-21, returns to the Indian top division for the first time since the 2014/15 season with the now-defunct FC Pune City.

“I am extremely delighted about joining Chennayin FC. It is a very strong team, very promising and I very much look forward to joining my teammates. It feels amazing. It is a leap that I've taken and I'm all set to put my best foot forward in every game,” Devrani said in his first comments as a Chennaiyin FC player to the club's website.

An experienced campaigner, Devrani made his I-League debut in 2012/13 with the Indian Arrows, formerly known as Pailan Arrows. The defender has been part of the three I-League winning campaigns: Mohun Bagan (loan) in 2014/15, Minerva Academy FC in 2017/18 and the recent one with Gokulam Kerala last season, where he registered four assists in 14 appearances.

Deepak Devrani's addition provides a necessary depth to the two-time ISL champions' defensive line for the 2021/22 season. The club's current defensive options are Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, Reagan Singh, Salam Ranjan Singh and Narayan Das. 

“The plan is always to win the trophy and the shield. Winning the ISL trophy would mean a third one (title) for Chennayin FC and a first one (title) for me. That would be perfect and I am ready to put in the hard work required to achieve the same,” said Devrani, who has played for India at the U-16, U-19 and U-23 levels.

Devrani started playing football at the age of 12 and joined the East Bengal academy. In 2010, he started his professional career with Indian Arrows before going on to represent Punjab FC, TRAU FC and Sporting Clube de Goa.

Featured photo: Chennaiyin FC