Reigning Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC have announced that they have agreed a deal with NorthEast United for the signing of Lalengmawia Ralte, nicknamed as Apuia.
The young midfielder, who has been impressive in the Indian football circuit has signed a five year deal with the Islanders and will stay with them until 2026.
Apuia was the only player from Mizoram to be selected for India's U-17 FIFA World Cup squad that was held in our country.
After performing well with the Indian Arrows, Apuia was roped in by NorthEast United ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
He played a decent role including a wonderful goal on NorthEast's road to the ISL semi-final last season. Apuiah then made his debut for the senior India national football team when the Blue Tigers drew 1-1 win Oman earlier in 2021.
On joining, Apuia said, "Firstly, I want to thank NorthEast United for giving me the opportunity to play at the highest level in India but now, I feel I am ready to take the next step in my career. To join a club of Mumbai City’s stature is a huge honour for me and for my family. The club has the ambition and the intent, not just to win titles in India but to make a mark in Asia as well and I want to be a part of it. The club had a hugely successful last season and I believe we’re on the right path to build something special here. I am still young, I have a lot to learn and I am looking forward to getting to work with the coach Sergio Lobera, his staff and my new teammates."
Mumbai City FC coach Sergio Lobera added, "A player of Apuia's calibre brings a lot of quality to the team and reminds us that if you are good enough, you are old enough. He is an exciting talent, possibly the best of his generation, and he is the right type of individual that we want at Mumbai City. There is no doubt that there is great maturity and flair in the way he plays his football and we want to give Apuia the right platform and the right guidance to become the exceptional player that he can be at Mumbai City for years to come. I am pleased to welcome Apuia to the club and I wish him all the good health and success."
Mumbai City's co-owner Bimal Parekh added, “We are delighted to be able to bring in a talented young boy like Apuia to Mumbai City. It is no surprise that we faced considerable competition for his signature given the sheer quality Apuia brings to the table. Although he is only 20, we are confident that Apuia can make a difference right away and at the same time, we want to help him achieve to his full potential as well. We are committed to his long-term development and we will spare no effort to provide Apuia the right opportunities and platform within the Indian football ecosystem and beyond.”