Bengaluru, Jan 12 (IANS) I-League champions Bengaluru FC on Thursday announced the signing of defender Sandesh Jhingan on a season-long loan deal from Indian Super League (ISL) football side Kerala Blasters FC.

The 23-year-old is their seventh signing and coach Albert Roca feels Jhingan’s introduction into the side will provide depth to their defensive line-up.

“In Jhingan, we have signed a player who can turn out as a central defender and provide cover in full-back positions. He is coming off the back of a very good ISL campaign and his introduction adds to a squad that will need his presence as we look to compete in both the I-League and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) competitions,” said Roca, in a release.

Jhingan started his career at United Sikkim in 2011 and moved to Mumbai FC before joining Kerala Blasters in 2014. The Indian international, who has turned out for the country on 12 occasions, then went on loan from Blasters to Sporting Clube de Goa and most recently to DSK Shivajians in the previous edition of the I-League.

The Chandigarh-born defender said he is elated to have joined the reigning champions.

“It feels great to be here. Bengaluru FC are the champions and one of the best clubs in India right now, so it’s an honour to have been approached by them. I had no doubts in my mind and when the offer came about I just said yes,” he said.

Bengaluru defeated Shillonh Lajong 3-0 in their opening game of the ongoing I-League.