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Mumbai FC sign Arata Izumi for I-League

Mumbai: Mumbai FC will usher in the New Year with the signing of Japanese-born Indian football player Arata Izumi for the 2015-16 I-League season.

The new recruit signed on the dotted line on Thursday at the Mumbai club and will spend the season on loan from ISL club Atletico de Kolkata.

Having gained Indian citizenship in 2012, Arata became eligible to represent the country in international competitions and made his debut with the Indian team, under coach Wim Koevermans, during an international friendly against Palestine in January 2013.

Arata has served for Singapore clubs -- Albirex Niigata Singapore FC -- where he started his career in 2005 and Mitsubishi Mizushima (2006). He joined Mumbai FC after brief spells with East Bengal, Mahindra United, now disbanded, and has spent most of his time playing for Pune FC in the I-League.

Arata reunited with his former teammates Steven Dias and N.P. Pradeep, who played together for Mahindra United in 2007-09.

"Arata will bring a lot of creativity to the Mumbai FC attack. He has the ability to unlock any defence and also has a very good eye for goals. Arata will fit into my game plans very well and is a player who can play both as a midfielder and as a forward," Mumbai FC head coach Khalid Jamil said.

Arata will kick-start his campaign for the Mumbai club in their opening match against Shillong Lajong in the I-League on January 9.

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