Atletico de Kolkata have unveiled Manchester United academy graduate Tom Thorpe, as their latest signing this summer, who also becomes their seventh foreign player. The 24-year-old will join former United players Teddy Sheringham and Ashley Westwood, who are ATK’s coach and technical director.
Tom Thorpe became Atletico de Kolkata’s seventh foreign player signing on Tuesday as the centre half joined the likes of Jordi Figueras, Augustin Fernandes and Anwar Ali to further bolster the back line of the two-time Indian Super League (ISL) champions. He was released as a free agent by third-tier side Bolton Wanderers this summer.
Under new manager Teddy Sheringham, the white and red brigade is going through a massive revamp with numerous new signings done already. After winning the championships last season, the English manager will have a huge task of repeating the feat.
24-year-old Tom Thorpe will bring youth and quality to the side. An academy product of English giants Manchester United, the centre-half has previously captained United’s reserves to their inaugural U-21 Premier League title in 2012-13. He has even represented the England national team in age groups from U-16 to U-21, winning the 2010 UEFA European U-17 Championship.
"We welcome Tom to our ATK family. We all are happy to have him in the team. He is an asset which will strengthen our team's defence," ATK principal owner Sanjiv Goenka stated in a release.
The promising youngster had shown great leadership qualities and intelligent defending, which led United to loan him off to Championship side Birmingham City in 2013. However, he didn’t get regular chances there and returned to Old Trafford with less experience. He couldn’t make any real impact since then, spending short stints with League One side Rotherham United, Bradford City and Bolton Wanderers recently.
Thorpe will be joining former Manchester United forward Sheringham and technical director in Ashley Westwood, also a United academy graduate, who are optimistic of getting the best out of him.
Thorpe said, "I will learn a lot under Teddy's leadership, and will play to win. But I am sure my stint in ATK will have a remarkable impression on my career path. Above all I would like to thank the management for choosing me to be a part of this squad."