Tom Thorpe one of the seven foreign signings for Atletico de Kolkata (ATK). The 24-year-old joined the two-time Indian Super League champions on a free transfer. The product of Premier League club Manchester United, Thorpe is a central defender and will be expected to give strength to ATK’s defence. Interestingly, Tom Thorpe, who captained the Manchester United reserves to the inaugural Under 21 Premier League title in the 2012-13 season, has made one league appearance for the Red Devils under Louis van Gaal in the 2014-15 season. He came on as a late substitute in a 2-1 win over West Ham United. But the Englishman failed to nail down a spot in the first team and was released by Man United at the end of the 2014-15 season. He subsequently joined Championship outfit (English second tier) Rotherham United on a two-year deal which ended at the end of 2016-17 season.
Thorpe played for Bolton Wanderers on loan last season but is a free agent now, paving way for ATK to sign him outside the transfer window. Notably, Thorpe will be playing under Teddy Sheringham, who is the former striker for the Red Devils. Sheringham will surely know how to get the best out of Thorpe. But a question that keeps doing the rounds for a talented player like Thorpe is why could he did not wear the red jersey for a longer duration. The answer is his career has been plagued by injuries. Thorpe has been a utility player at whichever team he has played in, and this might change in ATK with the youngster getting more time to showcase his skills and talent.
Thorpe will have plenty of familiar faces at the Kolkata outfit; the club’s head coach Teddy Sheringham and technical director Ashley Westwood are English and Conor Thomas, Robbie Keane and Jussi Jaaskelainen are teammates who have played extensively in England. Whether ATK’s Tom Thorpe could be any different from the Tom Thorpe we have seen over the years remains to be seen, but if he is free from injuries, Indian football could well witness something that Manchester United missed.
The two-time champions and holders ATK will take on the last season runner-up Kerala Blasters in the opening match of the Hero Indian Super League season 4 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on November 17.