Odisha FC announced on Wednesday that it has completed the signing of defender Nikhil Prabhu from Hyderabad FC for an unknown amount on a two-year contract with the option to extend for another year.

“Odisha FC would like to announce that Nikhil Prabhu has completed a permanent move from Hyderabad FC for an undisclosed fee. He joins on a 2 year deal with an option to extend for a further year,” the club said in a statement on their official website.

Nikhil joined the Juggernauts on loan in December and appeared in three Indian Super League games (ISL).

The 21-year-old is a versatile defender who can play in a variety of positions and even add goals on occasion. When it comes to set pieces, the Hyderabad-born teenager is an expert.

Prabhu began his football career at the age of nine in Gujarat. However, he later relocated to Mumbai in search of greener pastures, where he captained the U16s and U18s state sides before joining Mumbai FC in 2017.

He represented several local clubs including PIFA Colaba, Kenkre FC, and the then MDFA Elite Division side Mumbai FC.

During his stay in the state, Prabhu excelled in the Khelo India games, the MDFA Elite Division, and the Santosh Trophy. He captained Hyderabad FC in the 2nd Division League last season and has been named to the Indian Super League first-team roster for the 2020-21 season.

With his mentality on and off the field, the defender is likely to be a positive influence on the Odisha FC dressing room.

The Juggernauts had a terrible 2021-22 season, finishing eighth in the standings, 11 points off of the playoff berths. The Odisha club had to break company with its former manager Kiko Ramrez midway through the season because the results were not pouring in.

Assistant coach Kino Garcia took over on an interim basis, but the club’s fate did not change quickly. As the new season begins, there are still clouds of worry over the club’s future due to management and player additions.

OFC, on the other hand, has an extremely skilled and young core group of players. Their toughest difficulty will be keeping that group together.

Furthermore, if the Juggarnauts can add a few significant foreign signings, they could be a real nuisance for the top sides in the upcoming season.