EDMONTON -- Shamit Shome is back with FC Edmonton after signing a contract for the 2021 season — the most notable roster addition so far by new head coach Alan Koch.

“When he was here previously he was a young player. Yeah, he’s still relatively young but we don’t see him as a young player anymore,” said Koch.

“Now he’s a player who we need to work with and make sure he’s an impact player.”

The 23-year-old midfielder left FC Edmonton fours years ago as one of the most talented prospects developed by the club and now enters a critical point of his career in his hometown.

“I came here to play. I didn’t come here just to come home. I came here to play for FC Edmonton and hopefully have some success,” Shome told CTV News.

In 2017, Shome became the first Edmonton-born player selected in Major League Soccer SuperDraft when the Montreal Impact picked him 41st overall. He made 45 appearances in regular season games, including 27 in 2019, his best season.

But injuries hampered Shome last year. He didn’t see much of the pitch under coach Thierry Henry and was released by Montreal.

"I’ve had four different coaches in four years which is pretty crazy for a player...Maybe I wasn’t playing the best I could have. Maybe I didn’t fit into tactics the way (Henry) wanted to... but I still learned so much from him as a coach,” said Shome. 

His new head coach believes Shome will play a key role as the Eddies try to reset after a winless season in the Canadian Premier League.

“Firstly, he’s an amazing player...he’s got a lot of intangibles that we think are a big part of what we need in our rebuild...the added bonus is he’s from Edmonton,” said Koch, who will also make his debut in the CPL.

Shome says Koch is a big reason why he decided to return where his pro career began.

He still believes he can play at a higher level and plans to make the most of his fresh start.

“It will be a really good platform for me to show myself to the entire world that I’m still a good player...hopefully I can show that this coming season,” said Shome.