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ISL- Indian Super League

Four positions Kerala Blasters need to fix this summer

Published at :May 1, 2023 at 8:37 PM
Modified at :May 27, 2023 at 5:41 PM
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Alen Philip Mathew


Kerala Blasters concluded yet another season without a trophy.

The ninth edition of the Indian Super League has come to an end. This season, Kerala Blasters were able to secure a playoff spot. However, it turned out to be an ordinary season for the Blasters' fanbase. They were left disappointed, yet again. Kerala Blasters haven't been able to win the Indian Super League - a dream they've had from the very first season.

In the middle of the recently concluded ISL season, Kerala Blasters managed to show some brilliant performances and managed to win five consecutive matches. However, due to injuries to key players and lack of bench strength, they were unable to return to their old form.

The Serbian tactician is getting the best out of his current crop. Ivan Vukamanovic's Kerala Blasters continue to take shape, but it will likely need more supplementing to mount a serious title challenge. Yet, there remains room for considerable squad strengthening during this summer window.

Here, we take a look at four positions that need to be fixed during the upcoming transfer period which will help Kerala Blasters strengthen their squad for next season.

Full-backs

Kerala Blasters lacked a reliable defence this season. Inconsistency of players like Nishu Kumar, Jessel Carneiro, Harmanjot Khabra, and injury to Sandeep Singh lead them to defensive trouble and it was due to both lack of ability and strength.

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Sandeep Singh returned to training after recovering from a leg injury that caused him to miss the majority of the ISL season, and also the Super Cup. Nishu Kumar's patchy fitness record and the departure of Jessel Carneiro will not help the club. That means even any injury to Sandeep or Nishu will leave the Blasters too light in this department.

Central Midfielder

Ukrainian midfield engine Ivan Kaliuzhnyi will be returning to FK Oleksandriya after his loan spell in KBFC comes to an end (he had already left India during the Hero Super Cup). Kerala Blasters have a strong midfield in terms of physicality and work-rate, but they lack leadership and dominance in midfield.

Kerala Blasters East Bengal Ivan Kaliuzhnyi ISL 2022-23
Ivan Kaliuzhnyi. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

They essentially need a commanding midfielder who can control the tempo of the game and he must be a player who can contribute both defensively and offensively. The lynchpin will need to unlock defences and provide assists for the forwards. Such a player can provide a cutting edge in the final third and can also provide stability to the defence with good cover. Jeakson Singh is developing in the right direction, but the club will need someone with the right experience to play alongside him.

Wingers

Despite having Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul KP and Bryce Miranda, Kerala Blasters need a reliable winger who can provide cover and competition for these players. Sahal has been inconsistent this season, and Blasters need a pacey and skilful winger who can deliver quality crosses and create goal-scoring opportunities from both wings, preferably.

Striker

Apostolos Giannou ISL Kerala Blasters
Apostolos Giannou. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

With Apostolos Giannou set to leave, Kerala Blasters could be in the market to sign a new striker come summer. Dimitrios Diamantakos remains KBFC's only centre forward after Giannou's departure, so the think tank may look to add another quality player up front. Diamantakos will need a capable understudy who can give him a breather or start when he’s unavailable.

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