Five positions Hyderabad FC need to strengthen ahead of the new season
Hyderabad FC definitely need to add more squad depth heading into the new season.
Hyderabad FC’s 2022-23 season was a case of ‘so near yet so far’. The Nizams finished second in the Indian Super League points table and made it to the playoffs. However, they lost in the semi-finals, failing to defend their 2021-22 crown under Manolo Marquez.
The tactician did his best to deliver a trophy in the 2022-23 season but their Hero Super Cup campaign also ended in disappointment. HFC could not navigate out of the group stages, losing a crucial tie to Odisha FC, who went on to win the trophy. As the Spaniard gets closer to leaving to join FC Goa, some current stars of HFC also look destined to leave the club.
Therefore, Hyderabad FC’s first challenge is to find replacements and add more quality to the squad heading into the next season. Here are five areas in particular that the Nizams must strengthen in the summer transfer window.
The secret to Hyderabad FC’s recent evolution into a title-challenging team is their exceptional wing play. Players like Halicharan Narzary and Mohammad Yasir terrorise defenders and deliver crosses aplenty for the striker in the box who delivers. However, the squad lacks depth in this department.
With Halicharan Narzary and Rohit Danu leaving the club, HFC must recruit for this position. Players like Liston Colaco, Bipin Singh, Naorem Mahesh, Ashique Kuruniyan, etc, could add more ability to this position. Abdul Rabeeh has potential but it is too early to rely on him to deliver consistently.
Chinglensana Singh is a brilliant defender but can be injury-prone. His spell on the sidelines during the 2022-23 league season made HFC rely on Nim Dorjee Tamang alongside Odei Onaindia. With all due respect to the Nim, he is not first-team quality.
Hyderabad FC needs to find a player of Anwar Ali or Sandesh Jhingan’s calibre to either partner Chinglensana Singh or be his replacement if the player decides to leave HFC for a fresher challenge. Pratik Chaudhari could be a good option in this regard.
Joel Chianese scored two goals and provided zero assists in the 2022-23 season of the ISL. These numbers are simply not good enough for a creative midfielder with 20 appearances. His lack of playmaking and effectiveness drags the club backwards.
Hyderabad FC must pull its weight to land a player like Greg Stewart or Victor Rodriguez to add more quality to its attack. Borja Herrera is a good option but the jury is out on his impact across 90 minutes in a game. He is brilliant as an impact substitute.
Hyderabad FC’s squad is crying out for an Indian midfielder with quality and experience. Hitesh Sharma and Sahil Tavora are fabulous players but the management must recruit a better partner to skipper Joao Victor. It is the weak link in HFC’s midfield that allows other teams to overrun them on some occasions.
There are several players who fit this profile that HFC can consider in the transfer market. Anirudh Thapa, Rohit Kumar, Jiteshwor Singh, Rowllin Borges, Vinit Rai, etc are some of the names that the Nizams should have on their transfer list.
Akash Mishra is one of the best left-backs in the country. He is a regular in Igor Stimac’s squad for the Indian national team. The hard-working full-back contributes in both attack and defence, dominating the wing forwards while causing issues to the full-backs of the opposite team at the same time.
However, Mishra is all set to don the ATK Mohun Bagan colours next season. Asish Rai was not properly replaced and the same cannot happen in Mishra’s case. The Nizams need to find another full-back, someone like Laldinliana Renthlei of JFC or Naorem Roshan Singh of BFC, to add more depth to the position.
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