The Uruguayan attacking midfielder has been signed as a replacement for an injured Joni Kauko.
ATK Mohun Bagan are considerably depleted this season (ISL 2022-23) because of a number of injuries. Players like Tiri, Joni Kauko, Florentin Pogba, and Manvir Singh are out with Kauko and Pogba returning to their homes. Yet, owing to its squad depth, the side is fighting for a top-of-the-table finish with its limited resources. And here’s when former NorthEast United star Federico Gallego steps in!
Even though Tiri is expected to make a comeback to the squad, the management did not lose any time and roped in Federico Gallego as a replacement for Kauko. Gallego, with his prior experience of playing in the ISL for NorthEast, will be looking to contribute to the side’s objective of finishing on top.
Under such circumstances, let us take a look at how the inclusion of Gallego will affect the Mariners in the second half of the league.
5. Growth of youngsters
With Federico Gallego being a person with prior ISL experience, youngsters of ATK Mohun Bagan will look up to him for guidance. Besides his ISL experience, he has featured in many Latin American football leagues as well. With such vast experience of playing in multiple countries, Gallego appears to be the perfect replacement for Joni Kauko. Having him in the squad shall be beneficial for the likes of Lalrinliana Hnamte, Fardin Ali Molla, Ricky Sabong, and Engson Singh, who will have a new midfield general to learn from.
4. Provide stability in the midfield
With Gallego expected to fill the shoes of Joni Kauko, he will definitely be a starter for the side. His primary role as a midfielder would be to provide stability to the side’s midfield. We can expect him to ply his trade as a playmaking attacking midfielder. Thus, one can expect that his inclusion will make ATK Mohun Bagan’s midfield more robust as he will be primarily responsible for initiating the side’s attacks, stitching sharp passes, and delivering quality through balls to his colleagues.
3. Link up with Petratos and Boumous and be their supply line
As an extension of the previous role, Gallego’s chemistry with Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous will of immense importance for the Mariners for the remainder of the league. With only around two months of the campaign remaining, he will not get much time to adapt. Thus, he will have to rapidly (and swiftly) develop an understanding with Boumous and Petratos. Given his quality, it would be no surprise to see him succeed in that role. If the chemistry of the would-be trio kicks off, it will lead to havoc for the opponents’ defence.
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2. A goal-scorer
Federico Gallego scored nine times during his four-year stint with NorthEast United. ATK Mohun Bagan would want him to put on his scoring boot again in his return to India and get goals for the side. Again, given his quality, it is very likely for him to get goals. As ATK Mohun Bagan possess a very strong squad, he will get a number of players to support him in his quest for goals. With Liston Colaco and Ashique Kuruniyan not firing too often, Gallego scoring will ease the pressure off the shoulders of Dimitri Petratos and Hugo Boumous.
1. Improve the overall quality of the team
The most important thing that might happen to ATK Mohun Bagan after the inclusion of Gallego is a visible improvement in the overall performance of the team. This improvement will happen across all thirds of the pitch since Gallego is an all-round midfielder, who is equally good in aiding defence and creating attacks.
With this, i.e. overall improvement, being the primary intent of the management, Juan Ferrando has adjudged him to be the perfect fit in a star-studded squad depleted with injuries. Gallego will also have this in mind and would definitely give his everything to achieve a table-top finish for the Mariners.