The defender was previously a part of NorthEast United and FC Goa.

Jamshedpur FC have made their move for a new centre-back after the sudden departure of captain Peter Hartley. The new signing, Dylan Fox, is a well known face in the Indian Super League.

The 28-year-old first came to India in the ISL 2020-21 season with North East United, after earning a name in Australia and Japan. Fox was then sold to FC Goa with a 27 lakhs (INR) bid from the FC Goa side. 

The defender was without a club after Carlos Pena took over and Jamshedpur FC needed a commander at the heart of defence. The stars aligned perfectly for a move that could potentially be the solution to Jamshedpur FC’s defensive woes.

Here we take a look at three ways in which the cunning defender can help his new team.

3. Straight swap for Hartley 

Dylan Fox and Cleiton Silva tussling for the ball in a fixture between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa last season. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The most likely way is that Fox walks straight into Peter Hartley’s spot and Jamshedpur carry on as they were. The 28-year-old can be an ideal figure at the back with experienced Pratik Chaudhari. Also, he can afford Eli Sabia some rest for important games as the Brazilian has just come back off an injury. He is a leader in his own right and has fantastic aerial ability too. Moreover, he is an instant upgrade on the Englishman with his pace. 

With Dylan Fox joining the club, full-back Laldinliana Renthlei is likely to improve positionally alongside him since the Aussie is positionally pretty good. With such a smart move by the head coach, the fans can expect the same solidarity as he has shown over the years. 

2. Heart of a back three 

Aidy Boothroyd doesn’t rely on any prominent formation or passage of play. He believes in giving new problems to opponents tactically. If he is adamant that he wants to overload the wings and play direct football, then putting Fox between Prateek and Ricky could be ideal. That was not the case before with both Hartley and Sabia lacking the much needed pace to play in this system. 

It would allow Jamshedpur to elevate the wing-backs further up the pitch and be more of an attacking threat in games. While still being strong enough defensively to deal with any counter-attacks that could come back at them. His ball-playing ability would also allow him to build up from the back while the added tactical flexibility could allow Aidy Boothroyd to spring a few surprises with his team selections here and there.

1. Better midfield play

Dylan Fox scored a goal against Bengaluru FC and earned the Man of the Match award for his overall display. (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Part of the reason Jamshedpur is not completely utilising Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is the lack of composure in midfield by the domestic players. Jamshedpur have already made a statement signing – Rafael Crivellaro. And considering the situation they are in now, the coach would be dying to play both the ace playmakers together. 

The arrival of Dylan Fox would help them in that regard, meaning Aidy could be braver with his midfield play that means JET could play further up the pitch where he is at his most effective self. Jamshedpur could relax more in transition and hopefully would be able to sustain attacks more by keeping the ball in the opposition’s final third.

The extra attacking player on the pitch could help them overcome that hurdle against low-blocks, and it all starts with having a more solid core in defence, thanks to Fox.

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