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Ten players in the ISL who should change clubs in January transfer window

Published at :December 13, 2023 at 1:35 PM
Modified at :December 27, 2023 at 5:33 PM
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Uttiyo Sarkar

U-17 World Cupper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem is yet to get a start in ISL this season.

The Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season has started to gain some speed heading into the final month of 2023. The title race is becoming more clear as the weeks pass and it’s also becoming somewhat evident on which teams will be strongly contesting for a spot in the playoffs towards the end of the season.

The league has given a platform to some impressive breakout talents this time around. The Indian national team regulars are also (mostly) been doing well, as have most of the foreign stars. However, some under-the-radar players are suffering because of a lack of proper game time in the ISL.

These players are not getting enough minutes to really prove their quality and might need a move away from their respective clubs in the upcoming January transfer window. Here we look at 10 ISL players who could do with a change of clubs next month.

10. Deepak Tangri (Mohun Bagan)

Deepak Tangri had a tough 2023, most of which he spent on recovering from the injury picked up last season. But Mohun Bagan has not stopped in his absence and the blockbuster of additions of Anirudh Thapa and Sahal Abdul Samad in midfield have greatly limited his appearances.

Tangri has only made one appearance for the Mariners this season, getting seven minutes of game-time. It’ll be tough for the 24-year-old to become a regular in this team with so much star power. That’s why perhaps a loan move to another ISL club which can guarantee him regular playing time can help Tangri get back to his best.

9. Narayan Das (FC Goa)

Narayan Das is being an unfortunate victim of change at FC Goa. Even though he wasn’t a regular for the Gaurs last season, he hasn’t been getting any minutes this season under Manolo Marquez. With Jay Gupta making that left-back role his own at FC Goa, Das has been an unused substitutes for most of their games.

The 30-year-old is a former India international who still has a few tricks up his sleeve. He can use his experience and qualities to perhaps help some other team and Das needs to look for an exit in January to save his career from rotting away.

8. Gursimrat Gill (East Bengal)

Gursimrat Gill put in some valuable performances for East Bengal in the Durand Cup, but has found minutes tough to get after that. Gill has only made one late cameo appearance in the ISL this season and been unable to get a chance in East Bengal’s backline.

With Lalchungnunga currently being immovable in their backline and Carles Cuadrat pairing him with a foreign centre-back, Gill is unlikely to get regular minutes at the club anytime soon. Perhaps a loan move to another club in need of a proactive Indian centre-back can do him some good.

7. Laxmikant Kattimani (Hyderabad FC)

Laxmikant Kattimani
Laxmikant Kattimani. (courtesy: ISL media)

Laxmikant Kattimani was really unlucky to suffer a bad knee injury at the start of the 2022-23 season, which ruled him out for the rest of the season. A poor case of déjà vu struck him again in the first game of their 2023-24 season, when he got injured again and needed to undergo surgery.

Due to all these issues, he’s now seemingly lost his no.1 role at Hyderabad FC to Gurmeet Singh, who is performing really well in between the sticks. Kattimani is unlikely to get his regular role back at the club anytime soon and could benefit from a move away from the club in January to somewhere that promises him minutes in every game.

6. Leon Augustine (Punjab FC)

Leon Augustine probably left Bengaluru FC in the summer and joined Punjab FC in aspirations to become a regular starter and proving his quality in the ISL. Instead, he’s had a rude awakening at Punjab. The winger has only played one game in the ISL this season, being on the bench a couple of other times.

He might find it tough to become a regular starter for them due to the likes of Juan Mera and Prasanth K having places occupied. Augustine could possibly benefit from a loan move to another ISL club in January that is in need of a speed, creative winger who can make an impact for them.

5. Gaurav Bora (NorthEast United)

Gaurav Bora. (courtesy: ISL media)

Gaurav Bora has been surprisingly discarded by Juan Pedro Benali at NorthEast United this season, despite being one of their better players last season. He’s been benched for all their games so far, with Asheer Akhtar getting chosen ahead of him.

Bora is a talented defender in his best years and someone who needs to be playing regularly. If the Highlanders can’t give him that, then perhaps the 25-year-old needs to push for an exit in January and go somewhere his talents are appreciated better.

4. Alexander Jesuraj (Chennaiyin FC)

Alexander Romario Jesuraj has failed to really impress Owen Coyle at Chennaiyin FC this season and hasn’t gotten much game-time at all. He’s only made five appearances in the ISL, with the majority of them coming as substitutes.

Jesuraj, however, has proven himself as an impactful winger who is capable of causing problems with his pace and final delivery. He contributed to 7 goals in 28 appearances before this season in the ISL and can be an asset for another side in need of a speed winger. That’s why he could probably benefit from a move away from Chennaiyin in the winter window too.

3. Sumit Rathi (Mohun Bagan)

Sumit Rathi of Mohun Bagan Super Giant. (courtesy: ISL media)

Sumit Rathi actually had a decent start to his career in the ISL at the erstwhile ATK, but has seen him keep falling down the ladder in recent years. He hasn’t made a single appearance in the competition for Mohun Bagan Super Giant this time around and is mostly an unused substitute.

Rathi is unlikely to get much game-time at Juan Ferrando’s side due to the level of competition in the backline. The 22-year-old needs to push to join a club that can at least give him some playing time at the top level.

2. Mobashir Rahman (East Bengal)

Mobashir Rahman was actually quite diligently used by East Bengal last season, making 13 ISL appearances for them. This season, he is yet to start a single game. His last appearance came in the Durand Cup group stages, after which he’s been a permanent figure on the bench for Cuadrat’s side.

The 25-year-old still has a lot of football left in his career, but he needs to look for a club that can at least give him a platform to grow. Rahman is a hard-working, creative midfielder who can help some other team fill their void in midfield and needs to push for an exit in January.

1. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem (FC Goa)

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem playing for FC Goa in ISL 2022-23. (courtesy: ISL media)

A few years ago, Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem was hailed as the potential future no.1 for the Indian national team. Now, he is not even starting in the ISL for FC Goa. The 23-year-old has not made a single appearance in the competition this season and has seemingly lost his spot in the team to Arshdeep Singh.

Dheeraj might not have managed to impress Manolo Marquez, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a quality goalkeeper. Singh is a terrific shot-stopper who can definitely start for many other Indian side. He needs to push for an exit in January and join another ISL club in need of a quality goalkeeper to get his career back on track.

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