Top five Indian players who moved clubs in January 2024 transfer window
(Courtesy : ISL/BFC Media)
Most of Hyderabad FC’s key Indian players left the club.
The 2024 January transfer window ended seeing quite a lot of transfer activity for Indian Super League (ISL) sides, who wanted to strengthen their squad before the second half of the 2023/24 season. The biggest losers of the window, unfortunately, ended up being Hyderabad FC as they lost a number of key first-team players.
Their loss ended up being the gain of some of their ISL rivals, who were able to attract quality players with lucrative offers and improved parts of their own squads that needed reinforcements. Some teams have worked really smartly behind the scenes to snatch up quality Indian players, who can act both as a short-term fix to problems and also be a solid long-term investment. With that being said, let’s look at the top five Indian players’ transfers in the 2024 January transfer window.
5. Chinglensana Singh to Bengaluru FC
After a really poor first half of the ISL season, which saw them pit to the ninth place in the standings, Bengaluru FC knew they had to act in the January transfer window. The Blues opted to fix their issues at the back, having conceded 19 goals in 12 games so far. They managed to convince Chinglensana Singh, who left Hyderabad FC after issues with his contract, to join them ahead of a host of interested parties.
With the signing of Sana Singh, they’re acquiring an India international who has over 90 ISL appearances under his belt. The 27-year-old hard-tackling and proactive centre-back still has a lot of years in his tank, and can add a lot more energy, composure and aggression to their backline for years to come.
4. Nim Dorjee Tamang to FC Goa
FC Goa remain the only unbeaten team in the ISL season and one with the best defensive record too, having only conceded five goals in 10 matches so far. However, they faced a big blow when defensive general Sandesh Jhingan sustained an injury at the AFC Asian Cup 2023 which will keep him out of action for a long time. In desperate need of replacements, FC Goa decided to make a move for Hyderabad FC defender Nim Dorjee Tamang.
The 28-year-old has plenty of experience of playing in the ISL, having nearly 50 appearances to his name. He is sturdy and capable of making key clearances and holding himself in a compact defensive line. Most important, Tamang has experience of working under Manolo Marquez at Hyderabad FC and can find second wind this season by slotting into this impenetrable FC Goa backline.
3. Vignesh Dakshinamurthy to Odisha FC
Odisha FC added more depth to their backline with the signing of full-back Vignesh Dakshinamurthy, who knows all too well in how to thrive in an ISL title race – having done so at Mumbai City in the past.
The 25-year-old defender is an energetic figure in the wide areas, who puts in a lot of work to cover ground and knows how to neutralize the threat of menacing wingers. He can easily be rotated with Jerry Lalrinzuala by Sergio Lobera – especially with Vignesh being able to carry the ball forward and create chances nicely with his crosses too.
2. Nikhil Poojary to Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC were not just done raiding Hyderabad FC with the acquisition of Chinglensana Singh, and ended up signing Nikhil Poojary too. The 28-year-old can serve as a really versatile player for the Blues, being able to slot in as a full-back and also as a winger if necessary. He can actually play in multiple roles for Bengaluru depending on the situation and opposition, coming with a lot of experience of having over 80 ISL appearances in his arsenal.
Even though Poojary has had a difficult first half of the 2023/24 season, his talent and ability are well known – with the defender especially excelling in the last term. He can be a breath of fresh air for Bengaluru’s wide areas, not only bringing in more defensive sturdiness, but also being someone who can carry the ball forward, make overlapping runs and send in crosses into the box.
1. Mohammad Yasir to FC Goa
Mohammad Yasir saw himself drop out of contention to play for the Indian national team after a bit of a topsy-turvy 2023, where the first half of the 2023/24 ISL campaign really hurt his chances. He only registered two goal contributions in 10 games for Hyderabad this season, mostly due to their troubles in the final third. However, Yasir is actually a quality and creative midfielder who can be a menace with his set-piece prowess and final passes. He registered four assists and scored three goals in the 2022/23 season for Hyderabad and is now back reunited with Marquez, under whom he had his best spell.
The Spaniard knows how to bring the best out of the 25-year-old and will hope that Yasir gives the Gaurs an added creative and goal-scoring spark in the second half of the campaign. Yasir’s passing ability and playing style should make him an ideal fit for this free-flowing FC Goa attack and help him add more goals to the team as they push for the ISL title.
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