Indian Football

Top 10 January transfers in Indian Super League history

Rajdeep SahaRajdeep Saha
January 11 2022
Indian Super League
(Courtesy : ISL Media)

The winter transfer window has seen many talented footballers switching allegiance across the subcontinent.

We have witnessed countless high-profile and promising talented footballers change allegiances during the January transfer window. Teams during this time of the year look for those who can bolster their squad. Out of a sea of options, Khel Now brings you the top 10 January transfers ever made in the history of the Indian Super League.

10. Vinit Rai (Odisha FC to Mumbai City FC) – 2022

The promising young midfielder completed a loan move a couple of days back to the Islanders. Rai was a product of the Tata Football Academy, who then plied his trade at several I-league and ISL clubs before settling down at the erstwhile Delhi Dynamos in 2017. After the outfit changed its name to Odisha FC, Vinit Rai became the Juggernauts’ most capped player, having 72 appearances for them.

The 24-year-old has already impressed through his game this season, which includes an average passing accuracy of 85%. After his loan move to Mumbai City FC, he came on as a substitute against SC East Bengal. Rai completed 96% of his passes during his short cameo, which certainly show signs of a good deal. He will be looking to get more minutes under Des Buckingham, and hope to be a part of a title-winning squad.

9. Edu Garcia (Zhejiang Greentown FC to ATK) – 2019

The Spaniard currently plays as a midfielder for Hyderabad FC, but this isn’t his first stint in Indian football. Garcia first came to the subcontinent when he moved to Bengaluru FC. Two goals and five assists in 14 appearances meant that his sojourn in ISL was limited to only a year. He made a comeback to India and it was at ATK where he produced some brilliant numbers.

In the second half of the 2018/2019 season, the Spaniard registered three goals in eight appearances. In the following campaign, he found his form, where he helped ATK to their third title.

8. Liston Colaco (FC Goa to Hyderabad FC) – 2020

Game time was sparse at the Gaurs camp for the youngster, especially with players like Ferran Corominas and Manvir Singh being in the contention. Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Hyderabad FC came to his rescue and signed Colaco in Januray 2020. Liston made the most of his chances with the Nizams as he netted four times and assisted thrice in 23 appearances. The 23-year-old’s impressive season caught ATKMB head coach Antonio Habas’ attention and the player was brought in to bolster their midfield in 2021.

7. Deshorn Brown (Bengaluru FC to NorthEast United) – 2021

The Jamaican has been a revelation for NorthEast United since his arrival. After having an underwhelming spell at Bengaluru FC, Brown decided to move to the Highlanders. Ever since then, he has been a constant source of goals, and helped the team reach the play-offs last season. In the second half of the 2020-21 campaign, he netted in five goals in 10 appearances. This season, he has already overtaken his previous year’s tally with six goals in as many matches.

6. Sandesh Jhingan (HNK Sibenik to ATK Mohun Bagan) – 2022

The India international has returned to his former club after not playing a single game for the Croatian outfit. A calf injury kept the centre-back from playing in Europe. Jhingan had formed an impressive partnership with Tiri during his first spell, something which he would want to replicate once again. The arrival of the experienced defender certainly bolster’s the Mariners’ backline.

5. Pritam Kotal (Delhi Dynamos to ATK) – 2019

Nestor Gordillo
Pritam Kotal in action for ATK against Hyderabad FC in ISL 2019-20

The Indian defender joined the Kolkata-based side in 2019 after an exit from erstwhile ISL club Delhi Dynamos. The right-back had once before been a part of ATK in 2016, when they won the league. After arriving for his second stint at the side, Kotal was yet again part of a title-winning squad. Even after the club became ATK Mohun Bagan, he remained at the outfit as he is one of the captains of the side in the 2021-22 season.

4. Bright Enobakhare (Joined SC East Bengal) – 2021

The Nigerian marksman joined a faltering SC East Bengal side under Robbie Fowler in 2021. He scored thrice and assisted once in 12 appearances, including a brilliant solo goal against FC Goa. Despite the team’s poor season, Bright’s arrival gave the team its first win of the season. There have been rumours surrounding Enobakhare’s comeback to Indian football but nothing conclusive has come to light yet.

3. Dheeraj Singh (ATK Mohun Bagan to FC Goa) – 2021

After not getting minutes at ATK Mohun Bagan, the young custodian made a January move to FC Goa. This transfer allowed Singh to gain more game time, and slowly become the Gaurs’ first-choice goalkeeper. Dheeraj’s form was so good that he became the first-ever Indian to feature in the AFC Champions League Team of the Tournament.

2. Nerijus Valskis (Jamshedpur FC to Chennaiyin FC) – 2022

ISL 2019-20 Awards Nerijus Valskis
Valskis won the ISL 2019-20 Golden Boot award with Chennaiyin FC

It was homecoming for the Lithuanian after he completed a move to his former club Chennaiyin FC. Valskis will be looking to recreate the success of the 2019-20 season when he emerged as the Golden Boot winner, helping the Marina Machans to a runners-up finish. Last season, he scored eight goals in 18 matches for Jamshedpur, numbers he can surely overtake.

1. Hugo Boumous (Moghreb Tetouan to FC Goa) – 2018

The midfielder has provided the most assists in the Indian Super League (67) and his journey began at FC Goa. The first one and a half seasons were decent display of Boumous’ wonderful talent, registering five goals and seven assists during that time. It was in the 2019-20 season when he emerged as one of the best players in the Indian top-flight, registering 11 goals and 10 assists in 15 appearances.

The following campaign saw him moving to Mumbai City FC, where he added nine more assists to his tally. He is currently playing for ATK Mohun Bagan in the ongoing 2021-22 season.

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