The Blues have retained the core of their squad for the upcoming season.
Sunil Chhetri’s Bengaluru FC will be looking to reclaim the Indian Super League (ISL) title that they lost to ATK in the previous season of the competition. With a few foreign players from the side having departed, including ISL veteran Raphael Augusto, it was always going to be a busy transfer window for Carles Cuadrat and Co.
We at Khel Now bring you a rundown of the seven-man list of foreign players in the Bengaluru FC squad:
Having joined the Bengaluru FC cause in 2016, Juanan Gonzalez is the longest-serving foreigner in the current squad. The Real Madrid Castilla graduate has proven himself as a vital cog in Cuadrat’s system, serving as the no-nonsense central defender that allows BFC’s flair players to express themselves higher up the pitch.
Juanan made 19 appearances for the Blues in the 2019-2020 season, netting once. It is expected that he will reprise his role in the middle of the Bengaluru FC defence.
Fran Gonzalez was without a doubt one of Bengaluru FC’s marquee signings in the transfer market. The versatile former Mohun Bagan man had a stellar season in the I-League for the Mariners, scoring 10 goals and assisting once in 16 appearances, despite being played as a defensive midfielder or a centre-back occasionally.
His physique, quickness on the ball and a constant eye for goal make him one of the deadliest defenders in the league. Gonzalez left the Salt Lake Stadium in less than ideal circumstances, but will be hungry to prove himself at his new club. Cuadrat will be hoping that his new signing can hit the ground running and propel his side to another ISL title.
Another relative Bengaluru FC veteran is Australian midfielder Erik Paartalu. He dominates the middle of the park with his sheer presence and speed of thought, providing balls for the likes of Chhetri and Udanta Singh to chase.
The 34-year-old chipped in with his fair share of goal contributions last season, scoring twice and assisting five times in 17 appearances. He is one of the four foreign players retained by the Blues for the new campaign.
While the Spaniard may be entering the twilight of his career at 37, he did play an important role for Cuadrat in the 2019-20 season of the Indian Super League, scoring once and assisting five times in 20 appearances. Delgado is the perfect defensive midfielder, sitting in front of the back four, running play from the engine room and even providing dangerous deliveries from dead-ball situations.
With Fran Gonzalez joining the club in the off-season, Delgado will be assured of solidity at the back and will have the freedom to control the pace of the game.
The Norwegian forward was signed by the club as a free agent after his contract with Adelaide United came to an end. Opseth made 28 appearances for them in the A-League in the 2019-20 season, scoring six times and assisting twice.
The 30-year-old adds a different dimension to the Blues’ attack playing as a more traditional No. 9, as opposed to their other, more fluid attacking options.
Bengaluru’s response to scoring just 22 goals in the 2019-20 season was to bring in a couple of reinforcements in the attacking third for the upcoming campaign. A veteran of Asian football, Silva has scored 108 goals in 203 appearances since 2012 and providing 28 assists.
The attacker is able to play anywhere along the forward line and would lend himself perfectly to the fluid style that Bengaluru FC play. Having signed a one-year deal with an option to extend for a further year, fans will be hoping that he can replicate his form in Goa.
Brown was signed by Bengaluru FC in the January transfer window of the previous season to bolster their attacking options. The Jamaican attacker scored thrice in seven appearances for the Blues in few months at the club.
The 29-year-old will be hoping to nail down a starting role for the side this campaign, despite the considerable attacking reinforcements.