A fresh crop of attacking players is set for the Gaurs to compete in the upcoming season.
FC Goa have undergone a significant change in their attacking personal from the star-studded lineup that helped them top the league phase in the Indian Super League (ISL) last season. Ferran Corominas has been letgo and Manvir Singh has joined ATK Mohun Bagan.
As a result, the Gaurs have had to orchestrate a complete reshaping of their strike force. They’ve relied upon some promising young talents to spearhead the attack as well as bring in an experienced Spaniard to fill the boots of Corominas. So, let’s analyse the potential of FC Goa’s forward line this season.
The successor to Ferran Corominas at FC Goa, Igor Angulo knows the intimidating challenge in front of him at his new club. The Spaniard comes in after an excellent career at Polish side Gornik Zabrze – where he scored 80 goals in 137 league appearances! The left-footed striker possess an excellent predatory instinct.
Indeed, Angulo has the knack of being at the right place at the right time to carve out scoring opportunities for himself. He’s extremely clinical with his finishing and is equally potent with both feet. The Spaniard should excel in Goa’s style and loves being the centre of attention in the team.
Of course, the 36-year-old isn’t the youngest – so he could face problems adapting to the new league and Indian conditions.
While he is mostly used as a right winger, Seiminlen Doungel is also a viable striker option for Juan Ferrando’s side, having played in the position in the past. The forward can be a real fox in the box on occasions, knowing exactly when to pounce into the final third to score goals or create chances.
Doungel is blessed with decent pace and ability to dribble as well, but he probably needs to improve on his final delivery. His crossing isn’t the best, so that costs him when he gets into promising areas down the side lines. He is much more potent operating centrally and will hope to do so in the upcoming season.
FC Goa managed to beat a number of Indian clubs to sign the highly-rated Ishan Pandita, who should be a perfect match for Ferrando’s style. Having played at the youth level in Spain for a number of years, Pandita has a clear understanding of how to thrive in possession-based, passing football.
The 22-year-old is known for being really good on the ball, having the capability of tricking or dribbling his way past players with ease. He also possesses a nice creative eye to carve out opportunities for teammates, something which should help Goa. But, not having played in India could be a stumbling block and could cause him issues.
After excelling in the I-League last season, Makan Winkle Chothe has earned a deserved move to the ISL. The 20-year-old can be an absolute nightmare for defenders with his movement and loves tormenting everyone with his style.
Chothe is excellent in the wing-forward role, which suits his ability to accelerate past defenders or use his dribbling ability to make some mazy runs into the final third. His final delivery is also pretty good and he tends to score some blinders on occasions too.
However, inexperience is Chothe’s biggest enemy right now. He tends to make mistakes with his decision-making at times and isn’t consistent enough to be a regular starter for the Gaurs. The 20-year-old lacks the physicality to thrive in the ISL, but will hope his ability on the ball is enough to warrant him some games this season.
The newest recruit to the FC Goa attack, Devendra has been roped in as a discreet replacement for Manvir Singh. The former Salgaocar striker might not be as physically towering as Manvir, but makes up with his clinical instinct in the final third. A versatile, modern forward with the capability of also playing as a winger, Murgaonkar can scrap his own chances in attack.
A really tricky striker who loves to dribble his way past opponents, he can create opportunities for himself with quick link-up play and smart work in the final third. He possesses a lot of good attributes in his arsenal, but is a bit light when it comes to his build. Murgaonkar isn’t the best aerially and could get bullied by foreign defenders unless he’s really proactive. The new boy should be an alternative to Angulo upfront and will look to provide a different dimension to the team.
D’Silva has been a part of FC Goa for quite some time, but has mostly being involved with their development squad. He’s now been promoted to the senior team after impressing at the youth level. Unlike Murgaonkar, D’Silva is a towering personality who is really good with his headers and winning aerial duels.
He possesses good close control and is an extremely intelligent player who knows exactly how to move into the right place at the right time. D’Silva tends to score often from rebound shots and his positional sense allows him to venture into areas not many others can. While he isn’t the most clinical, Aaren can be used by Goa if they opt to change to a more direct style when in need of goals.