FC Goa’s star midfielder has brought his future at the club into question following the mass exodus of his teammates.
FC Goa midfielder Hugo Boumous has put a big question mark on his future with the club after some rather surprising statements in a recent interview. The club seems to be in a dilemma with growing uncertainty over many star players who have left or are on the verge of leaving, following the aftermath of head coach Sergio Lobera’s controversial expulsion from the at the back end of last season.
Hugo Boumous would be yet another high-profile exit in a list of other players who are already set for moves elsewhere. These include Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Jackichand Singh and skipper Mandar Rao Dessai.
If the departure of these players, who were at the heart of Goa’s success over the last three years hasen’t stung yet, then Boumous potential exit could prove to be arguably the biggest blow to the two-time finalists’ fortunes, considering the new phase they will enter with head coach Juan Ferrando.
Despite the speculation, Boumous was part of an online discussion held by coach Juan Ferrando last week, where he listened with attention and reiterated his commitment to stay fit for the upcoming season. While that might come as a relief for supporters of the club, he sounded uncertain of his availability for the upcoming campaign.
Speaking to The Times of India on Monday, Hugo Boumous said, “As of today, I don’t know (about next season). I am not sure at all. I have to talk to the club and take a call. For now, I cannot say anything. Maybe things will be clear in a few days or another week. I have to see what is the plan of the club. FC Goa should be ambitious for next season.”
“As you know, Jahouh, Fall, Jackichand, Mandar have all left and they were important players. I have not seen any new player join the club, apart from Redeem (Tlang),” he added.
Boumous will be crucial to FC Goa’s plans for the season, as they will play in the AFC Champions League group-stage as the first-ever Indian club to feature in the competition. His experience and class will be what the Gaurs will be counting on to lead them. Moreover, Hugo Boumous was also awarded the Golden Ball as the ISL’s best player last season, with 10 goals and 11 assists.
While Goa will dip into the transfer market to replenish the squad, they will no doubt need to hold onto the French-Moroccan if they expect a solid display next season. Additionally, with the other teams wasting no time in strengthening their sides, FC Goa might miss out on the chance to sign top-class talent.
Further, Boumous revealed his desire to return back to the playing field once the conundrum concerning the global COVID-19 pandemic subsides, wherever it may be. He said, “Playing in Europe is a good option, but there are other leagues which are equally impressive. For now, I am trying hard keep myself fit. Its not been easy to be at home and I want to get back on the field as quickly as possible. There is no better feeling than being on the field.”
“I’ve heard that the ISL will start only in late November. The players will be without competitive football for more than eight months. That’s too long a break and will impact the players’ performances,” stated Hugo Boumous.
While he remains committed to Goa with his contract set to run until 2022, the hiatus in football and the reshaping of the team with other players coming in might affect his own stay and his decision will ultimately influence FC Goa’s future prospects.