The Men of Steel have brought together an impressive group of overseas stars ahead of the next season.
Since joining the Indian Super League fold in 2017, Jamshedpur FC, at times have looked like an exciting side to watch but have not been able to reach the playoffs yet. After an underachieving 2019-20 season, the Men of Steel have opted for a complete overhaul in the summer – beginning from signing former Chennaiyin FC head coach Owen Coyle as head coach for the season ahead.
Jamshedpur FC have assembled a fine mix of youth and experience in their squad for the upcoming edition of the league. The Men of Steel have bolstered their squad well and have signed some exciting domestic players as well as overseas stars.
Here in our series of profiling the foreign players of ISL sides, we will take a close look at Jamshedpur FC’s overseas players ahead of the new season.
7. Peter Hartley
The English center-back has joined Jamshedpur FC from Scottish Premiership side Motherwell FC, where he served as captain for a considerable amount of time. Hartley also has prior experience of playing for several League 1 and League 2 outfits in the English football tiers. In the 2019-20 season, Motherwell FC finished third behind giants Celtic and Steven Gerrard managed Rangers under his captaincy.
Hartley was often deployed as left center-back in a three-man defence for Motherwell. However, he had an average season as his side conceded 25 goals in as many games with him in the playing XI.
Considering everything, Owen Coyle has received a top player, fresh from a top European League and he would be hoping the 32-year-old steps up in the upcoming season.
6. Stephen Eze
Stephen Eze is yet another central defender brought by Jamshedpur FC. The 26-year-old has featured 13 times for Nigeria, having made his senior team debut in 2015.
Eze started his career in Nigeria and went on to sign for Bulgarian first division outfit Lokomotiv Plovdiv in a two-year deal in 2018. After the completion of his contract, he signed for Uzbek side Tobol earlier this year, however, an injury in the preseason in January forced him to part his ways with the club in July.
5. Aitor Monroy
Monroy is one of two foreigners retained by Jamshedpur FC from last season. Although the Men of Steel had a season to forget in the 2019-20 season, the Spanish defensive midfielder was one of the bright sparks in the team.
Over the course of the league, he made 49 clearances, 31 blocks and 27 interceptions. He also scored a goal and assisted another. With defensive reinforcements behind him this season, Owen Coyle would be hoping that the 33-year-old will step up to his best for the team.
4. Alex Monteiro De Lima
The 31-year-old midfielder will work with Owen Coyle for the second time after the pair worked at Major League Soccer (MLS) side Houston Dynamo. Alex has also played for Korean Division 2 outfit FC Anyang where he was transformed into a winger. The move reaped fruits as he went on to score 13 goals in 36 games. The Brazilian can fill the void in different positions as and when required.
3. Nerijus Valskis
Jamshedpur FC had often failed to impress in front of the goal last season. Sergio Castel showed early promise but his run was halted by an injury which kept him out for the season. In the quest to find a proper marksman, Jamshedpur FC have signed last years’ golden boot winner Nerijus Valskis.
The Lithuanian striker scored 15 goals and assisted six times for Chennaiyin FC and had transformed himself when Owen Coyle took over. The duo will once again be hoping for continuity of the performance as they look to reach the playoffs again with Jamshedpur FC.
2. David Grande
The Spanish striker signed for Jamshedpur FC in January 2020 on a one-year deal. In the eight games he featured for Jamshedpur FC last season, he only managed to score only one goal in what was a miserable outing for the team. However, with Coyle’s arrival and other attacking reinforcements, Grande would want to start the season differently. He would be competing with Valskis for a spot in the starting lineup.
1. Nicholas Fitzgerald
Similar to most of the Indian Super League teams, Jamshedpur FC has opted to sign an Australian as their Asian signing. Fitzgerald has signed for Jamshedpur FC from A-League outfit Newcastle Jets.
Although Nick who predominately plays a right winger does not have a good goal scoring ability, he brings different attributes to the team. With no compulsion to play an Asian player in the starting XI, his role might be limited to a squad player in the upcoming season.