The Englishman explained the club’s idea behind their key signings in the ongoing transfer window.

Odisha FC have really shaken up their foreign core for the upcoming season in the Indian Super League (ISL), after narrowly missing out on qualifying for the playoffs last time around. With new head coach Stuart Baxter in, the club released almost every foreigner from last season barring Diawandou Diagne, alongside making loanee Manuel Onwu’s deal permanent.

They’ve managed to sign four quality foreigners to boost their side, including ISL veteran Marcelinho to boost their attack. But, Marcelinho won’t be the only Brazilian player to spice up their attack, as they’ve also roped in experienced striker Diego Mauricio to partner Onwu upfront.

However, Odisha’s most famous foreign signing has been former Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor, who will be a massive boost to their backline, which was wobbly last season. Apart from that, they’ve also signed Australian defender Jacob Tratt, as it’s rather obvious that Baxter wants to keep a strong defensive shape for the upcoming season.

WATCH: Odisha FC head coach Stuart Baxter on Khel Now’s Beyond The Scores podcast with Ashish Negi

While speaking on Khel Now’s Beyond The Scores podcast, he spoke about the policies of OFC when it came to recruiting new foreign players this season. He said, “We went down the road of empowering the youth and trying to make Odisha FC a window for the younger players to profile themselves. To allow that to happen, you have to make sure you have the correct foreign players.

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“Of course I’m not commenting on the quality of the foreign players Odisha FC had before, but the ones we had to bring in, we had to try tailor it more a little bit to suit the needs of the young players. The next step was to ensure that the players we brought in from abroad would be the correct type of players, with the correct skillset and the correct mentality.”

“Yes, everyone who’s been in the transfer market knows you can make good signings and bad signings. But, we are trying to compliment and give the younger players the best possible opportunity to grow.”

LISTEN TO: Full episode 5 of Khel Now’s Beyond The Scores podcast with Ashish Negi as Stuart Baxter speaks about joining Odisha FC, foreign signings, Indian football and more

The ultimate goal of Odisha FC seems to be to create a potent young squad that can reap them rewards in the long-term. They’re also trying to fast-track the development of the talented, young Indian players so that they can make an impact.

With the kind of experienced players brought on board, the younger lads at Odisha will be the biggest benefactors. The likes of Shubham Sarangi, Daniel Lalhlimpuia, Vinit Rai should all learn a lot from the foreigners this season, which will allow them to perform better and help Odisha compete strongly with the other sides in the league.

To know more about each of Odisha FC’s foreign signings in the ongoing transfer window, check out the podcast!

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