Two players each from Mumbai City FC, ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC make the list.
We are already six weeks into the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL), and all the 11 participating teams have completed at least seven matches by now. While Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are in a league of their own in the top two positions, others like FC Goa and Bengaluru FC are trying hard to play catch-up.
On the other hand, Kerala Blasters, SC East Bengal and Odisha FC are languishing in the bottom three. Meanwhile, in a bid to try and determine the top 10 most consistent players across the whole ISL campaign, Khel Now has introduced another landmark innovation, namely – the ‘Khel Now Power Rankings.’
This particular piece is the second iteration of the series and it highlights the 10 players who have emerged as the best in the league, based on their performances for their respective teams in the past six weeks. So, without further ado, let us take a look at who has topped the ‘Khel Now Power Rankings’ at the end of Phase 2 of the 2020-21 season.
*Phase 2 of the 2020-21 season ended after the game between Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters on January 2, 2021.
10. Khassa Camara (15 points)
NorthEast United’s Khassa Camara has been one of the most consistent players so far this season. NEUFC themselves are doing decently well, having lost just once in seven matches. Camara is one of their most important players in midfield, assisting in breaking down attacks and also participating in build-up play.
The 28-year-old has featured for 647 minutes so far across eight matches. He is one pass shy of reaching the 250-mark and has maintained a passing accuracy of close to 75% all season. With 33 tackles, 21 interceptions, nine clearances and 10 blocks, his most vital contributions have come in defence.
10. Carl McHugh (15 points)
McHugh was one of the best players in ATK Mohun Bagan’s opening fixture against Kerala Blasters on November 20. He has managed to maintain his good form since, appearing in all eight of ATKMB’s matches so far.
While others pinned more expectations on the likes of Tiri and David Williams, it is the 27-year-old who has played a more pivotal role in the team’s success so far this term. The midfielder has 260 passes to his name, including an assist. He has also produced 54 tackles, 15 interceptions, 19 clearances and 14 blocks.
10. Adam le Fondre (15 points)
Adam le Fondre was one of the top performers in Phase 1 of this ISL. While his goalscoring form dipped in the early days of Phase 2, he seems to have found his mojo back after converting a penalty in just the second minute of the game against Kerala Blasters on Saturday.
He now has six goals in eight matches and has also clocked 600 minutes on the pitch. Although he is not very adept at passing, the 34-year-old ex-Sydney FC striker has also helped out in defence at times, with five each of tackles, clearances and blocks. His positional awareness and a strong right foot make him lethal in front of goal.
7. Nerijus Valskis (16 points)
With six goals in nine matches, Lithuanian striker Valskis seems to have brought along his scoring boots for the second straight ISL season running. The ex-Chennaiyin FC star has played a prominent role in Jamshedpur FC’s heroics so far this campaign. They are in fourth place, having won against ATK Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United.
Owen Coyle seems to trust nobody else in his team like he does Valskis, who has played the full 90 minutes in each of the nine matches that JFC have featured in so far. Apart from his goalscoring prowess, the forward also helps in defence, especially during set pieces. He made two vital clearances in the game against Odisha FC, against whom he also bagged a brace.
7. Aridane Santana (16 points)
Aridane Santana shifted base from Odisha FC to Hyderabad FC in the summer. With that, he also seems to have brought in a change of fortunes for last season’s bottom-placed team, as they now sit in eighth place, just four points shy of a top-four spot.
Santana has been the main striker for the Nizams so far this season. With five goals in seven matches, he has been one of primary reasons for their positive results. Whenever he’s failed to find the net, like against Mumbai City and Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad have suffered. He also has 16 tackles, four interceptions, eight blocks and eight clearances to his name.
5. Lallianzuala Chhangte (17 points)
Chhangte is the only Indian in this list this time around. Does that make him the best Indian player of the season so far? We think so. The 23-year-old has been one of the most important cogs for Chennaiyin FC so far this term and his stats don’t lie.
He has been on the pitch for 712 minutes out of the possible 720 in eight matches. He has one goal and an assist to his name so far and has often played a key role in Chennaiyin’s attacks. The midfielder has also completed over 230 passes and has three clearances as well as eight blocks to his tally.
4. Rafael Crivellaro (18 points)
The second Chennaiyin FC player on this list, few people would have a disagreement on the importance of Rafael Crivellaro in the Marina Machans squad. His goal against FC Goa was a thing of beauty, but he also offers much more in terms of performance.
In seven matches, the 31-year-old has attempted 318 passes, 27 crosses and 19 shots. He also has an assist to his name, along with two clearances and six blocks. His best performances came against Jamshedpur FC in their opening fixture and against the Gaurs in December.
4. Hugo Boumous (18 points)
Hugo Boumous joined Mumbai City FC from FC Goa after the former dished out ₹1.6cr to trigger his buyout clause. While it seemed a big deal back then, fans now understand why the Islanders signed him, having seen his performances so far in the league.
Having registered four assists across seven matches in the ISL, Boumous finally netted his maiden goal of the season against Kerala Blasters on Saturday. The 28-year-old has been the starting point of almost every Mumbai City attack this season and there is no stopping this team as long as their main man continues to wreak havoc on opposition sides.
2. Roy Krishna (19 points)
ATK Mohun Bagan’s Roy Krishna picked up from exactly where he left off last season, scoring the first goal of this season in the opening game against Kerala Blasters. He has continued to find his scoring boots at will, having netted against SC East Bengal, Odisha, Jamshedpur and Goa as well.
The player has lately been unable to find form, however. Against Bengaluru FC and Chennaiyin FC he couldn’t score and the Mariners barely escaped unharmed in both matches. All further progress of Antonio Habas’ men depends a lot on the Fijian.
1. Igor Angulo (28 points)
The addition of Igor Angulo has added a new dimension to FC Goa. With 28 points, the Polish striker is running away with the title of best player in the ISL this season and it is not surprising.
Although he is 36 years of age, Angulo has proved that age is just a number, having racked up eight goals across as many matches. He is also the current top-scorer in the league and his penchant to find the net in crucial moments makes him a big game player. He scored the winner against both Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC in the final moments.