Federico Gallego also makes the cut after his influential outings for NorthEast United.
The Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 has reached its business end, with every participating team having already completed three-fourths of their league stage campaign. Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan are comfortably placed in the top two spots on the points table and have already qualified for the playoffs, while every other team except Odisha FC is in the race for the remaining two spots in the top four.
Meanwhile, as you already know, Khel Now has introduced the ‘Khel Now Power Rankings’ in a bid to try and determine the top-10 most consistent players across the season. This piece right is the fourth iteration of the series and it highlights the best ten players judged on the basis of their performances so far this season.
Without further ado, let us take a look at who has topped the ‘Khel Now Power Rankings’ at the end of Phase 4 of the 2020-21 season.
*Phase 4 of the 2020-21 season ended after the game between Bengaluru FC and ATK Mohun Bagan on February 9, 2021.
10. Ahmed Jahouh (22 points)
Mumbai City’s Ahmed Jahouh is back in the Khel Now Power Rankings by virtue of his solid displays for the Islanders in the past few weeks. Under Sergio Lobera, the club as a whole are doing well, but it goes without saying that the defensive midfielder has been one of their best performers so far in ISL 2020-21.
The former FC Goa star has clocked 1119 minutes on the pitch across 13 matches and has an assist to his name. He has also attempted a whopping 933 passes so far, while maintaining a passing accuracy of 76.42%. His best numbers are based on the defensive aspect of his gameplay, such as 121 tackles, 20 interceptions, 31 clearances and 13 blocks.
9. Federico Gallego (23 points)
After lying low in terms of performances in the initial few weeks, Federico Gallego has brought out the best in him, especially in the last couple of weeks. As of right now, NorthEast United are fifth on the ISL table. They are level on points with third-placed FC Goa and fourth-placed Hyderabad FC. This, in turn, makes them one of the teams with the easiest chances of qualifying for the playoffs. It hence would not be a lie if one says that Gallego is one of the major reasons for their success so far.
The Spaniard has four each of goals and assists from 12 matches and has attempted close to 450 passes, with an accuracy of nearly 60%. His defensive returns have also been good, with 30 tackles, four interceptions, 10 clearances and eight vital blocks.
8. Aridane Santana (24 points)
After shifting base from Odisha FC, striker Aridane Santana has impressed fans and pundits alike with his displays at Hyderabad. The 33-year-old has played 1327 minutes across 15 matches and has recorded seven goals as well as an assist so far.
With 33 tackles, 11 interceptions, 15 clearances and 17 blocks, the Spaniard has also been surprisingly good when his side are defending. The Nizams have a solid chance of qualifying for the playoffs and if Santana can find the back of the net a few more times in their remaining games, he can ensure that it actually happens.
8. Diego Mauricio (24 points)
Odisha FC have had a very disappointing ISl 2020-21, as evident from their bottom spot in the points table. One of the very few things that they have done right this time is the signing of Brazilian forward Diego Mauricio.
The versatile attacker has been the main man upfront for the Juggernauts and has already netted seven goals as well as an assist. His best performance came against Kerala Blasters when he scored a brace in a 4-2 win. In addition, the 29-year-old has also made 31 tackles, two interceptions, four clearances and four blocks.
6. Bipin Singh (25 points)
Mumbai City’s Bipin Singh has been one of the stars of the ISL, especially in the past couple of weeks. The 25-year-old is seven minutes away from clocking the 1200-minute-mark in the league and has recorded two goals as well as four assists so far in the season. One of his best performances came against Kerala Blasters on February 3, when he scored his team’s equalizer just a few seconds after kickoff in the second half.
With 31 tackles, 10 interceptions, five clearances and 13 blocks, the midfielder has contributed defensively as well. Based on his current form, it is only a matter of time before Bipin makes his mark in the Indian national team.
5. Jorge Ortiz (26 points)
Although Igor Angulo is the main man at FC Goa, there is no denying Jorge Ortiz’s abilities and his contribution for the Gaurs so far in ISL 2020-21. With the former lying low in recent games due to injury and illnesses, it was Ortiz who stepped up and made sure that Juan Ferrando’s men did not falter with the playoffs in sight.
The Spaniard has appeared in 16 matches for FC Goa so far this season and that indicates how important he is for them. The 28-year-old has also notched five goals and an assist. His defensive contributions which include 32 tackles, nine interceptions, two clearances and 11 blocks have also been important, as proved by his performance against Kerala Blasters in January.
4. Igor Angulo (28 points)
When Igor Angulo joined the Gaurs as Ferran Corominas’ replacement, there were doubts about his abilities. His age (36) also added to the suspicion that his days were done, but it is safe to say that those doubts no longer exist.
The Spanish striker has proved that age is just a number, having racked up 11 goals across 15 matches. But, eight of those goals came in his first eight games, which means that he has found the back of the net only three more times since then. That being said, it needs to be mentioned that the team from Goa have four more matches remaining in the league stage, which gives him plenty of time to take back the top spot in the ISL Golden Boot race, where he is currently placed second.
3. Lallianzuala Chhangte (31 points)
The highest Indian in the Khel Now Power Rankings, Lallianzuala Chhangte’s continued presence in this list is a matter of relief to many – there are Indians with good footballing quality, after all. While many stalwarts like Sunil Chhetri, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Udanta Singh failed to maintain consistency, Chhangte has done that very easily.
The 23-year-old has played over 1400 minutes so far in the ongoing campaign. Although he has just a goal and an assist to his name, the influential role that he has at Chennaiyin FC is unmatched by the rest of his teammates. He is also one of the few players to attempt over 550 passes and has 45 tackles, 14 interceptions, four clearances and 14 blocks to his name.
2. Hugo Boumous (32 points)
The fact that Mumbai City are at the top of the ISL 2020-21 standings makes it understandable as to how three of their players – Ahmed Jahouh, Bipin Singh and finally Hugo Boumous – are in our top-10 list. Another former FC Goa star like his teammate Jahouh, Boumous has also picked up from where he left off last season, albeit with a new club.
The focal point of MCFC’s attacks, the 25-year-old has clocked 1128 minutes across 13 games. He has two goals and seven assists so far in his kitty this season and has played close to 750 passes, while maintaining an accuracy of 72.59%. The French-Moroccan is not only one of the best players in the Islanders’ setup, but he is also one of the best across the whole league.
1. Roy Krishna (41 points)
Having impressed with ATK last season, it was no surprise when ATK Mohun Bagan signed Roy Krishna for another year this summer. That choice has paid dividends, with the Fijian currently holding top spot in the Khel Now Power Rankings. He also has a considerable lead over Boumous in second place.
With 12 goals, Krishna is the top scorer in ISL 2020-21 right now. Additionally, he has also notched two assists from 16 games so far this season. With 34 tackles, four clearances and seven each of interceptions and blocks, the 33-year-old has also been useful to the team while playing off the ball.