He is the tenth signing of the summer at the club ahead of the new season.

Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Bengaluru FC recently announced the arrival of Iman Basafa at the club ahead of the upcoming season. The one-time ISL winners have signed the midfielder on a contract that will run until May 31, 2022. Basafa comes from the Persian Gulf Pro League and will be making his debut outside Iran for the first time in his career. 

Bengaluru FC are looking to change their fortunes in the eighth season of the ISL onwards. The club are in a transition phase after separating with former coach Carles Cuadrat midway through last season. Marco Pezzaiuoli has taken over the role of head coach at the Blues. His immediate objective is to help the outfit secure ISL playoffs qualification, which they missed for the first time in the 2020-21 campaign.

Iman Basafa joins the foreign contingent at the club and is the tenth new arrival before the forthcoming season. The midfielder would like to make an instant impact when the season kicks-off in November 2021. BFC will be up against NorthEast United in their opening fixture. The fans of the club are excited to see their new acquisition don the blue colours.

Expectations are high from the player, who will be making his debut in Indian football. Here is what Iman Basafa brings to the table at Bengaluru FC:

Past experience

Iman Basafa started his youth career at Shahrdari Bandar Abbas and signed his first professional contract for Aluminium Arak in July 2012. He signed for Esteghlal FC in 2013 and later joined Esteghlal Khuzestan in 2014. His next destination was Fajr Sepasi Shiraz in 2015 and after two years, Basafa signed for Malavan of Bandar Anzali in 2017.

In 2018, he returned to Aluminium Arak for a second spell with the club. However, he moved to Pars Jonoubi Jam after a year. In September 2020, he joined Machine Sazi Tabriz and now he has signed a contract with Bengaluru FC in the ISL.

Club career stats

Iman Basafa has played in both the first and second tier of the Iranian league system. He is well-versed with domestic football in Iran and possesses many qualities learned from his experience there. He has made 104 appearances in the Azadegan League (the second tier), recording 17 goals and one assist in the process. The 29-year-old has also played over 64 games in the Persian Gulf Pro League (first tier), managing two goals and two assists.

Furthermore, Basafa has one AFC Champions League appearance as well, which was for Esteghlal FC. The midfielder has recorded over 12,116 minutes of football across his career and is no way past his best. He is yet to win a trophy and winning one with Bengaluru FC will be high on the agenda. Basafa has made the most appearances for Fajr Sepasi Shiraz (57) and also scored the most goals for them (9) among all his clubs.

Last season’s performance

The defensive midfielder turned out for Machine Sazi Tabriz in the Persian Gulf Pro League. He made 20 appearances for the outfit, clocking 1601 minutes of football. He did not score any goals and provided one assist. The outfit finished bottom, in 16th place, managing only 14 points in 30 games.

Basafa also featured in the Hazfi Cup in a 3-0 defeat to Foolad FC in the fourth round. The midfielder was one of the few shining lights in a team which had a bad season. He will be hoping to be part of a team with a winning mentality which will also improve his performances.

Type of player

Iman Basafa is a defensive midfielder. He likes to sit deep and protect the backline. Furthermore, the 29-year-old is energetic, likes to make tackles and win the midfield battles. He will be crucial for Bengaluru FC in the heart of midfield.

Erik Paartalu will have healthy competition for a starting place in the lineup as a result of Basafa’s arrival. The Iranian also likes to use his 1,87m frame to dominate physically. He is a threat from attacking set-pieces and an asset while defending them.

How the player fits in manager’s plans

“Iman is a player who is comfortable in different positions in the midfield. He’s someone who has a physical presence, is good with his head and possesses traits of a leader. He is also someone who likes to shoot from distance. With his experience and presence, he will strengthen the squad and we look forward to welcoming him soon,” said Pezzaiuoli while speaking to the club’s website.

The tactician is relying on the physical attributes of the player and will hope that he can rejuvenate the midfield. Youngsters like Ajay Chhetri and Rohit Kumar would also learn a lot from the Iranian. Pezzaiuoli has been proactive in strengthening the backline and knows the importance of having a strong defence.

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