The attacker will make his debut in Indian football amidst lots of expectations next season.

Indian Super League outfit Chennaiyin FC have signed Mirlan Murzaev ahead of the 2021/22 season. The Kyrgyzstan international will join his new employers before the eighth edition of the ISL, which is set to begin in late 2021.

The Marina Machans had a season to forget last time around under former head-coach Csaba Laszlo. The outfit finished eighth in the standings, which was way below expectations. The two-time ISL winners have brought in new head coach Bozidar Bandovic, who will aim to turn the tide around.

A flurry of new signings are coming in at the club. Recently, Serbian defender Slavko Damjanovic signed for the club and now Mirlan Murzaev has come in. The attacking winger/striker has signed a one-year deal with CFC and will hope to lead their charge next season.

Here is a quick overview of what Mirlan Murzaev brings to the table:

Previous playing experience

Mirlan Murzaev has played majorly within Kyrgyzstan across his career, with a few stints in foreign countries too. His first professional outing came in 2008 with FK Dordoi Bishkek, a club that plays in Kyrgyzstan’s first division. The winger moved on loan to Lokomotiv Moscow’s reserve team later. Murzaev next headed to Israeli club Hapoel Petah Tikva and then signed for Denizlispor back in Kyrgyzstan. 

The 31-year-old made subsequent moves to teams like Afjet Afyonspor, Usak Spor, Serik Belediyespor, FK Kara-Balta and Somaspor; all teams playing in various divisions in Kyrgyzstan. Before joining CFC, he played for Dogan Türk Birligi SK in Cyprus and his boyhood club FK Dordoi Bishkek. 

Club career in numbers

Mirlan Murzaev is a prolific goalscorer, as he has found the net wherever he has played. His first stint with FK Dordoi Bishkek saw the striker-cum-winger score 58 goals in 73 games. A second stint with the outfit saw him score 31 goals in 44 games. In other notable performances, he scored 14 goals for Usak Spor, 13 for Serik Belediyespor and nine for Somaspor.

He is the 17th player to score more than 100 goals in Kyrgyzstan’s league and cup competitions. A striker with an eye for goal is the perfect figure Chennaiyin FC require. His international performances are also noteworthy. The striker has 11 goals in 47 matches for Kyrgyzstan. 

Last season’s performance

The 31-year-old played for FK Dordoi Bishkek in the BC Olimp Premier League (Kyrgyzstan first tier league) and the AFC Cup. His league form was absolutely sensational, where he scored seven and made six assists in 14 fixtures. However, he could not find the back of the net in the two AFC Cup matches. He clocked an overall 1306 minutes of football last term. 

The striker was instrumental in FK Dordoi Bishkek finishing in second place in the final league standings. The attacking return of 13 goal contributions in 14 games made him one of the best performers in the league. 

Type of player

Mirlan Murzaev is a versatile attacker. He can play as a target man, a winger and also in a No.10 role. He is a good finisher and also possesses creativity in his repertoire. The six-feet tall figure of Murzaev is a threat in set-piece situations. He can also use his frame to drop deep during set-piece situations and help the defenders out.

He will certainly like to use his physical prowess to dominate the ISL. However, he might also need a little time to settle in with the climatic conditions of the sub-continent. Goa can get very humid despite the winter weather in the rest of India during the latter months of the year.

Fits right in at the club

The new head coach Bozidar Bandovic seems really pleased with the arrival of the attacker from Kyrgyzstan. “My thoughts on signing Mirlan are very simple. Two words infact. Quality. Personality,” said a delighted tactician in response to the transfer. The Marina Machans need a constant supply of goals and the attacker will certainly provide that.

He will combine with attackers Rahim Ali and Jobby Justin, who have a point to prove themselves. Murzaev adds a lot of firepower to the attacking department and his partnership with Rafael Crivellaro is also one to watch.

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