These footballers switched clubs for astronomical fees in the Indian market.
The Indian Super League (ISL) is a fast growing league with plenty of glitz and glamour. Over the past years, we have seen several teams splash out big bucks on star players in hope to win the league. We have also seen several ISL stars jumping ship and the trend continued in the 2021 summer transfer window.
A very exciting summer transfer deadline day was ensured by SC East Bengal as they started their transfer activity very late. It was probably the most happening transfer window as we saw several top players joining the Indian Super League.
Here are the top five most expensive transfers in the ISL in the summer 2021 window.
5. Dylan Fox (Rs 30 Lakhs)
The reliable Australian centre-back, who earned plaudits for his consistent performances for NorthEast United in the previous season joined FC Goa in the summer transfer window of 2021. The Gaurs paid approximately ₹30 lakhs to the Highlanders to secure the services of the 27-year-old.
FC Goa roped in James Donachie in the previous season, however, head coach Juan Ferrando feels Fox will be a better fit. Dylan Fox is an excellent reader of the game and has impressive ball playing abilities. He will look to settle in Goa as soon as possible and with exceptional players playing around him it should not take much time.
4. Ishan Pandita (Rs 60 Lakhs)
One of the brightest young domestic talents in the Indian Super League, Ishan Pandita has certainly lived up to the expectations till now. The youngster has plied his trade at for several Spanish youth outfits like Almeria and Leganes as well as lower division outfit Lorca FC.
Pandita returned to India in 2020 when he decided to join FC Goa. The 23-year-old had a breakthrough last season in the ISL as he scored four goals in 54 minutes. He came off the bench and scored crucial goals to save the Gaurs. On the back of his impressive performances, he also made his Indian national team debut.
Jamshedpur FC decided to splash out ₹60 lakh as transfer fees to lure him to the club.
3. Liston Colaco (Rs 1.2 Crores)
Developed under Sergio Lobera during his time at FC Goa, Liston Colaco made a name for himself at Hyderabad FC. He was the perfect impact player for Manolo Marquez, who would unleash him late in the game against tired defenders. The 2020-21 season was very productive for the winger as he scored two goals and registered three assists. However, the highlight of his performances was always his ability to beat defenders at will and his lightning pace.
ATK Mohun Bagan head coach Antonio Lopez Habas was impressed with Liston and the ISL club decided to pay a humongous ₹1.20 crore transfer fee for the youngster to lure him away from Hyderabad. Liston has already made his debut for the Mariners in the AFC Cup and has already matched his last season’s tally by netting two goals in the continental competition.
2. Hugo Boumous (Rs 2 Crores)
Undoubtedly one of the best foreign players in the Indian Super League right now, Hugo Boumous was a crowd favourite for Mumbai City FC in the 2020-21 season. The French-Moroccan midfielder guided the Islanders to their maiden ISL trophy and qualified for the AFC Champions League group stages last season. He scored only two goals whereas assisted nine while playing a crucial role in Mumbai City’s triumph.
His best season in India was with FC Goa under the tutelage of Sergio Lobera in the 2018-19 campaign when he netted 11 goals along with 10 assists. He was one of the pivotal players for the Gaurs who helped them top the league table and qualify for the group stages of the AFC Champions League.
With Javi Hernandez and Edu Garcia gone, ATK Mohun Bagan were on the lookout for a player who could support Roy Krishna. Looking at all the options, Boumous turned out to be the best candidate and the Mariners broke the transfer record by paying over ₹2 crore fees.
1. Apuia (Rs 2.1 Crores)
One of the shining stars in Indian football right now, Lalengmawia commonly know as Apuia was wanted by several ISL clubs. The young midfielder began his career at the AIFF Elite Academy before joining the Indian Arrows in 2017. He was battle-hardened in the I-League featuring for the Arrows. NorthEast United signed him in the following season and he made his debut in the ISL in the 2018-19 season.
However, the following season saw the rise of Apuia as the youngster showed maturity beyond his years and great composure on the ball. He became the youngest-ever captain in the ISL when he led NorthEast United last season. A number of clubs wanted to sign the midfielder but reigning ISL champions Mumbai City FC won the race by paying a hefty ₹2.1 crores transfer fee. It will be interesting to see how Apuia develops under Sergio Lobera.