Kerala Blasters players dominate the list of the most influential foreign signings in the league.
Despite the new four foreigners’ rule which limited the number of foreign players in a starting XI, the men from other lands have shone this season. The Indian Super League 2021-22 campaign has seen its usual foreign marquee players deliver on their promises, be it Bartholomew Ogbeche or Igor Angulo. Moreover, it has also seen new ISL foreign recruits play some of the best football on Indian soil. Khel Now brings the five best foreigners who have taken India’s top tier by storm.
5. Marko Leskovic (Kerala Blasters)
Currently, KBFC are the joint-best defensive team in the league, alongside Hyderabad FC. Both sides have conceded 19 goals so far this season. For the Yellow Army, Croatian Marko Leskovic has been a revelation this campaign. After joining in the summer transfer window from Dinamo Zagreb, the centre-back has been a regular name in Ivan Vukomanovic’s team.
In the 16 games he has featured in, Leskovic has had an overall passing accuracy of 82%. Moreover, he has made 73 clearances and touched the ball a mammoth 912 times. If Kerala are to seal their berth in the top four, Marko Leskovic will have played a major role in manning the defence and leading from the back.
4. Jonathas de Jesus (Odisha FC)
The Brazilian forward has been a ray of light in an otherwise dark season for Odisha FC. Jonathas is the Juggernauts’ top scorer this season, with eight goals in 15 games. Moreover, he is just one assist behind Javi Hernandez’s five in the team’s assist providers tally. This shows that the 32-year-old is a complete player among all other new ISL foreign recruits, who not only scores but creates chances as well.
In Odisha’s final match, the striker would surely try to get his goal tally into double figures to end a rather successful competition individually.
3. Jorge Pereyra Diaz (Kerala Blasters)
Another one from the KBFC camp, the Argentine marksman has added to Kerala’s attacking powers immensely. With six goals and an assist so far in the season, he is showing everyone why he is more influential among the new ISL foreign recruits introduced to the league. In their recent win against struggling Chennaiyin FC, Diaz scored a wonderful brace to help his team gain three crucial points.
Whenever he is on the pitch, he looks to be a threat for opposition defenders. The forward will play a huge role if they are to make it to the playoffs.
2. Adrian Luna (Kerala Blasters)
The Uruguayan attacker has been one of the best players in the league and probably Kerala’s best! From goalscoring to creating chances for his teammates, Luna has done it all. While he has scored just five goals, Luna has scored when it has mattered the most. His highlight would surely be the long-range goal against FC Goa.
But, this is not even the strongest side of his game. He has provided seven assists so far, which brings him to fourth in the list of players to have made the most assists this season. It shows how much of an influential player Adrian Luna has been for the Yellow Army.
1. Greg Stewart (Jamshedpur FC)
Finally, we arrive to the one who has undoubtedly been the best debutant in the Indian Super League this campaign. Scotsman Greg Stewart has not only contributed with goals and assists but has also been a visually aesthetic footballer with his skills and finesse. So far, he has scored 10 times and assisted eight. Currently, he is the highest assist provider in this campaign.
Moreover, he sits at fifth position amongst those with the most number of shots registered (53). In conclusion, the 31-year-old is a key cog in JFC’s machinery, which has helped them likely seal their top-four berth.