Top 10 foreign debutants to look forward to in ISL 2022-23
All major teams have bolstered their squads through quality overseas signings.
With another Indian Super League season just around the corner, all the teams are looking to ensure that they leave no stones unturned in their preparations. From keeping their quality players to bringing on newer ones, clubs have made good use of the transfer window. Most teams were able to scout foreigners well by showing strong credentials to bring them to India. They made efforts to scout the right talent, offer transfer fees, and duel out marquee transfers with each other to bolster their foreign contingent. Here, we take a look at the top 10 foreigners belonging to different teams who are set to make their ISL debut this season.
10. Fallou Diagne (Chennaiyin FC)
A very strong addition to the squad, Fallou Diagne is a Senegalese defender who will be plying his trade with Chennayian FC in the upcoming season. He had been a national team player for Senegal and played three matches. His vast experience of playing around the globe will definitely bolster Chennaiyin’s defence. Moreover, getting a cap of a nation boasting of Sadio Mane and Kalidou Koulibaly is no small feat.
9. Charalambos Kyriakou (East Bengal FC)
One of the bright spots for East Bengal in the Durand Cup has been Charalambos Kyriakou. He has put on spirited displays in all the matches for the club. His work ethic, defending quality, fitness, and mental strength gained him a lot of fans. Even in the derby loss against ATKMB, Kyriakou played well and ensured that the opposition could not score. Alongside Ivan Gonzalez, Kyriakou’s presence in East Bengal’s defence would definitely make the lives of opposition attackers extremely difficult. However, the presence of both together in the starting eleven is questionable, keeping in mind the four-foreigner rule. Nevertheless, East Bengal fans will be looking forward to his performance in the ISL 2022-23.
8. Rostyn Griffiths (Mumbai City FC)
One of the most expensive signings in the A-League history, Rostyn Griffiths is a strong defender/defensive midfielder who can be a very good pair/alternative for Mourtada Fall. He has vast experience of playing in the A-League where he had been a standout player throughout. Griffiths is renowned for his ability to break opposition’s gameplay. Moreover, he also plays a central role in his own team’s build-up play. Thus, Des Buckingham has the option to use him in both attacking and defensive setups, which would further add depth to Mumbai’s already-strong squad.
7. Aleksandar Jovanovic (Bengaluru FC)
In order to solidify the backline, Bengaluru have got hold of Australian centre-back, Aleksandar Jovanovic. He is a highly-experienced defender with many caps in the A-League. He is one of the new additions to the team ahead of the ISL. With his vast experience and strong technical prowess, the Blues will be hoping that he can stop opponents from scoring.
6. Víctor Rodríguez (Odisha FC)
The signing of Víctor Rodríguez by Odisha FC is being considered by many as a game-changer. This is because he arrives directly from Spain’s Elche. He had been in Spain for quite some time and had gathered a lot of experience in the land of ‘tiki-taka‘. Hence, the Juggernauts and their fans would be expecting Spanish flavour from his gameplay.
5. Marc Valiente (FC Goa)
One of the most talked about signings of the season, Marc Valiente is a Spanish footballer who plays as a central defender. He is a product of Barcelona and later joined Sevilla. From 2010, he played for Real Valladolid for five years and appeared in 157 matches. He also has experience of playing top-flight football in Israel, Belgium, and Serbia. Therefore, FC Goa fans are highly excited about him hitting the pitch in the upcoming ISL season.
4. Florentin Pogba (ATK Mohun Bagan FC)
The signing of Florentin Pogba is considered to be one of the marquee signings this season. He is a Guinean international who has already debuted for the Green & Maroons in the Durand Cup. The news of his signing came as a surprise for the footballing fraternity of India as he is the elder brother of ace French footballer Paul Pogba. However, his beginning with the club did not go well as the team bowed out of the Durand Cup and lost 3-1 in the the AFC inter-zone play-off. Thus, he shall be willing to undo these failures by bolstering the club’s defence in the ISL.
3. Apostolos Giannou (Kerala Blasters FC)
Apostolos Giannou is a Greek-Australian striker who is currently busy doing pre-season training with the Kerala Blasters squad in UAE. He has been signed as a primary replacement for Alvaro Vasquez, who was a standout performer for the club last season. Thus, big responsibilities lie on him in ISL 2022-23. He has represented various Australian and Greek youth teams and was called up to the Greece national side once for a friendly.
However, since 2016, the forward is representing Australia in international football. He has gained 12 caps for Australia to date. Thus, with such credentials under his belt, the Yellow Army will be looking forward to him for finding their goals.
2. Matt Derbyshire (NorthEast United FC)
The marquee signing of NorthEast United this year is Matthew Anthony Derbyshire, commonly known as Matt Derbyshire. He is a vastly experienced striker who has played in England for many years. Derbyshire had been a regular for clubs like Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Wrexham, Birmingham City, and Olympiacos.
In addition, the forward also has 14 caps under his belt for the England U-21 side. With this signing, the Highlanders will hope to overcome their performance drought and make their mark in the upcoming league.
1. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Jamshedpur FC)
Arguably the biggest signing of the season is Jamshedpur’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Jay is a former Arsenal product who is a versatile attacker and can play both as a striker or a winger. With a few Arsenal caps in friendlies and vast experience of English professional football, he may be an appropriate if not a like-for-like replacement for Greg Stewart. Jamshedpur will be primarily dependent on him for goals. Moreover, the country’s whole football fraternity will be looking forward to seeing him perform in the league.
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