The experienced left-back could fill in ably for most clubs.

Football is a game where it is difficult to live in the present. Success is the cornerstone and the journey towards achieving and re-achieving it is paramount for teams. The ISL is no exception to this.

It’s been barely over a month since Halicharan Narzary won Hyderabad FC the ISL title with the final penalty kick. But, there has been plenty of talk surrounding transfers, moves that have happened and those that are in the mix. Players and coaches are once again in demand in India’s top football league for the 2022-23 season.

Once again, clubs are looking to snap up talent at cut-throat prices and this means more focus once again on free agents. One player among the free agents is former Chennaiyin FC left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala. The diminutive left-back is a free agent, having not signed a new deal with the Marina Machans. He could be a potential target for many clubs in the ISL. We go through a few reasons why he would be a good addition to any ISL team.

5. Work-rate

Jerry Lalrinzuala
He was part of the 2017-18 ISL winning team of Chennaiyin FC (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Jerry Lalrinzuala offers a high work-rate. The defender played 1,558 minutes last season, the fourth-highest by any CFC player. He also averages 4.11 tackles and interceptions per game. This ensures that he will be a great defensive recruit. He also averages 36 passes/game at a decent accuracy of 67%. Last season, he won 68 tackles, the highest by any Chennaiyin FC player. Infact, Jerry won 295 tackles in total, the highest by any CFC player in the ISL.

These numbers assure that Jerry will be an industrious player. It also highlights the commitment that he shows on the pitch for his side.

4. Adds to squad depth

Despite his quality, Jerry might not be a guaranteed starter at other clubs. Many clubs already have options and combinations in that position. Nonetheless, Jerry would still add a lot to the depth of the squad.

He has also shown his capability of coming off the bench and getting work done for his side. Hence, he will be an able backup or replacement for any left-back in the league. If he continues his consistent performances, he could even usurp a few.

3. A dependable Indian presence

Jerry Lalrinzuala
Jerry has made 94 ISL appearances with the Marina Machans (Courtesy: ISL Media)

The ISL, for now, is looking to continue with the four foreigners’ rule. Hence, the clubs will look to add more domestic firepower to their side. Jerry offers a great addition to any squad, in that respect.

Jerry Lalrinzuala, for the most part, has been injury-free. He has missed very few games due to fitness issues, which would be beneficial for any squad, given the number of injuries that players suffer during the season.

2. A savvy long-term investment

Despite his experience in the ISL, Jerry is still only 23. Therefore, any team signing him will make a good long-term investment. He will have the chance to groom and improve himself under a good coach. He will also get the chance to compete with the regulars in the team. Therefore, his young age, added with his quality and output, will encourage coaches and teams to keep him for the long haul.

Buying Jerry will mean that the club will also get a capped player who has the experience of playing at the international level.

1. Experience

Despite being only 23, Jerry Lalrinzuala has already played six seasons in the ISL (Courtesy: ISL Media)

Jerry possesses loads of experience of playing in the ISL. He has played 94 games, all for Chennaiyin FC. He represented them 103 times across all competitions. What’s more, he also has the experience of winning the ISL title and playing in the final. Therefore, he brings the experience of playing and delivering in the big games for his club. He also won the Emerging Player of the Year in the ISL in 2016-17.

Despite being 23, Jerry possesses the experience of cutting it in the ISL and I-League. He also has the know-how of playing in the AFC Cup. This makes him a battle-hardened player who will rise to the challenge when needed. Although his attacking numbers have dropped, Jerry Lalrinzuala is a competent defensive option at the need of the hour.

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