The Islanders have been one of the unpredictable sides in the league’s history.
Mumbai City FC have qualified for the playoffs only twice in six years since their inception, so it could possibly be said that the franchise has flattered to deceive over the years. However, they would turn a new leaf in their journey with City Football Group’s takeover blossoming properly with some significant acquisitions in the ongoing transfer market.
In the future, the first phase of the metropolis team’s existence would be viewed as the pre-CFG era. Hence, here we choose an all-time XI of Mumbai City FC to reflect their performances since the commencement of the Indian Super League.
Goalkeeper: Amrinder Singh
Whether it’s the ups or the downs, Amrinder Singh has been a constant figure with Mumbai City FC and continues to be one. The custodian has made 59 ISL appearances for the Islanders over the course of four seasons and has been a pillar of strength for the team, whilst also providing immense solidity to the backline.
He has recorded 2.96 saves per game for Mumbai in the league, in addition to having maintained 18 clean-sheets too. Moreover, the goalkeeper has conceded only 1.40 goals on average in each game and is someone who has taken over the leadership mantle for the side on multiple occasions.
Right-Back: Souvik Chakrabarti
Souvik Chakrabarti was a vital part of Jorge Costa’s setup in 2018-19, when Mumbai finished third in the points table. He made 3.77 tackles, two interceptions and an impressive 6.38 clearances per game in that campaign.
The right-back represented the team in seven more matches in 2019-20 and even scored a goal. However, an offer from Hyderabad FC arrived in late January and Souvik joined the Nizams.
Centre-Back: Lucian Goian
The Romanian enjoyed a cult status in his three seasons with the Islanders, wherein he had captained the team in the 2017-18 campaign. Lucian Goian made 50 appearances in the league for the franchise, scored three goals and registered 4.92 tackles on average in every encounter.
Moreover, he lodged 1.86 interceptions per game and also made a massive 7.58 clearances in every 90 minutes for the Islanders. His aerial prowess and the ability to organize the backline made him an excellent leader and possibly the best defender in Mumbai City’s short history.
Centre-Back: Gerson Vieira
Gerson Vieira formed a rock-solid partnership with Goian at the centre of the backline for two seasons. The Brazilian was a busy centre-half, who did not refrain from making tough challenges and was a neat passer of the ball too.
Vieira and Goian tended to demonstrate an appropriate understanding of the game, with the duo complementing each other with their individual playing styles and hence deserve to be named together as the centre-back pair in this team!
Left-Back: Subhasish Bose
Perhaps one of the more obvious choices in this lineup, Subhasish Bose added flair along with visible defensive qualities in the left-sided full-back position ever since joining the team in 2018. Bose notched three assists and a goal in 34 ISL appearances for Mumbai City FC.
His energy on the flank, passing range and the spirit to win the ball back earned him major applause from various quarters. The former Bengaluru FC player tackled 3.29 times and made 1.35 interceptions in every match and developed to become an irreplaceable figure under Costa’s tutelage.
Central Defensive Midfielder: Rowllin Borges
Rowllin Borges has turned up for the Islanders only for a solitary season so far, but the sheer class demonstrated by him in the middle of the park has arguably not been emulated by any other central midfielder for Mumbai over the years.
Borges had a splendid campaign, as he scored and assisted twice in 15 matches, in addition to recording 6.86 tackles in every game. Moreover, he had a passing accuracy of 75.39% and quite literally ran the game from either deeper or advanced midfield positions. The man was industrious, tenacious and even creative when required and is an excellent asset to possess in the squad.
Right Central Midfielder: Raynier Fernandes
Raynier Fernandes has been garlanded with several terms, as his popularity among the West Coast Brigade has increased immensely in the last two years. On the pitch, he has scored three goals and assisted thrice in 33 ISL matches for the team.
Overall, Raynier has a passing accuracy of 71.65%, but his creative instincts were curtailed due to Costa’s defensive demands last season. The local lad is still finding his feet in midfield, but the franchise certainly has long-term aspirations from him and hence he was rewarded with a new contract lasting until 2023.
Left Central Midfielder: Paulo Machado
Paulo Machado was instrumental in Mumbai’s impressive 2018-19 campaign. He is astute at controlling and altering the pace of the game from an advanced midfield position. His last season was cut short due to a knee injury. However, the Portuguese international has scored three goals and bagged five assists in 29 appearances in the league for the franchise.
He has a composed mindset and aptly pulls the strings in the opposition’s half. Yet, being shoehorned to a defensive role due to multiple injuries to other players in the previous term perhaps hampered his potential in the offensive part of the game. However, Machado has in many ways proven his ingenuity in this position.
Left Winger: Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri represented Mumbai City FC for two seasons in 2015 and 2016 and is still the second-highest goalscorer in the team’s history. In his debut campaign, the 35-year-old notched seven goals in 11 matches. Though, he couldn’t find the back of the net in six games in 2016, Chhetri bagged a solitary assist before returning to Bengaluru FC.
He played a part in nine goals in 17 matches over the course of two campaigns. He oozed class with his deft finishing abilities and composure in front of goal in 2015 and is still arguably the most prominent Indian player to have turned up for the Islanders.
Right Winger: Arnold Issoko
Originally a right-back, Arnold Issoko’s offensive potential was completely churned out for the team’s benefits by Jorge Costa, when the 28-year-old was played as a right winger in 2018-19. Issoko scored three goals and registered an admirable eight assists in merely 18 matches for Mumbai City FC.
Arguably, one of the best crossers of the ball the league has ever seen, Issoko had an efficiency of delivering 3.66 crosses on an average in each game. His defensive work-rate was commendable too, but a goal contribution in every 145.45 minutes makes him one of the most proficient forwards in the Islanders’ history.
Striker: Modou Sougou
The Senegalese international is the highest goalscorer over six seasons for Mumbai City FC. He has bagged 15 goals and two assists in 32 matches for them, with 12 of those netted in the 2018-19 campaign, when the team finished in the third spot in the points table.
He was extremely prolific when he led the forward line, but was shunted to the right flank in 2019-20. Modou Sougou still managed to score thrice and assist two other goals in 14 matches. He has a goal/per game ratio of 0.47 and deserves to be included in the lineup for the consistency and sheer longevity of his performances.
Head Coach: Jorge Costa
The Portuguese tactician parted ways with Mumbai City FC, but his two-year long tenure is possibly the best that any head coach has had with the team. He led the side to a third place and a fifth place finish with limited resources at his disposal and was quite capable of completely extracting the dormant potential present in the squad.