After ISL draft all TEAMS are set to start afresh with some new names, and buoy they’re big…

With the Indian Super league (ISL) entering one of its most pivotal years since it’s inception thanks to the tournament getting recognised by the AFC and with two new teams entering the fray, we take a look at the big names who have pledged their allegiance to another club ahead of this edition of the ISL. These players have been central to their previous team’s plans and their addition to these new clubs will be very well received thanks to the quality and skill they bring with them. They have proven themselves time and time again in Indian football and fans can get to see them back in action this year in the tournament..

 Eugeneson in ATK colours

#1 Eugeneson Lyngdoh (Bengaluru FC -> ATK)

Name a single position in the midfield and he will make sure that he commands that position to be his. Be it attacking midfield, defensive midfield, right or left, he has played in all these positions for various clubs and he has had quite a bit of success in these positions. His expertise though have to be as a central defensive midfielder where he seems to excel.

You’ll never see him score goals every game or even every alternate game, but he does a lot of important work otherwise. Eugeneson Lyngdoh does things that many seem to like less but in reality, he sets the motion in which the team plays on a matchday. Right from distributing and organising to providing the inch-perfect ball to his forwards, he does it all. These are just some of the things that Lyngdoh has shown he is capable of. 

The midfiielder featured for Bengaluru FC last season in the I-League and will be making their debut in ISL 2017. He had quite an average season for BFC and is now gearing up to play under Tedy Sheringham and Ashley Westwood at ATK. The Bengal Tigers are certainly getting a seasoned veteran of Indian football.

#2 Pritam Kotal (ATK -> Delhi Dynamos)

The right-back who featured for ATK in the previous edition of the ISL and Mohun Bagan in this year’s I-League, will now feature for the Delhi Dynamos after bring drafted in by them for a whopping 75 lacs. Kotal is still young and for someone his age, he brings in a lot of experience in Indian football. He’s been a regular for FC Pune City since the first edition of the ISL. He’s caught a lot of eyes with his performances down the flanks. Though his preferred position has been right-back, he has played as a left-back, a right winger and defensive midfielder. 

He’s also been a regular for the national side thanks to his performances and he’s not one of those modern day full-backs who like to attack as well. He’s very disciplined at right-back and does not push up beyond the half-way line too often. If there’s one flaw in his style of play, it is the fact that he does not provide much on the attacking side of the game but his positives completely overshadow the flaws. 

He’s still only 24 and the level of awareness that he possesses during the game is commendable. Dynamos will be looking to put up a good show in this edition of the ISL and investing in Kotal has been a step in the right direction to achieve that goal. 

Also read: “I believe that I am the best right-back in the country” – Pritam Kotal

#3 Sameegh Doutie (ATK -> Jamshedpur FC)

The South African who featured for ATK in the previous editions of the ISL, will now represent the newcomers, Jamshedpur FC. Doutie’s playing style is somewhat similar to that of Everton’s Aaron Lennon. Doutie is very pacy and when you see him running down the wings, it’s always going to be a problem for the defenders. His preferred position is on the right wing but he has experimented playing in the left midfielder position as well and fared well. 

Doutie is a good passer of the ball, be it crossing the ball into the box or delivering defence-splitting through-balls, he has done it all and he excels at it. He has been an absolute assist machine for ATK in the past seasons. In his two seasons in the ISL, he has bagged five goals and has provided a very respectable 12 assists. 

Doutie’s addition to the Jamshedpur squad has been well received by the fans and the critics as he’s shown what he’s capable of and he’s already acclimatized to the footballing environment in India. It’ll only be a matter of time for him to get going come this season. 

#4 Harmanjot Singh Khabra (Chennayin FC -> Bengaluru FC)

“Versatility” is what this man stands for. Khabra has definitely got to be the one footballer who has almost played everywhere on the pitch except for being a goalkeeper and a striker. When Chennayin FC first played him in the inaugural season of the ISL, Khabra had played in four different positions for them. Khabra joins Bengaluru FC for this edition of the ISL and what a signing this is for the Blues. He’s played for BFC in the I-league and they know what kind of a player Khabra is. 

Albert Roca will prefer him at the right-back position where he is said to be a specialist. Having already played for Bengaluru FC previously, he has a good connection with the squad and will have no problem in acclimatizing to the situation. Being 29 years of age, he brings in a lot of experience to this rejuvenated Bengaluru side.

BFC will be gunning straight for the title come this season and have never gone without a trophy in a calendar year since their inception. Khabra certainly adds a lot of value to this ambitious side. With the Blues keeping an eye on the AFC Cup as well, squad depth becomes an important aspect for them to focus on and with Khabra’s ability to play in multiple positions, he helps them in more than just one way. 

 Also read: Chennayin FC’s new dugout staff


#5 lain Hume (ATK -> Kerala Blasters FC)

One could even go as far as calling him ISL’s poster boy. The kind of impact that he has had on this league ever since its inception is something that no one else has been able to achieve. Hume started his ISL career with Kerala Blasters, the first season was just a precursor to what was to come from the Canadian. He scored just four goals in his first season from 13 games. His next season was at ATK where he went absolutely berserk. He scored 10 goals and also bagged four assists.

lain Hume is now coming back home to Kerala Blasters where it all began for him in the ISL. He got a hero’s welcome at Kerala and every fan rates him very highly. His work-rate and his relentlessness on the field is unmatchable. He has played a majority of his ISL games as a striker and he will be looking to continue where he left off in the last season of the ISL. 

Hume is a one man army and we fully expect Rene Meulensteen to build the team around this sharp shooter. With CK Vineeth playing alongside him, Kerala Blaster’s attack is going to be a force to be reckoned with and if one thing’s for sure, its the fact that we’re going to see a lot of goals from the Blasters. 

 Also read: Kerala Blasters Manjappada new theme song

#6 Marcelinho (Delhi Dynamos -> FC Pune City) 

The Brazilian winger who was a regular in the Delhi Dynamos team in the 2016 edition of the ISL brought with him speed, skill and power. In his first game, he ended up scoring a brace and it was just a fair warning to the opposition defences for the games to come. 

He plays on the wings, be it on the right or left, he’s done both and he’s garnered goals from both the flanks. The ardent followers of the ISL rate Marcelinho very highly and Delhi Dynamos fans were hell-bent on him returning to them but much to their dismay, he joined hands with FC Pune City for the new season. Marcelinho was threatening to sue the Delhi Dynamos team for the non-payment of his bonuses. This could probably pop out as the biggest reason as to why he will not be returning to them come the new season.

As a winner of the Golden Boot in season 3, the fans know exactly what to look forward to when they see Marcelinho and that is just goals, goals and more goals. FC Pune City are adding a lot of muscle to their team and are ready to give the league everything they’ve got. Will Marcelinho’s addition propel them to their first title? 

#7 Emiliano Alfaro (NorthEast Utd. -> FC Pune City)

The Uruguayan striker who rocked the league in the first half of the season for NorthEast Utd. will be returning to the ISL but not for the highlanders but for FC Pune City. His play style is what they call in the footballing world as a “Pace merchant”. He does not possess much from the technical stand point but his sheer burst of pace has proved to be enough to leave the defenders on their backs. One could go even as far as calling his first touch, world class. His runs in between the defences and his finishing are of the finest quality in the ISL. 

The one thing that is worrying about such a class player is the fact that in the previous edition of the ISL, he started at an electrifying pace. He scored 5 goals in his first 7 appearances for NEUFC and failed to score after. His wavering form could be a worry for FC Pune City but the service that he lacked at NorthEast Utd. could also be a big reason for this slump. 

With Marcelinho playing down the wings and with Alfaro up top, FC Pune City are announcing themselves to the other teams and will be looking to enter the finals of the ISL for the first time ever. With an attack this potent, there are very few defences in the league that can put a stop to them. 

Also read: How FC Pune City could line up this season

With the ISL looming in, the teams are regrouping with their new squads and are gearing up for the new season. Expectations from the fans for this season is huge as ISL could potentially be India’s top tier league. The quality of football seems to be improving every season and this directly corresponds to how the National side has been performing as well. The ISL should command respect amongst the other nation’s leagues and these players are certainly adding to the cause.