ISL Season 5: Top five foreigners who underperformed this season
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
Several overseas players could not produce their best performances in the league this season.
The Indian Super League has finally come to an end after months of enthralling and exuberating football. Bengaluru FC managed to cross the last hurdle and were crowned champions in their second attempt in the league.
While there were thrills, there were a lot of spills for several other clubs. Some of them got their planning all wrong at the start of the season while others took too much time in getting the combination right. There were several players who carried a lot of expectations at the start of the tournament but failed to lived up to the hype.
Here are our list of top underperforming foreigners in the ISL 2018/19.
Matt Mills (FC Pune City)
A lot of people were left in awe when FC Pune City announced their signing of high profile English defender Matt Mills. The 32-year old centre back had prior experience of playing in top English clubs such as Southampton, Leicester City and Nottingham Forrest but failed to turn up for the Stallions. The expectations were sky high from the Englishman but unexpectedly, he failed to live up to the hefty price tag.
Mills failed to live upto his expectations for the Stallions
Mills had a troublesome period with the Stallions, plagued with injuries and fitness issues. Considering he was the main man in defence, he could only notch up 20 tackles all together in the whole season with only 14 clearances. It shows why the club was in doldrums for most of the first half and it was only after Phil Brown arrival at the helm the Stallions looked like achieving or fighting for something. Mills is a highly decorated defender and expectations from him will be high and hence he will hope to prove his doubters wrong next season.
Everton Santos (ATK)
Santos scored only one goal for the Kolkata outfit this season
The Brazilian midfielder was roped in by ATK after his stellar performances with the Islanders last season. However, Everton never looked like orchestrating the midfield for the Kolkata outfit something which he did at will in Mumbai City. More often than not Steve Coppell played him in a deeper role in midfield alongside Pronay Halder. Everton is a kind of player who likes his freedom and likes to go ahead and join attack but he had his limitations in ATK and failed to reproduce his performance from last season.
The Brazilian was also sidelined with injury for the last few games for the Kolkata outfit. Everton could not manage to score a single goal and had only one assist all season with only 59% passing accuracy to show for his efforts in the middle of the park. It will be interesting to see how the Brazilian deals with the disappointments and comes back to the fold next season.
Nemanja Lakic-Pesic (Kerala Blasters)
Pesic's had a season to forget for Kerala Blasters
The lanky centre back from Serbia was one of the stalwarts in defence for Kerala Blasters alongside Sandesh Jhinghan. He would have hoped to embark on the same journey next season with the club. However, fate had other ideas as the 27-year old was all over the place as the Blasters endured a season to forget. It was a tough season for the two time ISL finalists as they finished second last in the league table managing only two wins in the entire season.
The otherwise trusted Lakic-Pesic struggled at the back for the Blasters and despite his physical prowess could manage only 23 blocks all season along with 30 tackles which speaks of his underperformance as a centre back. If he carries on with the Blasters he would definitely look to improve on his stats next season.
Andrija Kaludjerovic (Delhi Dynamos)
Delhi Dynamos were delighted when they bagged the deal to sign Serbia international Andrija Kaludjerovic. The former Red Star Belgrade forward brought an immense amount of experience and steel to the Dynamos attack. However, the Serbian failed to find his feet at the club and left Josep Gombau coached outfit mid-season when the Lions were in shambles.
The Serbian striker left Delhi Dynamos in the middle of the season
Kaludjerovic came with a huge resume having bagged titles in all over the world and his most productive season was during his stint with Lithuanian side Zalgiris back in 2016 where he bagged the League and Cup double and also ended the season being the top scorer in the league with 20 goals. He was also in great form for A-League side Wellington Phoenix. However, Kaludjerovic was mostly unsettled in the ISL and could only manage to score a single goal in 12 appearances and also irresponsibly parted ways with the Lions during their tough period in the campaign.
Carlos Salom (Chennaiyin FC)
If there was one player to pick as the disappointment of the season then it has to be Chennaiyin FC's Carlos Salom. The Palestine international joined the ISL champions with a big reputation to lead their lines. However the 32-year old had a horrific debut season in India for the Marina Machans as they finished last in the league table this season.
Salom proved to be a misfit at Chennaiyin FC
Salom was Chennaiyin's hope in attack partnering India international Jeje Lalpekhlua. However to increase John Gregory's woes both the forward started misfiring and squandered chances often. The 32-year old also had a fight with teammate Isaac Vanmalsawma regarding a miss pass as the matter escalated quickly into pushing an yelling unitl Inigo Calderon separated the duo .
The Palestinian forward could only manage a single goal in 11 appearances at a horrific 5% goal conversion rate summing up Chennaiyin FC's season this time around.
Published: Mon Mar 25, 2019 06:59 PM IST