ISL Transfer Roundup: Pune City snap up Iain Hume, Mumbai take chance with Anwar Ali
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
Some teams are looking to give final touches to their side while many have just started their proceedings.
The Indian football season is just around the corner with fixtures of the Indian Super League (ISL) set to be announced in mid-August. Teams are very eager to fill the right places with the correct personnel in their squad. A lot of chopping and changing is going on among the clubs and we here at Khel Now have got your back!
So, let's take a look a look at all the business done by each club in July:
It will be the fifth edition of ISL this season and two-time champions ATK have assembled a very formidable side till now. Most recently they got hold of former Mumbai City FC defender Gerson Vieira. The 25-year-old Brazilian joined Japanese second division side Reno Yamaguchi FC after leaving the Islanders and is expected to be a vital cog in ATK's gameplay in the coming season.
ATK have completed the signing of former Mumbai City ace Gerson Vieira
The Kolkata outfit also got hold of Moroccan creative midfielder, Noussair El Maimouni. The 27-year-old joins ATK from Moroccan club Ittihad de Tangier and will definitely be of help in attack in the campaign ahead.
Apart from Chhetri, they have also made some nifty signings, with one of them being Soram Poirei from ATK. Soram has played for several clubs in India, starting from Aizawl FC, Mohun Bagan, Delhi Dynamos, ATK, and so on. The 25-year-old custodian will play as an understudy to India numero uno Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The most interesting signing made by the Blues was the addition of Spanish midfielder Xisco Hernandez. The 29-year-old joins from Spanish third division side Atletico Baleares. Xisco can play on both the flanks and also as an attacking midfielder, making him a versatile option for coach Carles Cuadrat.
The defending champions, Chennaiyin FC have made several additions to their already star-studded side. The Marina Machans have appointed Kevin Hitchcock as the new goalkeeping coach and Paul Groves as the new assistant coach for the upcoming campaign.
Adding to that, Chennaiyin FC have also brought in Spanish-born Italian midfielder Andrea Orlandi. The 34-year-old has plied his trade for several top clubs in Europe starting with Barcelona B, Brighton, Blackpool and Swansea City among others. He will look to fill the void left by Jaime Gavilan and be their midfield lynchpin.
Coming to the capital of India, Delhi Dynamos who had a disappointing outing in the ISL last time around, have made former Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting defender Rana Gharami their latest addition to the squad.
There has alo been managerial change for the Lions this year, proving their urge to do well this time out. The Lions have appointed Spanish tactician Josep Gombau, who has loads of experience in management, starting from the Barcelona Youth Academy and Kitchee FC, to stints at Adelaide United and Western Sydney.
Marcos Tebar has rejoined Delhi Dynamos from FC Pune City
With Gombau on board, the Lions made another positive move as they re-signed Spanish midfielder Marcos Tebar. Hailing from Real Madrid Castilla, Tebar is no stranger to Indian football, having played for the Lions in 2017 and also featuring for FC Pune City last year. The 32-year-old has now returned to the den. Former Chennaiyin midfielder Rene Mihelic has also joined the Dynamos and will be an important figure for the side in the forthcoming season.
Along Mihelic and Tebar, the Dynamos have also signed veteran spanish goalkeeper Dorronsoro Sanchez to their squad.
Coming to FC Goa, they have been one of those teams who have been there and thereabouts, but have failed in the crucial period of the league last season. The Gaurs have snapped up domestic figures such as Nirmal Chettri and Lalthuammawia Ralte from NorthEast United and Bengaluru FC respectively.
Lobera's foreign additions have been very interesting, as the Goan outfit signed defender Mourtada Fall from Moroccan side Moghreb Tetouan. The 30-year-old defender seems sturdy and has won the Moroccan league along with the CAF Champions League. Goa have also extended the contracts of midfielder Ahmed Jahouh and local lad Pratesh Shirodkar.
Adding to all this, their biggest acquisition till now has been that of Spanish left-back Carlos Pena. The 35-year-old full-back hails from the Barcelona academy and has plied his trade for several Spanish clubs like Real Valladolid, Getafe and Lorca CF. Pena looks to be an experienced campaigner for Lobera's men and will be a crucial player for the Gaurs.
FC Pune City
The Stallions have appointed former Delhi Dynamos tactician Miguel Angel Portugal as the head coach of the side
FC Pune City, on the other hand, started their transfer proceedings by retaining most of their Indian defenders, with players like Gurtej Singh, Chhuantea Fanai and goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh all staying put. Also, the Stallions have finally confirmed former Delhi Dynamos gaffer Miguel Portugall as their new head coach.
The additions for the new season have been very decent too. The signing of India international Robin Singh and other domestic players like Nikhi Poojari, Alwyn George and Keenan Almeida will definitely boost the bench and also add more options for Portugal.
However, the biggest of the lot has been the signing of Iain Hume. The Canadian forward who has been a sensation in the ISL since the beginning of the league, was released by Kerala Blasters and Pune City wasted no time in getting him to put pen to paper.
Watch: the home of Kerala Blasters
Coming to the Blasters, the club from "God's Own Country," have made several additions to their fold as Ugandan midfielder Keziron Kizito returns along with Courage Pekuson and Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, who have been retained.
To add to that, Slovenian forward Matej Poplatnik has joined the squad along with Serbian forward Slavisa Stojanovic. Poplatnik joins from Slovenian first division side NK Triglav, whereas Stojanovic joins from Serbian first-tier club FK Radnicki Nis. The Blasters have also added Zakeer Mundampara from Mumbai City, who is a local lad from Kerala. French defender Cyril Kali has joined the fold in an effort to strengthen the backline for the Tuskers.
Mumbai City FC
Mumbai have also gone about their business decently. They have added some very useful youngsters along with some experienced players to have the correct mix in the side.
The Islanders have signed talented Indian players like Raynier Fernandes (Mohun Bagan), Alen Deory (Shillong Lajong), Bipin Singh (ATK), Anwar Ali Sr. (ATK), Milan Singh Ongnam (Kerala Blasters) and India U-20 defender Anwar Ali, who scored the historic winning free-kick against Argentina U-20 in the Cotif Cup recently.
Jamshedpur FC, who were the newcomers last time out will look to improve on their decent outing. The Men of Steel have snapped up a new head coach in Cesar Ferrando. The Spanish tactician has loads of experience, having managed teams like Elche, Valencia B and Johor Darul Tazim. The fans at the Furnace will be hoping that he can bring success to the club in seasons to come. Although, quiet for most of the time, Jamshedpur have suddenly announced three foreign additions to their ranks.
Spanish right winger Pablo Morgado has joined, along with his compatriots Sergio Cidoncha and Carlos Calvo. Morgado joins form Spanish club CF La Nucia and has plied his trade for Valencia B and Spanish third-tier sides like CF Badalona and FC Jumilla.
Cidoncha, on the other hand, is an attacking midfielder who hails from the Atletico Madrid youth academy and has featured for the club's B side, along with Real Zaragoza and Albacete, before joining Ponferradina from where he came to Jamshedpur. Calvo is also an attacking midfielder who can play on both flanks. He also hails from the Atletico Madrid academy and has plied his trade for various clubs in Spain like Elche, Valladolid, Granada and Huesa as well as Italian side Udinese and so on. He joins the Steelers from Spanish third division side Recreativo.
NorthEast United FC
Mohun Bagan ace winger Nikhil Kadam has joined ISL outfit NorthEast United
NorthEast United, who experienced another disappointing season last time around will look to make some positive movements in the transfer market. The Highlanders have started proceedings later than the rest, but they have built a strong Indian contingent with players like Seityasen Singh coming back from Delhi Dynamos and captain Robert Lalthlamuana being retained. Players like Kivi Zhimomi from Gokulam FC and Nikhil Kadam from Mohun Bagan were star performers in the I-League, along with Shillong Lajong midfielder Redeem Tlang and they will look to continue the same form for the Highlanders.
Gurwinder Singh from East Bengal, Provat Lakra from Gokulam Kerala and former Bengaluru and Chennaiyin custodian Pawan Kumar will add much-needed stability at the back. Minerva Punjab youngster Girik Khosla has also joined the ranks.
Published: Mon Aug 13, 2018 07:23 PM IST