Jamshedpur FC retain foreign duo, sign Keegan Pereira for next season
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
The Men of Steel finished at the fifth position in the league standings this season.
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs for the second consecutive season, Jamshedpur FC have already started planning their blueprint for the next Indian Super League (ISL) campaign. The club, who played some incisive attacking football under Spanish tactician Cesar Ferrando, have been working hard towards getting some deals done and shaping up what the squad looks like in the next campaign.
On the transfer front, the Men of Steel have signed Keegan Pereira from NorthEast United. The sturdy left-back wasn’t able to assert himself as a regular in Eelco Schattorie’s inspired unit, often being on the bench due to Robert Lalthlamuana’s presence. However, he put on some solid performances whenever given the opportunity, assisting two goals, while proving his defensive solidity in some crunch scenarios.
After Dhanachandra Singh turned out as Jamshedpur FC’s Achilles Heel in defence multiple times last season, they’ve brought in Keegan’s reliability to boost them in that department. Jamshedpur have also made inroads in extending their solid core for next season, with central defender Tiri and influential midfielder Memo both signing extensions with the club.
Tiri was once again a pillar in their back four in the recently concluded season, helping them to numerous clean-sheets and shutting off attackers in crunch situations. He pulled off some terrific defensive performances, while also marshalling the Men of Steel’s defence thanks to his experience in the ISL. Memo, on the other hand, was their midfield magician throughout the campaign and a quintessential part of Ferrando’s system.
He averaged 62 passes per game for them, while also scoring two goals and assisting once throughout the season. Memo was the one setting the tempo of their game, helping Jamshedpur dominate the midfield proceedings and flinging the ball all over the field. The Men of Steel have been quite understandably impressed with his influential ability.
However, with good news, there’s always some bad around the corner. Mario Arques, who was equally important at maintaining a brilliant midfield line for the club, has decided to move to Kerala Blasters. The Kochi-based unit are in desperate need of some quality in midfield, which only produced one bright light in Sahal Abdul Samad this season. Arques also averaged more than 62 passes per game last season, while getting into the goals more often with three goals and two assists.
To Jamshedpur’s credit, they didn’t allow another influential player to be scooped by Kerala Blasters. Sergio Cidoncha, who was also strongly linked to joining his compatriot at Kerala, is not going to move. In the absence of Tim Cahill, Cidoncha did some great work in keeping the goals flaring for Jamshedpur, scoring three goals and assisting three more last season. He was a big threat with his movement and clinical nature in the final third and the Men of Steel will be glad to retain his services fornext season.
In addition, Jamshedpur FC will be boosted by the arrival of Amarjit Singh Kiyam, whom they had signed last year. The Indian Arrows captain was an influential figure for their inspired season in the I-League, showing extreme composure in distributing possession and scoring crucial goals for them.
Published: Tue Mar 26, 2019 07:06 PM IST