With the I-league and ISL set to run parallel after the U-17 World Cup, Khel Now takes a look at the ongoing transfer scenario in Indian football. . .
Ever since the advent of the ISL, contracts of Indian players have been a myriad listing. Signing a new one after every three-six months, players have become short-term issue-solvers than long term consolidators for some time now. With the transfer season on, we take a look at the various activities at every I-league club.
East Bengal made the first move, raiding champions Aizawl FC and signed two young Indians from the Reds — Brandon Vanlalremdika and Lalramchullova. The Kolkata giants also signed their most influential player, Mahmoud Al-Amna, who had a stellar season in the centre of the pitch. The team has also signed Churchill Brothers’ midfielder Richard Costa on a one-year deal.
On the other hand, arch-rivals Mohun Bagan entered the market late. The Green-and-Maroons had another productive season, finishing second on the I-league table and reaching the finals of the Federation Cup. The 2014 I-league champions have bought Aizawl FC defender Kingsley Eze and forward Stephane Kamo Baye.
Alongside the Reds’ pair, the team also lapped up Churchill Brothers’ hard-working forward Ansumana Kromah, completing their four-foreigner quota. Talismanic playmaker Sony Norde has been retained by the club. Kromah and Baye have scored 11 goals in the I-league last season amongst themselves. Former Dempo and East Bengal goal-machine Ranti Martins is also said to be in negotiations with Sanjoy Sen’s team.
In the managerial template, Khalid Jamil has already moved to Kolkata to control proceedings at East Bengal. The Kuwait-born manager looks set to be replaced by DSK Shivajians and former Liverpool Academy manager Dave Rogers, who is known to have positive credentials working with youngsters.
Former Shillong Lajong manager Thangboi Singto has jumped the ship after eight successful years to become the assistant manager and head of youth development at Kerala Blasters. Last season’s assistant manager under Steve Coppell, Ishfaq Ahmed, looks set to don the same role at Tata Group’s new ISL side from Jamshedpur.
Sanjoy Sen looks set to continue at Mohun Bagan and the Federation Cup victory should’ve given Albert Roca more breathing space at the Bengaluru FC hot seat. Mumbai FC coach for the last four games, Oscar Bruzon has moved on to new challenges. The Spaniard will be seen in the dugout of New Radiant SC, a Maldivian club.
2nd division club Mohammedan Sporting has also done significant business this season. After managing to retain the services of defensive mainstay Rana Gharami, the Kolkata-based club has signed I-league top scorer Asser Dipanda Dicka from Shillong Lajong FC. Richard Agwu Somtochukwu has also been signed, a player well-known for his physical dominance on the pitch.
In another shocker, Mohammedan also secured the services of veteran Mehtab Hussain, a player known for his quality as a defensive midfielder.
Biswajit Bhattacharya has returned as the managerial decision-maker at the club. The coach is making a comeback to the club after managing them in the 2008-09 season. Bhattacharya has the experience at the top level, having managed Mohun Bagan and Viva Kerala in the past.