Five transfers that are sure to light up Hero ISL 2019-20

As the 2019-20 season of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) inches closer, teams are stacking up their squads with players they think can bring home the coveted trophy. Both international and domestic players are being looked at with the transfer mill going absolutely wild. Many clubs, however, have looked to wrap up their business early to give the manager and the squad enough time to build chemistry and get accustomed to each other.

Here’s a look at the five hottest transfers that have gotten fans all the more excited for the upcoming season. 

ROY KRISHNA

Club: ATK

Position: Forward 

Fiji born Roy Krishna is slated to be one of the most exciting players to feature in the upcoming Hero ISL season. Coming to Indian shores after winning the Golden Boot as well as the Jonny Warren Medal (Player of the Season) with A-League side Wellington Phoenix, the 31-year-old revealed the emotional significance of this move in his twitter post regarding the same.

 Krishna has been brought in to sort out the lack of goals in the team, as ATK managed to score just 18 in as many games last season. The thought of him linking up with the likes of Michael Soosairaj and Manuel Lanzarote in the front line is enough to get the ATK fans delirious. The squad is there for ATK’s new head coach Antonio Habas to work around with and all he needs is to get the best out of his squad so that the trophy returns to the ‘City of Joy’. 

BARTHOLOMEW OGBECHE 

Club: Kerala Blasters

Position: Forward 

Kerala Blasters had an underwhelming season last year, to say the least, and are looking to nip this decline in the bud this season. Ogbeche had been one of the main driving forces behind Northeast United FC’s run to the playoffs last season, the first in their history. The Nigerian born French international scored 12 goals in 2018-19, firmly establishing him as one of the league’s most lethal strikers.

Blasters, on the other hand, managed to score only a goal per game over the course of the season and desperately needed a quality striker. With Eelco Schattorie as the head coach and the magic they spun together last season a glowing testament, their partnership will surely get the Manjappada going in the stands. Things are surely looking great as Kerala look to win their first Hero ISL title. 

SEIMINLEN DOUNGEL 

Club: FC Goa

Position: Winger 

FC Goa acquired the services of Doungel recently and if his previous season is anything to go by, they have an exciting winger in their hands. He contributed two goals and four assists over the course of 2018-19 for the Blasters. Considering that they scored a paltry 18 goals, it means the Manipur man contributed to one-third of those.

In him, the Gaurs have acquired a tireless runner who’ll press the opposition high up the pitch, look to disrupt play and win the ball in dangerous situations. At 25, he will be hungry to prove that he has it in him to become an elite level attacker and will surely be looking to impress the national team head coach Igor Stimac as well. 

ROWLLIN BORGES

Club: Mumbai City FC

Position: Midfielder 

Borges was signed by Mumbai City following impressive displays for Northeast last season, which saw the Highlanders reach the playoffs for the first time ever. Borges predominantly played as a box-to-box midfielder, who performed his defensive duties and also ran ahead to assist and score. Often overshadowed by Ogbeche’s scintillating form in front of goal, his influence on the team’s performance cannot be understated.

A midfield consisting of Borges, Paulo Machado and Raynier Fernandes would provide solidity as well as creativity in the middle of the park. Adept at keeping the ball, Borges is very press resistant and great at moving the ball forward. With Machado in the team, he can very well be fielded higher up the pitch to possibly man mark the opposition team’s defensive midfielder. Borges is definitely a huge catch for the Islanders. 

DIAWANDOU DIAGNE

Club: Delhi Dynamos FC

Position: Midfielder 

The Senegalese will get his first taste of football in India come Hero ISL 2019-20. The former Barcelona B man plies his trade as a destroyer in the middle of the park, shielding the defence as well as moving the ball forward by dribbling or using his wide range of passing. Coming through the famed La Masia Academy, one can expect him to be comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Vinit Rai’s performances from last season have shown that he is a solid presence in front of the defence and that could see Diagne play higher up the pitch, where he would look to directly affect games. He can then make attacking runs and not worry too much about the defensive duties. At 24, he’s reaching his prime and could be here for years to come. With Josep Gombau at the helm, who was also a Barcelona youth team coach, this partnership could see the team from the capital make it back into the playoffs or go higher.

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