From Cummings to Jahouh: Best foreign players from the 2023 summer transfer window
We take a look at new signings who could hit the ground running and make an immediate impact for their new teams.
It has been a busy summer transfer window for Indian Super League (ISL) clubs. With the ISL 2023-24 season fast approaching, clubs have wasted no time in beefing up their squads with the right profile of foreign players.
While some clubs have recruited tried and tested players who have previously played in the ISL, others have gone out of their way and brought in new faces. These new foreign signings will be hungry to prove themselves in India with high expectations resting on their shoulders by the club management and supporters.
With that, we take a look at new signings who could hit the ground running and make an immediate impact for their new teams.
Cummings is one of the biggest high-profile signings in the league this season. He heads to India with an impressive track record, with 190 goal contributions to his name at club level. The striker also represented Australia in the 2022 FIFA World Cup and has proven himself in leagues such as England, Scotland and Australia.
In his previous stint with A-League side Central Coast Mariners, Cummings established himself as a club legend despite a short tenure. He helped the Mariners reclaim the A-League Championship after a period of 10 years and left the club as their third all-time goalscorer despite playing just 50 games.
He has already made his mark for Mohun Bagan SG, scoring in both their AFC Cup 2022 qualifiers games.
Goals, assists, passes, tackles.. Jahouh can do it all. The Morrocan enters his seventh season in Indian football and will be part of a third new ISL team, with Odisha FC being his new home. Jahouh is one of the most decorated midfielders in the league, and has already achieved success with two different clubs in the league - Mumbai City FC and FC Goa. The Morrocan midfield maestro has won the League Shield thrice and the ISL Cup once.
He reunites with head coach Sergio Lobera at Odisha FC, having previously played under the Spanish tactician at Mumbai City FC and FC Goa. Possessing an understanding of Lobera’s philosophy, Jahouh will be expected to keep things ticking for his new side in the middle of the park. Expect him to be at the centre of everything that Odisha FC creates.
Yoell van Nieff
It must have been a blow for ISL League winners Mumbai City FC to lose a player of Jahouh’s calibre, but they have signed a suitable replacement for the Moroccan in the form of van Nieff.
Van Nieff brings experience and quality to Mumbai City FC’s squad and has all the attributes needed to excel in Des Buckingham’s system. A midfielder by trade, the Dutchman is also capable of playing in defence and was tried out in that role in some of Mumbai City FC’s Durand Cup games. He has also made over 100 appearances in the Dutch and Hungarian first division besides being capped by Netherlands at the youth level.
Damjanovic is no stranger to the ISL. The centre-back impressed for Chennaiyin FC in his debut Hero ISL season during the 2021-22 campaign and was brought in by Mohun Bagan SG during the January transfer window last season.
Damjanovic quickly settled in at his new club and became a regular starter for the Mariners despite joining them halfway during the season. He was in the playing eleven during Mohun Bagan SG’s knockout games last season and finished the season by winning the ISL title.
The Montenegrin defender will be expected to play a similar role at Bengaluru FC and fill in for Sandesh Jhingan, who has moved to FC Goa.
Spaniard Borja Herrera was among the most exciting midfielders in the league last season. One of the primary chance creators for Marquez’s side last season, he was instrumental in guiding Hyderabad FC to the semi-final. Despite operating deep in midfield on most occasions, Herrara conjured up four goals and five assists in the previous campaign.
A clever passer of the ball and an effective set-piece taker, Herrera’s finesse and creativity will offer a much-needed boost to East Bengal FC’s midfield. He has seamlessly settled in at his new club, putting up impressive performances in East Bengal FC’s run to the Durand Cup 2023 final. Head coach Carles Cuadrat will bank on Herrera to continue providing much-needed service to the likes of Cleiton Silva and Javier Siverio upfront.
Plenty of eyebrows were raised when Chennaiyin FC decided to part company with Petar Sliskovic. The Croatian was as the second-highest goalscorer for Chennaiyin FC last season and finished his debut ISL campaign with 12 goal involvements in 17 games. With his club’s foreign recruits struggling to score goals in the past few seasons, Sliskovic was able to repay the club’s faith in him.
Sliskovic will be expected to deliver the goods at new club Jamshedpur FC as he embarks on a new ISL chapter. A clean striker of the ball and an aerial threat in the box, the striker will be hoping to build on his goalscoring record that he had at Chennaiyin FC.
FC Goa have made a shrewd signing with the acquisition of centre-back Odei Onaindia, who reunited with head coach Manolo Marquez. The Spaniard was one of the standout defenders in the ISL last season, helping Hyderabad FC register a joint-high record of 12 clean sheets and guiding them to a semi-final finish. Previously, he played during the ISL 2020-21 and was an important part for the side.
A composed passer of the ball with strong leadership skills, the Gaurs will be banking on Onaindia to fix their defensive woes from last season. His partnership with Sandesh Jhingan at the heart of the defence, could prove a blessing for the FC Goa defence.