From Vishal Kaith to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu: Top goalkeepers to watch out for in ISL 2023-24
The league has become a breeding ground for top Indian goalkeepers who comprise the solid pool for the Indian national team.
Over the years in the Indian Super League (ISL), goalkeepers have been paramount to the success of their respective teams. Edel Bete, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh..to name a few, have made a name for themselves in the league with consistent and impressive performances between the sticks.
While goalkeepers don’t always hog the limelight, they have a crucial role to play for their team. They are the last line of defence and the first point of attack. And their ability to pull off a save in crunch situations could well decide the outcome of any game. But in modern football, keepers have much more to do. They are not only expected to produce saves, but also orchestrate attacks and be involved in the build up.
At present, the league boasts a fine array of custodians who are capable of doing both. Needless to say, their performances will go a long way in determining their team’s success. With that, we have handpicked some of the goalkeepers that you should keep an eye on in the upcoming season.
Kaith joined Mohun Bagan SG ahead of the 2022-23 and soon became an instant hit among the Mariners faithful. He racked up the second highest number of saves last season and registered a record tally of 12 clean sheets among keepers, winning the ISL Golden Glove award. A stellar season for Kaith culminated in Mohun Bagan SG winning the ISL Cup. With MBSG boasting a reputation as one of the strongest defences in the league, Kaith’s shot-stopping skills will be crucial for the team in the upcoming season.
Fantasy potential: A first-choice starter for his team who can rack up plenty of saves, Kaith could emerge as a shrewd pick for your team.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu
Sandhu topped the charts for the highest number of saves last season, making 71 saves across 24 games. He also registered a second joint-highest tally of seven clean sheets besides Hyderabad FC’s Gurmeet Singh and Mumbai City FC’s Phurba Lachenpa. The India international came clutch during crucial moments for Bengaluru FC, as they staged a remarkable turnaround to reach the ISL final.
Fantasy potential: With Bengaluru FC earning plaudits for their sturdy defence last season, Sandhu could be a solid pick for your team.
Singh kept just two clean sheets for Odisha FC in the ISL last season, but his presence between the sticks was crucial. He tallied 55 saves in 21 games and was an influential figure for the Kalinga Warriors as Odisha FC made it to their first-ever ISL playoffs. Singh is not only good with his feet, but can also deliver accurate long balls when needed. He was the only keeper from last season to make an assist.
Fantasy potential: A keeper offering plenty of experience and save potential, Singh could deliver for your team.
After featuring in just four games in two ISL seasons from 2020-22, Lachenpa established the first choice keeper for Mumbai City FC last campaign and played every minute. Besides registering 64 saves, the third highest among goalkeepers last season, the Sikkim-born custodian also kept a total of seven shutouts. One can expect the same from Lachenpa again as Mumbai City FC look to build on their success from last season.
Fantasy potential: Picking Lachenpa in your team could be a smart choice if you want to cover the Mumbai City FC defence.
Gill couldn’t quite replicate his heroics last season after a breakthrough campaign during the 2021-22 season where he emerged as the ISL Golden Glove winner. But the youngster will have a lot to prove again after joining Carles Cuadrat’s East Bengal FC, having worked with the Spanish tactician previously at Bengaluru FC. The Punjab-born keeper displayed signs of his potential in the recently-concluded Durand Cup, helping the Red & Gold Brigade qualify for the final. He will be keen to extend his fine form in the upcoming ISL season.
Fantasy potential: Gill's save points would highly benefit your team and a probable clean sheet could be another icing on the cake.