ISL 2023–24: Outfield players with the most progressive passes so far
In the ongoing ISL season, several progressive passers have been instrumental in their respective teams' build-up play and advancing the ball.
Progressive passers hold immense importance in modern football. With an increasing number of teams prioritising possession, these players play a pivotal role in shaping the game. They must possess individual brilliance in ball control, drive the ball into the attacking third, and exhibit vision to pick out teammates. Such players significantly contribute to their team's build-up and are indispensable assets for any head coach.
In simpler terms, a progressive pass is one that moves the ball closer to the goal than it has been previously or any completed pass into the opposition penalty box. While forwards or players closer to the goal have a lower probability of contributing to the build-up, it is predominantly midfielders, defenders, and goalkeepers who tend to accumulate the most progressive passes.
In the ongoing ISL season, several players have been instrumental in their respective teams' build-up play and advancing the ball. Here, we take a closer look at the players who have completed the most progressive forward passes so far.
Ahmed Jahouh (Odisha FC): 220 passes
Since his ISL debut in 2017, Jahouh has emerged as one of the most influential midfielders in the league. The Moroccan midfielder, who joined Odisha FC in the summer, has quickly become the key orchestrator of his team in the centre of the park.
Jahouh's tally of 220 forward passes places him at the top of the list. Given Odisha FC's preference for playing from the back, Jahouh has been a key figure with his diverse passing range and vision.
Pritam Kotal (Kerala Blasters FC): 130 passes
Kotal has played a crucial role for Kerala Blasters FC with his precise passing, bolstering the team's ability to launch quality attacks from the back. With 130 forward passes completed, Kotal surpasses all other defenders in this regard. His versatility and confident ball-playing skills have been vital to Kerala Blasters FC's gameplay.
Khaiminthang Lhungdim (Punjab FC): 125 passes
In his debut ISL season with Punjab FC, Lhungdim has demonstrated his quality with the ball. The full-back's ability to surge up the pitch and contribute to the attack is evident in his completion of 125 forward passes in seven games. Despite his defensive duties, the 23-year-old defender has showcased his capability to make an impact further up the field.
Chinglesana Singh (Hyderabad FC): 117 passes
A confident ball-playing defender, Singh has been a key presence at the heart of Hyderabad FC's defence. With 117 forward passes this season, the Manipur-born centre-back has not only displayed defensive prowess but has also added an extra dimension to his team's attacking play.
Saul Crespo (East Bengal FC): 114 passes
Crespo has proven to be a vital presence in East Bengal FC's midfield. The Spanish midfielder, who joined the Red and Gold Brigade this summer, has become a reliable player under head coach Carles Cuadrat.
Crespo has completed 114 forward passes this season, showcasing his passing accuracy and intelligent ball distribution, both of which have contributed significantly to East Bengal FC's build-up play.