Roy Krishna, a lot more than just a striker

Roy Krishna. The name is synonymous to goals. ATK Mohun Bagan fans will vouch for it. Hero Indian Super League (ISL) viewers will vouch for it and so will every fan whose team the Fijian has terrorised across the last three seasons in Hero ISL would also vouch for it.

If you needed more evidence, a look at his numbers would remove all doubts. In 39 matches for ATK Mohun Bagan, he scored 21 goals and provided 12 assists. This was after a terrific season with ATK FC in Hero ISL 2019-20 that saw him score 15 times while creating six more for his teammates.

In 60 Hero ISL matches, he scored 36 goals and assisted 18 times. Krishna was a gifted goalscorer and as natural as they come.

ATK Mohun Bagan announced the departure of their great striker on Friday bringing an end to his stellar stint in green and maroon. 

For players who have played 50 or more matches in the Hero ISL, Krishna is third in the list for goals per game ratio, behind only Ferran Corominas and Bartholomew Ogbeche.

Player Goals per game ratio
Ferran Corominas 0.84
Bartholomew Ogbeche 0.68
Roy Krishna 0.6
Nerijus Valskis 0.49
Sunil Chhetri 0.45

Krishna’s exploits don’t just stop at his goals. As his numbers suggest, he is an equally efficient creator. He has 18 assists to his name in Hero ISL history and is fifth in the all-time list and only behind Hugo Boumous in terms of assists per game ratio for players who have played more than 50 matches in the Hero ISL.

Player Assists (all-time)
Hugo Boumous 29
Brandon Fernandes 19
Marcelinho 19
Ahmed Jahouh 19
Roy Krishna 18

Beyond the numbers that clearly establish Krishna’s impact in Hero ISL, it is equally important to note the performances of the players that played around the Fijian. In his three Hero ISL seasons so far, all those players improved or had a great campaign themselves. Be it David Williams, be it Manvir Singh or be it Liston Colaco.

The 34-year-old had an on-field connection with Hugo Boumous and even full-back Prabir Das who was often the provider to Krishna. A look at the attacking numbers of his fellow strikers also suggest how Krishna elevated the levels of those around him with intelligence and presence.

“On the field, everything’s too easy with him. He knows where I’m running. When you have players like that playing with you, your job becomes easier,” Marcelinho who was part of ATK Mohun Bagan’s squad in Hero ISL 2019-20 said about Krishna.

Another key quality of Krishna was that he was a leader. He took responsibility at crucial junctures and delivered the good when it mattered the most.

According to transfermarkt.com, Krishna scored 14 match winners in Hero ISL history which is the joint most tally by any player in Hero ISL history along with Bengaluru FC’s Sunil Chhetri. However, the Indian captain has played 54 matches more than the Fijian in the Hero ISL.

So there is no doubt that ATK Mohun Bagan will miss his talismanic presence upfront as he goes in search of greener pastures but they would feel confident of slowly filling in the void left by his departure. In Colaco, Manvir and Kiyan Nassiri, ATK Mohun Bagan probably have the most exciting Indian attackers in Hero ISL.

They may not be of the level that Krishna reached in his time in the Hero ISL yet, but certainly possess the potential to reach there in the future. Having rubbed their shoulders with the Fijian master, they’ll have enough in terms of learninings and also inspiration to emulate his success with the Mariners.

Krishna came in as a striker with great reputation and leaves ATK Mohun Bagan having being a player who was so much more than a striker and leaving behind a legacy that will only inspire future Mariners.

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