LFL Twitter Spaces Podcast: Roy Krishna's arrival at Bengaluru FC and potential partnership with Sunil Chhetri discussed

Bengaluru FC made a statement in the transfer market after signing Fijian forward Roy Krishna. Arriving from ATK Mohun Bagan, Krishna adds real strength to the Blues who are looking to get back in semi-final contention after missing out in two consecutive campaigns.

Under the leadership of the new head coach Simon Grayson, Sunil Chhetri and co. have shown intent to put their name back up as the title contenders for the upcoming Hero ISL 2022-23 season.

The duo of Chhetri and Krishna will be complemented by Javier Hernandez in the midfield along with new signings Hira Mondal and Prabir Das in the defence.

While the club is bustling to bring the glory days back, Bengaluru FC owner Parth Jindal shed light on the story behind the Krishna signing, how he will complement Chhetri, and much more as he had a discussion with Hero ISL experts Paul Masefield, Anant Tyagi, and Darren Caldeira in the latest LFL Twitter Space podcast.

Listen to the full LFL Twitter Space Podcast below:

On the story behind signing Roy Krishna

Parth Jindal: We were very clear that we wanted a target man upfront and we wanted to get someone who can bring in speed along with creativity into the team. When we found out that Roy is available, a guy who has been tormenting us in the past, we thought of going for it because he’s someone who could add a tremendous amount of value to us. He brings in skill sets that compliment Sunil, Prince Ibarra, and if you add to the fact that we’ve signed Garcia, Javi [Hernandez], and Prabir [Das] - who he has played with before at ATK Mohun Bagan. We felt that rather than bringing in a new face and a new name into the league, someone who has a vast experience of the league and can bring in his skills and leadership would be a wonderful addition to our team. Every player, at some point, who plays against BFC sees the kind of passion there is [among fans], and I think that must have played a role in Roy Krishna's arrival.

On Bengaluru FC’s statement of intent by signing Roy Krishna

Paul Masefield: With this signing, I think it’s just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll be looking at more. They [BFC] needed to make a statement of intent, in my opinion. They’ve lost on good quality players like Khabra [Harmanjyot], Nishu [Kumar], Ashique [Kuruniyan], Lenny [Rodrigues] and look how their careers have gone since they moved on from there. So this season, Bengaluru FC look very promising to me.

Anant Tyagi: There have been plenty of big moves in Hero ISL history. Back in the days Iain Hume moved back to Kerala Blasters FC from ATK FC. Then, you got Hugo Boumous who went from winning the Shield with FC Goa to winning the Shield and the Hero ISL title for Mumbai City FC and then onto the Mariners. So, there are plenty of these loyalty stories that have been broken, but this transfer is in the top three or four for me as he joins straight after winning the Hero of the League two seasons ago like Greg [Stewart] has joined Mumbai City FC. Krishna’s a winner but he can make BFC win again so it’s a big story ahead of this season but maybe not the biggest ever I’d say.

On top players like Roy Krishna wanting to continue in the Hero ISL

Darren Caldeira: I was actually surprised that he was staying back in the league. The moment stories came out that he’s parting ways with ATK Mohun Bagan, I thought he’s heading back home. It’s a massive signing that Bengaluru FC have made, for Indian fans as well, because he’s one of those quality players, a very likeable character. And it’s not just about his goals, whenever he’s playing if he’s not scoring, he’s assisting, and rarely has a poor game. So, it's always good to see tried and tested foreigners in the league, a player like Roy Krishna’s calibre in the Hero ISL.  

On the presence of players like Prabir Das, Javier Hernandez helping Roy Krishna at BFC

Darren Caldeira: On a personal level, I think Chhetri and Krishna get along well together and it’s always good to have familiar faces when you move from one club to another. It just becomes easier to slot into the team. Jayesh Rane and Roy Krishna seem very tight and we’ve seen their banter together on social media. And we know the quality of Javi Hernandez with the ball, he’s always moving forward, looking for these players to make the runs, so having someone like Roy Krishna upfront will be just brilliant.

On Chhetri’s evolution of his role after the arrival of Roy Krishna

Anant Tyagi: Chhetri’s role will evolve as a result of this signing. They now have three leaders in the team with the arrival of Krishna besides Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. So, it can be a whole leadership led team instead of the onus being on the no.11. BFC have brought a proven goalscorer, but they also know they paid for a proper character and a solid personality, a similar one like Chhetri who does not give up until the final whistle goes. And that is beyond his 36 goals and 18 assists on the numerous winners he’s scored already.

On the bigger signing among Greg Stewart to MCFC and Roy Krishna to BFC

Paul Masefield: The West Block Blues know themselves that they hadn’t strengthened their team since Miku left and now they’ve finally got it, so that is an absolutely massive signing. You won’t be surprised with the business Mumbai have done because they’ve done it before. Let’s be honest, Greg Stewart’s form last season was absolutely scintillating, a double double when it came to goals and assists, who wouldn’t like to play with a player like that. I believe they lacked a bit of firepower and creativity last season. I think these two [signings] are on par and they are absolute massive signings for the teams if they are serious about going on to win the league.

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