Signings and departures in the new year in Hero ISL 2020-21
The action is heating up in Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 as we approach the business end of the season. While Mumbai City FC have undoubtedly set the pace, it’s difficult to predict the top-four teams for the semis as of now, and to all intents and purposes, things are likely to go down to the wire. With an eye to bolstering their squads, teams have been active since January and are looking to make the most of the transfer window. Here we take a look at all the additions and departures that have made the headlines so far.
ATK Mohun Bagan
After two and a half seasons with FC Goa, Indian midfielder Lenny Rodrigues joined ATK Mohun Bagan on loan. The 33-year-old India international has 97 appearances in the Hero ISL and will add experience to their midfield. ATK Mohun Bagan roped in Brazilian playmaker Marcelo Pereira on loan from Odisha FC in a bid to boost their attack.
Part of the Hero ISL title-winning Bengaluru team, Xisco Hernandez returned to the Blues after Dimas Delgado departed for Spain owing to personal reasons. Hernandez will bring a creative edge to the Blues as he looks to add to his six goals and seven assists in the Hero ISL.
Rafael Crivellaro’s premature end to the season due to injury meant that Chennaiyin had to replace him with a lively presence on the pitch. Manuel Lanzarote was handpicked to fill the void and one can understand why going by his past numbers in the league i.e.18 goals and eight assists.
After seeing his game time being limited with Hyderabad FC this season, Adil Khan joined his hometown club FC Goa on loan. The Gaurs have been leaky at the back this season and Adil’s presence in their backline will shore up their defence in the business end of the campaign. Goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh has been another signing for the Gaurs and he comes from ATK Mohun Bagan. Midfielders Amarjit Singh and Glan Martins, meanwhile, replace Flan Gomes and Lenny Rodrigues respectively. Lenny goes to ATK Mohun Bagan.
Hyderabad made two additions in the January transfer window. They have added Roland Alberg and Sankar Roy (on loan) to their squad. Alberg is an exciting attacking midfielder who has looked good so far; latest signing Sankar, meanwhile, will add cover for them in goal.
Owen Coyle’s men made two exciting acquisitions in Farukh Choudhary and Seiminlen Doungel. Farukh starred for Jamshedpur last season before joining Mumbai City FC where he saw his game time being limited. He will be eager to rediscover his form with Jamshedpur alongside Doungel, who joined the club from FC Goa on loan. Jamshedpur also signed Boris Singh from ATK Mohun Bagan. Boris replaces Amarjit Singh.
Kerala Blasters FC
Juande was roped in as a replacement for Sergio Cidoncha, who suffered injury early in the season. The Spaniard so far has acted as a defensive screen in midfield for the Blasters squad and has brought them more solidity defensively.
Mumbai City FC
Jackichand Singh was enjoying a decent season with Jamshedpur and had provided a few assists even though he hadn’t found the back of the net. However, he’ll be looking forward to a reunion with Sergio Lobera at Mumbai City after playing some of his best football under the Spaniard during his time with FC Goa.
NorthEast United FC
After struggling to make an impact on the pitch with Bengaluru FC, Deshorn Brown moved to NorthEast United FC and hit the ground running with the Highlanders. The Jamaican forward scored on debut in a morale-boosting win for the Highlanders following the departure of head coach Gerard Nus.
Rakesh Pradhan moved to Odisha FC on loan from NorthEast United FC following a lack of game time and has already notched up good minutes under his belt. He will be hoping to make an impact with the Bhubaneswar-based club as they look to move away from the bottom of the standings.
And then in a huge move, Odisha FC brought in Brad Inman on loan from ATK Mohun Bagan as part of a swap deal that saw Marcelo Pereira go the other way. In addition to this, Odisha have also signed Bradden Inman on loan, who spent the first half of the season with ATK Mohun Bagan.
SC East Bengal
SC East Bengal have been undoubtedly the busiest club in the January transfer market. They’ve added five quality players to their squad in Subrata Paul (on loan), Raju Gaikwad, Ankit Mukherjee, Bright Enobakhare and Ajay Chhetri (on loan). While Gaikwad, Ankit and Chhetri’s acquisitions have strengthened their defence and midfield, it’s Bright that’s made the biggest impact so far. The 22-year-old Nigerian has scored twice and provided an assist already, including a stunning solo goal that’s a contender for goal of the season. SC East Bengal have also signed defender Sarthak Golui and midfielder Sourav Das in place of Samad Ali Mallick and Mohammed Irshad Thaivalappil respectively. Both new players join them from Mumbai City.