Star names and seasoned campaigners headline Hyderabad FC’s transfer activity

Photo credit: Hyderabad FC Instagram

Hyderabad FC were the surprise package in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 season. Not many had anticipated the attacking brand of football they played so effectively last season. The Nizams finished in 5th position, one place behind the semi-final mark, with 29 points from 20 matches. They lost only 3 matches, but it was 11 draws that cost them the spot in the knockout stage.

Hyderabad would aim to at least finish inside the top four in the 2021-22 season. To fuel their ambitions, they have made some statement signings.


Bartholomew Ogbeche:

Hyderabad have signalled their intent by bringing in Ogbeche from Mumbai City FC. The 36-year-old is a proven goalscorer in the Hero ISL and was the joint top scorer in the league in the 2019-20 campaign when he featured for the Kerala Blasters, a side that finished seventh in the league.

Last season, he scored 8 goals and made 3 assists despite playing under 1000 minutes throughout the season for Mumbai City FC.

The Nigerian will be a good mentor for the youngsters in the Hyderabad squad and thus is a top signing.

Juan (Juanan) Antonio González Fernández:

The 34-year-old center-back has joined the Nizams on a free transfer from Bengaluru FC. The Spaniard is a reliable figure at the back. He has the experience of playing in Spain, Germany, and Hungary.

During his time with Bengaluru FC, the center-back won the 2016-17 Federation Cup, 2018 Super Cup, and 2018-19 ISL. Juanan also won the 2013-14 Hungarian Cup with Újpest FC while playing in the Hungary first division.

Juanan has been part of Indian football for a long time and is an excellent addition to the backline as he will add valuable experience to the team that already have many talented youngsters on their roster.

Edu García:

Hyderabad have acquired another seasoned player with prior Hero ISL experience in Edu Garcia who signed from ATK Mohun Bagan. The 31-year-old can play different roles in midfield as seen during his time in Kolkata. The Spaniard has the experience of playing for multiple Spanish second division clubs. On top of it, he is well accustomed to the demands of ISL, having spent the last four seasons in India.

Not to discount his valuable contribution of 6 goals and 3 assists in ATK’s triumph of ISL trophy in the 2019-20 season. Garcia will sit and dictate the play for Hyderabad FC in the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Aniket Jadhav:

The 21-year-old winger has joined the Nizams on a free transfer from Jamshedpur FC. The man from Kolhapur played in the 2017 U-17 World Cup. Afterward, he became part of the Indian Arrows in the I-League.

During his time in Jamshedpur, Jadhav showed flashes of brilliance but is yet to perform consistently. The move to Hyderabad has come at a great time as Manolo Marquez, more often than not, sets his team to play fast possession-based football.

Jadhav can prove to be a good addition to a lineup full of talented youngsters.

Pritam Kumar Singh:

The center-back will be a part of the Hyderabad FC fold having arrived from SC East Bengal on a free transfer. The Manipuri used to train with AIFF Elite Academy in his youth days and has represented India at the U-19 level.

Pritam made his I-League debut in 2016 with Shillong Lajong and went on to make 38 appearances for them. The defender has struggled to get minutes in ISL, but he is a decent backup option.

Abdul Rabeeh:

The 20-year-old winger has joined Hyderabad FC as a developmental player on a free transfer from Luca SC, Malappuram. The Keralite has played in the U-16 and U-18 AIFF Youth Leagues.

The pacy young winger impressed the scouts while playing in Kerala Premier League. He would aim to break into the first-team squad in the upcoming 2021-22 season.

Aaren D’Silva:

Hyderabad have acquired the 23-year-old winger from FC Goa ahead of the new Hero ISL season. He was called up to FC Goa’s ISL squad last season but didn’t get a chance to make his debut. Earlier, he was part of FC Goa’s reserve squad. Manuel Marquez is known for giving opportunities to youngsters, and D’Silva would look to seize the opportunity as it comes.

Mohammed Rafi:

The 20-year-old defender has joined Hyderabad FC on a free transfer from Gokulam Kerala FC. The Keralite was part of the Indian team that won the 2019 U-18 SAFF Championship. Moreover, he has had several training stints abroad and was involved in Bengaluru FC’s youth system. Rafi has the potential to turn out as a surprise package in the course of the upcoming season.

Nim Dorjee Tamang:

The Nizams have also added the solid Nim Dorjee to their ranks for an undisclosed transfer fee from Northeast United FC. The Sikkimese has represented India at youth levels. He started training with the Air Force Academy before joining Shillong Lajong’s youth team. In 2017, he was picked by FC Pune City before joining NorthEast United after spending two seasons in Pune.

Although the 26-year-old hasn’t been a regular starter in the ISL, he can provide a good backup option in the center-back position.

Javier Siverio:

The 24-year-old forward has joined Hyderabad FC on a free transfer from UD Las Palmas. The Spaniard has risen through the ranks of Las Palmas and played for their B team. In addition to his silky dribbling skills, the youngster would offer a lot of pace to burn upfront.

Gurmeet Singh:

The Nizams have added the 21-year-old goalkeeper to their roster acquiring him from NorthEast United. Gurmeet made his Hero ISL debut in 2019. In the 2020-21 season, he made 8 appearances for the Highlanders. The youngster would have his eyes set on the no.1 position in the coming years.


Liston Colaco:

The 22-year-old winger has signed for ATK Mohun Bagan for a record transfer fee that is the highest-ever for an Indian player. The Goan had a breakthrough in the Hero ISL 2020-21 season. He scored 2 goals and made 3 assists in under 1000 minutes of game time. Quite often, Colaco proved a game-changer coming off the bench last season. His dazzling runs and pace will be a miss but the Hyderabad-based club has recruited well to replace him.

Aridane Santana:

The 34-year-old striker has signed for UD Logroñés, third division Spanish club, on a free transfer. The Spaniard’s contribution was one of the crucial reasons behind the success of Hyderabad FC last season. Aridane scored 10 goals and made 2 assists in 18 matches. He is a goal poacher who is set to be replaced by another established striker in ISL, Ogbeche.

Lluís Sastre:

The 35-year-old midfielder has signed for SD Huesca B, fourth division Spanish club, on a free transfer. The Spaniard could only manage 800 minutes on the field and an assist last season. It was his first season in India.

Francisco Sandaza:

The veteran forward is another player to leave Hyderabad FC ahead of the new season. The Spaniard got only 344 minutes on the field but managed 4 goals and 2 assists in the previous season. Sandaza struggled to get into the starting lineup and was often used as a substitute. 

Adil Khan:

The 33-year-old defender has signed for East Bengal FC on loan. In the 2021 January transfer window, Adil had moved to FC Goa for the remainder of the season. He made 7 appearances for them and was featured in their AFC Champions League campaign.

The experienced defender struggled to start ahead of Chinglensana Singh in the center-back position last season. Therefore, a loan move to fetch game time makes sense.

Sahil Panwar:

Odisha FC have the 22-year-old left-back for an undisclosed transfer fee. The youngster captained India in the 2017 U-18 SAFF Championship. Sahil joined Hyderabad FC in 2019 but found it difficult to get game time. As a result, he moved to the Kalinga Warriors.

Anuj Kumar:

The 23-year-old goalkeeper has signed for Aizawl FC on loan. The man from Uttar Pradesh won the 2017 U-19 IFA Shield with FC Pune City. Soon, he was promoted to the senior team of FC Pune City but never got the chance to make his ISL debut. Similarly, in his two seasons with Nizams, Anuj didn’t make a single ISL appearance. Hence a shift to I-League can prove to be beneficial.

Laldanmawia Ralte (Danmawia):

The 28-year-old midfielder has signed for Northeast United FC on a free transfer. The man from Mizoram had only made 7 appearances in his two seasons at Hyderabad FC. In the 2017-18 and 2018-19 I-League seasons, Danmawia had become a key player for East Bengal. He was the second-highest Indian goalscorer in the 2018-19 I-League. However, he has failed to replicate that sort of an impact in the ISL till now. The move to Northeast United FC might change things for him.

Lalawmpuia Ralte:

The 20-year-old forward has signed for Sudeva Delhi FC on loan. The man from Mizoram was part of the DSK Shivajians youth system and FC Goa reserve squad. He has represented India at the U-19 level. Lalawmpuia is a talented player who could make it big by taking the right steps. A loan move to Sudeva Delhi FC in I-League seems like the right step at this stage of his career.

Odei Onaindia:

The 31-year-old center-back has signed for CD Mirandés, second division Spanish club, on a free transfer. The Spaniard made 80 clearances and 36 blocks in 20 matches last season. He formed an important partnership with Chinglensana Singh at the heart of the defense.

Odei was instrumental in CD Mirandés promotion to the second division in 2019.

Sweden Fernandes:

The 21-year-old midfielder has signed for Neroca FC on loan. The Goan played his youth football with Sporting Club De Goa and Dempo SC. Afterward, he joined FC Goa and played in the second division I-League for the reserve squad. Last season, Sweden couldn’t make a single appearance in ISL.

Kynsailang Khongsit:

The 20-year-old defender has signed for Bengaluru United on a free transfer. The man from Meghalaya failed to make a single appearance last season.

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