Transfer Watch: Odisha FC sign two Hero ISL winners; Golden Boot winner Angulo joins hands with champions Mumbai City FC
With the eighth edition of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) coming closer, the teams have well and truly put their foot on the gas in terms of acquiring new players. Bengaluru FC, who have to first contend with their AFC Cup play-off tie against Club Eagles later this month, have been one of the busiest teams since July 19 -- along with Hyderabad FC -- with three important domestic signings of midfielder Jayesh Rane, strikers Danish Farooq and Bidyashagar Singh. Rane played for ATK Mohun Bagan last season, while Farooq and Bidyashagar come from the Hero I-League.
Hyderabad FC, on the other hand, signed experienced Hero ISL defender Juanan, striker Aniket Jadhav, defender Nim Dorjee and goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh. Juanan featured for Bengaluru FC in 2020-21; Jadhav for Jamshedpur FC, while Dorjee and Gurmeet represented NorthEast United FC. Amid these important signings, last season’s topscorer for the Telangana-based team with 10 goals, Aridane Santana, Lluis Sastre, Fran Sandaza, Roland Alberg and Lalawmpuia Ralte have left the club.
Two-time champions Chennaiyin FC, meanwhile, boosted their attack with the signings of Kyrgyzstan striker Mirlan Murzaev and Jobby Justin, who played for ATK FC in 2019-20 before missing the entire 2020-21 season through injury.
Last season’s bottom-dwellers, Odisha FC also made two massive signings in attacking midfielder Javi Hernandez and defender Victor Mongil. Both players had featured in ATK FC’s title-winning campaign in 2019-20. The Bhubaneshwar-based club also unveiled their new head coach Francisco “Kiko” Ramirez Gonzalez as well as assistant coach Joaquin “Kino” Garcia Sanchez.
Odisha FC also saw the departure of Cole Alexander, who was quite impressive for them last season. Kerala Blasters FC, another team that had an underwhelming campaign in 2020-21, brought on board defender Enes Sipovic, who represented Chennaiyin FC last season, and midfielder Adrian Luna, who played for A-League side Melbourne City last season.
Reigning champions Mumbai City FC, meanwhile, came up with a massive purchase in the form of last season’s Golden Boot Winner with FC Goa, Igor Angulo. The Spaniard scored 14 goals in the Gaurs’ sixth Hero ISL semi-final appearance.
Last season’s finalists ATK Mohun Bagan didn’t sign any player during this period but extended the contract of star forward Roy Krishna, Hero of the League in 2020-21. FC Goa also extended the contract of Sanson Pereira until 2024.