With the eighth edition of the Indian Super League scheduled to get underway from November 19th, the clubs have already begun strengthening and adding to their squads.
Each club are allowed to sign a maximum of six foreigners, including a compulsory Asian-origin player as per the rules. During the game, four foreigners are allowed on pitch and to stay in line with these rules and regulations the clubs have a ton of activities going on in the transfer market leading up to the start of the season.
Let’s take a look at the transfer scenario of each club.
Three-time champions ATK Mohun Bagan have been very busy in the silly season with their transfer activities.
The Kolkata-based side have signed goalkeeper Amrinder Singh from Mumbai City on a five-year deal and Liston Colaco on a club-record fee for two years from Hyderabad FC. Finnish midfielder Joni Kauko, who took part in the Euro 2020, joins ATK from Esbjerg fB. Ashutosh Mehta shifts from NorthEast United to ATK, while Deepak Tangri switches from Chennaiyin to ATK on a two-year deal.
Former Mumbai City FC midfielder Hugo Boumous joins the Kolkata outfit on a five-year deal, while his former teammate at Mumbai, Bidyananda Singh, switches coasts on a year-long deal.
Kerala Blasters midfielder and one of India’s football’s most promising talents, Rohit Kumar, has shifted allegiances to join Bengaluru on a two-year deal, along with East Bengal’s Sarthak Golui who has joined the club too on a two-year deal.
Congolese striker Prince Doniama will look to help the Blue Brigade with his scoring prowess as the 25-year-old joins the club on a two-year deal with an option to extend for an additional year from Ligue 2 side Chateauroux, where he was on loan from Belgian side Berschot. 19-year-old Harmanpreet Singh boosts the Blues’ attack joining on a free transfer from East Bengal. Veteran midfielder and ISL champion Jayesh Rane brings his experience to the Bangalore side, joining on a three-year deal.
Kashmir’s Danish Farooq becomes the first player from Jammu and Kashmir to join the club as the 25-year-old striker has signed a two-year contract. Last season’s Golden Boot winner in the I-League, Bidyashagar Singh, adds to the formidable front line, joining Bengaluru FC on a three-year deal from TRAU. Brazilian Alan Costa comes to Bangalore on a two-year loan from Brasileiro Série B side Avaí FC.
Bengaluru have also signed Brazilian midfielder Bruno Ramires on a two-year deal from Portuguese side Belenenses SAD. Apart from arrivals, they have also seen their young goalkeeper Lalthuammawia Ralte head to I-League team RoundGlass Punjab FC on a two-year deal.
Two-time champions Chennaiyin have been busy during the transfer season with multiple signings.
Experienced defender Narayan Das has joined the Chennai team from East Bengal, and ATK Mohun Bagan’s Salam Rajan Singh has joined Chennaiyin on a multi-year deal as well to partner Das at the back. Former East Bengal goalkeeper Debjit Majumder has joined the two-time champions on a multi-year deal to back up their first-choice keeper, Vishal Kaith. ATK’s Jobby Justin also joins Chennaiyin on a two-year deal after an injury-prone last season with ATK that saw him miss out on majority of the action.
Kyrgyzstan’s Mirlan Murzaev comes to Chennai on a one-year deal, becoming the first Krygyz player in the ISL. I-League side Gokulam Kerala FC’s defender Deepak Devrani joins shifts to Chennai on a one-year deal, while Serbian defender Slavko Damjanović will bolster the defence as he joins the Chennai squad on a one-year contract. Veteran Polish midfielder Ariel Borysiuk joins Chennaiyin on a year-long spell from Jagiellonia Bialystok. Young Davinder Singh, who had to sit out the last three editions due to a knee injury, returns with Chennai on a one-year deal. The Chennai outfit have also signed Polish striker Łukasz Gikiewicz on a one-year deal from Bahraini club East Riffa Club.
The Gaurs, who are looking for their first title, haven’t been quite active on the transfer front, with just two signings till date.
Kunal Kundaikar joins FC Goa on a three-year deal from Sporting Clube de Goa and Spanish striker Airam Cabrera joins on a year-long spell from Wisła Płock. Kerala Blasters’ winger Nongdamba Naorem has switched allegiances from Kerala to Goa.
The new boys on the block, who were founded in 2019, have been quite busy in the transfer market in an attempt to challenge for their first title.
20-year-old Abdul Rabeeh joins the Hyderabad squad from Luca SC, while former Jamshedpur FC striker Aniket Jadhav joins on a three-year deal. Nigerian World Cupper Bartholomew Ogbeche shifts from defending champions Mumbai City FC on a one-year spell. FC Goa’s Aaren D’Silva joins the Hyderabad attack on a three-year deal and veteran Spanish defender Juan González switches from Bangalore to Hyderabad on a year-long spell. NorthEast United FC duo Nim Dorjee and goalkeeper Gurmeet Singh both join the Nizams on a three-year deal. Pritam Soraisam has also completed a move from ATK Mohun Bagan to Hyderabad FC. Pritam’s teammate at ATK, Edu Garcia, also joins him at Hyderabad after penning a one-year deal.
The Men of Steel, who were founded in 2017, have been one of the most promising sides of the league without much success. Owen Coyle will hope to bring some silverware to the Jamshedpur team, with the team having started slowly in the transfer market.
Doungel joins the Red Miners from FC Goa on a three-year deal, while Anas Edathodika comes to Jamshedpur as a free agent. Aizwal FC’s PC Laldinpui has also made the move to Jamshedpur FC.
The two-time runners-up, the Blasters will hope to go the full distance this time out, and they have been one of the busiest clubs in the transfer market in an attempt to find that perfect balance that helps them lift the trophy.
20-year-old Sanjeev Stalin joins the Kerala outfit from Indian Arrows on a three-year deal while his former Arrows teammate Hormipam Ruivah also signed up for the Blasters. I-League champions Gokulam Kerala have seen their star winger Vincy Barretto make the ISL switch on a three-year deal, while the extremely experienced Harmanjot Khabra joins the Blasters on a two-year spell from their southern rivals Bengaluru FC.
Blasters have also signed Uruguayan midfielder Adrián Luna on a two-year deal from A-League side Melbourne City FC. Former Chennaiyin defender Enes Sipović switches to Kerala as well. Argentine forward Jorge Diaz has switched sides from Club Atlético Platense to Kerala Blasters on a one-year loan deal which will see the 31-year-old return to his Argentine club in July 2022.
Defending champions Mumbai City FC haven’t made too much noise in the transfer market yet, having made just three transfers, but with a couple of months still to go, there could be a lot happening for the champions.
Last season’s top scorer and Golden Boot winner Igor Angulo joins the champions on a one-year spell from Goa as Lalengmawia of NorthEast United also joins Mumbai on a five-year deal. Versatile defender Rahul Bheke has left Bengaluru to join the Mumbai outfit on a two-year deal. Brazilian midfielder Cássio Gabriel has joined Mumbai City FC on a yearlong loan from second division Brazilian club Vila Nova.
ISL’s youngest club, Odisha FC, which were previously Delhi Dynamos, have been quite busy in the transfer market. After finishing last the previous season, the Odisha outfit will look to make some sensible buys to turn their luck around.
Hyderabad FC’s fullback Sahil Panwar has shifted to Odisha FC, penning a two-year deal, while former Jamshedpur midfielder Isacc Vanmalsawma joins Odisha after two years with the club. Lalrutthara has signed a two-year deal with Odisha from Kerala Blaster FC, and Sebastian Thangmuansang has joined Odisha from Gokulam Kerala, also on a two-year deal. Former ATK champion Victor Mongil joins Odisha from Dinamo Tbilisi, while his ATK teammate Javi Hernández also joins him at Odisha.
Mongil’s compatriot, Hector Rodas, has also signed for the Bhubaneswar-based team, switching from Cultural Leonesa. I-League 2nd Division’s Bangalore-based team Kickstart FC’s Nikhil Raj has also joined the Odisha outfit on a year-long loan.
Malaysian international Liridon Krasniqi joins Odisha FC on a yearlong loan from Malaysian club Club Johor Darul Ta’zim FC.
Naushad Moosa, who was interim coach, has made way for Marco Pezzaiuoli, who joins the Blues on a two-year deal from Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Blasters have seen their interim coach Ishfaq Ahmed vacate his spot for the experienced Serbian Ivan Vukomanović.
Csaba László saw his contract finish at the end of the last season, and the Chennai outfit have roped in Bozidar Bandovic on a one-year deal to replace him.
Former Indian midfielder Steven Dias, who was interim coach at the end of last season, has returned to his position of assistant coach as Odisha have signed Francisco Ramírez González on a one-year deal with an option to extend at the end of the deal.
Watch this space for more updates about the Indian Super League’s transfer market.