We are just a day away from the 7th edition of Indian Super League that will kick-off this Friday Live from Goa. The opening encounter will take place between Atk Mohun Bagan vs Kerala Blasters FC on Friday, 20th November.
As the 2020-21 season of the Indian Super League (ISL) inches closer, we look at five names to watch out for, the players that can light up the season, the kind of talents that get pants off seats (or, in the case of this season, keep eyeballs glued to screens).
Here are the five players we can be the top scorer of this season’s ISL 2020-21
Roy Krishna was the best player for title winners ATK (now ATK Mohun Bagan) last season. He Arguably the league’s best pure finisher. Comes with the added ability of being able to pull wide or drop deeper as the tactical situation demands, while being just as effective. Krishna was the joint top-scorer of ISL last season, with 14 goals. And six assists. He was also the best player in the team that won the ISL playoffs comfortably.
Krishna is in the form of his life. He joined the ISL last year after being crowned MVP in the A-League the season before (and winning the golden boot) and as the numbers show, he hit the ground running. With ATK Mohun Bagan having one of the few settled, consistent squads in the league, there’s not much standing in the way of another repeat act.
Adam Le Fondre
Adam Le Fondre comes into the ISL following two excellent scoring seasons in Australia. Penalty-box predator supreme. Intelligent off-the-ball movement gives him the uncanny ability to find space in areas where there shouldn’t be any. He Scored 22 goals in 30 games for Sydney FC in the A-League (league + playoffs) and the AFC Champions League.
Okay, we are going with Mumbai twice, but we could have filled this list with just MCFC players and have gotten away with it. Le Fondre is the most impressive of a whole host of A-listers to arrive on these shores this season (especially from the A-League) and comes into the ISL on the back of two excellent scoring seasons in Australia. With the kind of talent behind him (think Boumous and Ahmed Jahouh especially), that golden boot could be his for the taking.
Ok, we are going with Mumbai twice, but we could have filled this list with just MCFC players and have gotten away with it. Le Fondre is the most impressive of a whole host of A-listers to arrive on these shores this season (especially from the A-League) and comes into the ISL on the back of two excellent scoring seasons in Australia. With the kind of talent behind him (think Boumous and Ahmed Jahouh especially), that golden boot could be his for the taking.
Hugo Boumous lit the ISL on fire last season, scoring or assisting a goal every 56 minutes. Rapid, and balanced, with the ball at his feet he plays with his head up — giving him options (pass, shoot, continue dribbling) that not many have while running at players. Boumous had 11 goals and 10 assists in just 14 games — he either assisted a goal or scored one every 56 minutes. Every 56 minutes!
Boumous ripped through defences for fun last season for league stage champions FC Goa, and was easily the best player in the league. At only 25 years old, he’s just hitting his peak. This season, he reunites with the man who brought him to India, Sergio Lobera, and if the two start off like they did last season, Boumous will take some stopping.
After a relatively quiet last season by his standards, Sunil Chhetri will be eager to make amends in 2020-21. He scored just nine goals in 17 matches, but that’s close to half of the 22 goals his team scored overall in 18 league stage matches.
He may be 36, he may have had a quiet, minor-injury-hit season, but he’s still Chhetri — avowed hater-of-losing, holder-of-grudges, incessant seeker-of-redemption. He will be seething at his and his team’s performances and lack of tangible success last season (the first year BFC have gone without a trophy), and will be hell bent on wrestling that trophy back.
Sahal Abdul Samad
Despite a poor last season, Sahal Abdul Samad (left) has the perfect conditions this time to make good on his potential. Few players in the league see a pass quite like him, and fewer still play better on the half-turn. A throwback trequartista when he’s in the mood. He Started only half the games. Lasted the full 90 only twice. Had two assists, and scored no goals.
Okay, this is a proper left-field pick — from way out there given his last season — but hear us out. Off the field, he has, in Kibu Vicuna, a coach who found success in India while coaxing the best out of the young Indian talent he had. On the field, he has the defensive acumen and passing reliability of Vicente Gomez behind him and the goal-plundering skill of Gary Hooper in front of him. The conditions are perfect for one of Indian football’s proper talents to unlock his undoubted potential.