The Kochi based club Kerala Blasters spent handsomely in the transfer market this season.
Kerala Blasters spent a total amount of 53 crore rupees and thus becoming the most expensive team to play in the seventh edition of the Indian Super League. But does it have the force to lift the ISL trophy?
One of the major teams in the ISL for the last 6 years, Kerala Blasters have always been an attractive outfit not only in India, but also in other countries. This is predominantly because of their huge fan base ‘the Manjapadda’ and also because of the clubs success in the past 6-7 years, finishing the league as runners up, two times. This season, after squandering lavishly in the transfer market, how big can the Blasters make it this season.
Last season’s performance:
Though Kerala Blasters finished as others two times in the hero Indian super league, last two seasons have been very difficult for the blasters, as just finished on the bottom half of the points table on both the seasons. Last year, the team struggled defensively, as the field in keeping the defence intact and often conceded a lot of goals in a single game.
Transfer market dealings:
As said earlier, Kerala Blasters have spent the most amount of money in the transfer market. The blasters where very active throughout the transfer window for the upcoming season, and often got people talking for their signings, and the amount of money they spent.
In fact the two most valuable players to play in the upcoming season of the Indian Super League, will be donning the colours of Kerala blasters. These players are Gary Hooper and Vincent Gomez, for whom the club has paid 9.9 and 6.6 crore respectively. Gary Hooper was bought from A League outfit Wellington Phoenix, and was the most valuable player to play in the season’s Indian Super League.
Whereas Vincent made his move from the Spanish third division. Other than these two players the club has bought some other talented foreign players, like Bakary Kone (3.33 crore), Jordan Murray(3.33 crore), Facundo Pereyra (3.33 crore) and Costa Nhamoinesu (2.9 crore). Some Indian players to watch out from the squad are Sahal Abdul Ahmed, who doesn’t need no introduction in the ISL, Nishu Kumar, who was bought by the club from Bengaluru FC, Jessel Corneira, Puitea Rahul KP, etc.
Kerala Blasters got rid of their head coach Mr. Eelco Schattorie, who failed to make an impression last season. The club rather appointed Kibu Vicuna, the Polish head coach, who has a lot of experience and also knows Indian football very well, as he has won the I league with Mohun Bagan in the 2019-20 I league season.
Another big name, which the club let go was Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Nigerian player was undoubtedly the star player for the blasters. Although his team’s performance version good throughout the season, he didn’t fail to make an impression, as he was the highest goal scorer in the league with 15 goals.
One of the major strengths of this club, is its attack. The team’s attack has players such as Gary Hooper, Sahal Abdul Ahmed, Facundo Pereyra, Rahul KP, Jordan Murray, Puitea, etc. And as the head coach of Kerala blasters, Mr. Kibu Vicuna has himself told us in his interview that he likes to play attacking, by dominating position and pressing high and exploiting the defense. Kerala blasters wheel Shivani pose a great attacking threat on any opponent they face.
Also, last season the club’s major default was that it wasn’t defensively organized. This season the scenerio seems different, as the Blasters have brought in some impressive players, to help the defense. These players including Bakary Kone, Nishu Kumar, Vincent Gomez, Jessel Corneira,etc. The Goalkeeping duties have been given to Bilal Khan.
Though the club has managed to build a pretty strong team, one of the major problem with the squad is it’s midfeild. Although the team has some pretty impressive defensive midfielders and wingers, the squad lacks finish in the centre midfield. And also partially in positional midfield.
Another huge setback, with the squad is that it lacks quality Indian players. Kerala Blasters undoubtedly have some of the best foreign players in this season of the Indian super league. Also the club has some great Indian players, but these are only a few. A large part of the Indian players of the squad, are filled with players, who haven’t made an impression in the eyes of the people as of yet. But in football we can never doubt the capability of a player.