ISL 2023-24: Top 7 transfers of the new season

Indian Super League (ISL)’s summer transfer window was abuzz this year: some real big money moves all across (you already know who spent the big bucks), a couple of massive international signings, and plenty of other moves that made us go, ‘huh?’

From Mohun Bagan Super Giant building their version of the Galacticos to Odisha FC’s fresh star-studded roster, ESPN looks at the seven biggest transfers ahead of the start of the 2023-24 edition of the ISL.

Jason Cummings – Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Mohun Bagan Super Giant, the defending champions, have a proper striker in Jason Cummings. For the uninitiated, Cummins made an instant impact in Juan Ferrando’s set-up by helping Bagan lift the Durand Cup title by scoring four goals in six games.

What’s he done before this? He’d played for Australia against France at the 2022 World Cup and spent a large part of his club career playing across England and Scotland. More recently, he represented the Central Coast Mariners and steered them to the A-League title last season.

Watch out for the Cummings x Dimitri Petratos combination: a guaranteed goal-scoring duo.

Akash Mishra – Mumbai City FC

Mumbai City have retained most of their core and have added an extra element of quality to their already-high-quality side by bringing Akash Mishra on board. Akash’s ability to hold defensive shape and support attacks fits perfectly into Des Buckingham’s scheme of things.

The left-back can do it all, as he showed at Hyderabad FC: play the ball out of the back, maraud down the flank, whip in a neat cross, and of course, defend his flank. While the transfer fee is undisclosed, word is that he got himself a hefty contract that will keep him at the club until May 2028.

Jordan Murray – Chennaiyin FC

Chennaiyin FC have for long struggled to score goals, and Jordan Murray might just be their answer to that. The Australian was the club’s first foreign signing of the season and comes with rich ISL experience, having played for the Kerala Blasters and Jamshedpur FC earlier.

In fact, he was part of Owen Coyle’s Jamshedpur FC squad that won the ISL League Winners Shield and will look to replicate similar success with the same manager, at two-time Cup winners Chennaiyin FC. Oh, and watch out for his snake celebration; he promises you’re going to be seeing a lot more of that this season.

Sahal Abdul Samad – Mohun Bagan Super Giant

Mohun Bagan Super Giant were super busy this transfer window, and among their headline-grabbing signings was Sahal Abdul Samad, one of India’s best playmakers. Sahal left the Kerala Blasters as their most-capped player to join a Bagan squad that is packed with some of the biggest names in Indian football.

The 26-year-old brings his silky touch and wily footwork to Bagan, which is bound to make him a favourite at the Salt Lake Stadium. Combine Sahal with Cummings, Petratos and new signing Anirudh Thapa and coach Ferrando has one of the most lethal attacking combinations in the league.

Sandesh Jhingan – FC Goa

FC Goa have undergone a world of change since last season. They’ve brought in ISL’s headmaster-coach Manolo Marquez and one of India’s best defenders in Sandesh Jhingan. The centre-back joins FC Goa after a brilliant run with Bengaluru FC last season.

Jhingan leads the Indian charge at FC Goa and will marshal their defence as the team resumes their charge for a maiden ISL title. Jhingan has been part of four ISL finals [2014, 2016, 2021 and 2023] but hasn’t won it yet. This might just be the year, for both FC Goa and Jhingan.

Roy Krishna – Odisha FC

One of the most dependable goal scorers in the ISL, Roy Krishna will don the Odisha FC jersey this time around.

He will run the entirety of 90 minutes, chase down every ball that comes his way, and fall back to defend – there’s no surprise why, at 35, he’s still one of the best in the league.

The Fijian striker has good company in incoming Ahmed Jahouh and Diego Mauricio at Odisha and you can expect him to score goals. Many, many goals. This is helped by Krishna being a perfect striker for coach Sergio Lobera, who loves himself a fast-paced, all-out attacking game.

Wilmar Jordan Gil – Punjab FC

Punjab FC, the new team on the block, did well to rope in Colombian striker Wilmar Jordan Gil.

Jordan played for Northeast United in the second half of last season and gave a good account of himself – scoring eight goals in 11 games in the ISL. He followed that up with another seven goals in four games in the Super Cup to finish as the tournament’s leading scorer.

He proved to be quite the menace for defenders last season and will hope to continue from there this time as Punjab FC begin their life in the ISL.

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