ISL 2017: Rating the 5 top foreign signings this season
With the conclusion of the Indian Super League domestic draft last Sunday, clubs have now turned their attention to the foreign transfer market. As things stand, a total of 17 players has been signed by the ten ISL franchises, with new entrants Bengaluru FC making the most number of signings so far with five.
As we approach the new ISL season that kick starts mid-November, we will witness a raft of overseas arrivals in Indian football. With the transfer season in full swing, let us take a look at the five best transfers made by ISL clubs over the summer.
To make the rating procedure more objective, we had listed five criteria based on which the new foreign signings were ranked. The criteria are:
Career span: The more experienced a player is, the more he can add to a particular team both on and off the pitch and help develop young players in the squad. In general, the older a player, the more experienced he is.
Age: The correlation between age and performance has been debated, but in general, football players are considered to be past their peak when they cross 30. Therefore, signing a player less than 30 years of age makes for a fitter, younger squad primed to play an extended ISL season.
Experience in Asia: Asian football wildly differs from its European or South American counterparts. Therefore, a player with prior experience of Asian football stands to be more successful in Indian football.
Experience in India: This is the most vital part because Indian football is not the same as football in other parts of the world. A player with two years of experience in India is generally expected to perform better than a complete newcomer.
Trophies won: Being part of a winning team is an achievement in itself, bringing that winning mentality to ISL dressing rooms plays a big part in a team's success.
The aim is to be as objective as possible but in football, being a dynamic game, there will be anomalies. Here is our list of the top five foreign signings by ISL clubs this season.
#5 Emiliano Alfaro
The Uruguayan striker is a hugely experienced campaigner and top scored last season for NorthEast United in the ISL. Having learnt his craft under the tutelage of Diego Simeone at San Lorenzo, Alfaro has played around the world and in India as well. He also featured alongside Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani for the "Golden Generation" Uruguay team at the turn of this decade.
Alfaro is a poacher inside the box and his signing by FC Pune City looks shrewder by the day. That he is only 29 suggests that the Stallions have pulled off a coup with Alfaro's capture.