ISL 2018-19: Jamshedpur FC sign center-back Augustin Fernandes, loan out Sanjay Balmuchu to Mumbai City FC
ISL side Jamshedpur FC have signed center-back Augustin Fernanades in order to bolster their chances of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the semi-finals. The Red Miners, however, have loaned out Sanjay Balmuchu to Mumbai City FC for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
Augustin Fernandes had given trials with Jamshedpur FC on November under the supervision of Cesar Ferrando after his previous club ATK released him on the 2018 January transfer window. The 30-year-old, having played for Salgaocar in the I-League and FC Pune City in the 2016-17 season of ISL, was without a club since then.
Jamshedpur FC deploys an Indian center-back to partner Tiri in the back four. The club approaches their matches with a defense-first attitude but have leaked 14 goals in 12 matches. Much of that can be blamed on the Indian center-backs Raju Gaikwad and Pratik Chaudhary, who have let the team down owing to their poor performance. Augustin Fernandes should bring solidarity to Jamshedpur FC, who cannot afford to drop any further points as the tournament has reached its business end.
Sanjay Balmuchu, on the other hand, is a versatile player who can slot in the center-back as well as in the defensive midfielder position. The 27-year-old won the 2012-13 I-League with Churchill Brothers as a regular and represented Mohun Bagan numerous times in the I-League from 2015 to 2017. Balmuchu even turned out 11 times in the FC Goa jersey in 2016, but could muster up only one appearance for Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC in the subsequent seasons.
Mumbai City FC plays with a 4-3-3 formation with three Indian defenders and two Indian midfielders. However, the Islanders have only four Indian players- Anwar Ali, Joyner Laurenco, Subhasish Bose, and Sauvik Chakrabarti- registered as defenders before Balmuchu's arrival. Although they require only two Indian midfielders, they have registered seven of them. Sanjay Balmuchu can partner Lucian Goian in the heart of the defense or play in the full back positions if the need arises.