ISL 2018-19: Why FC Goa should sign Kerala Blasters' Sandesh Jhingan
Speculation has been rife regarding Sandesh Jhingan’s future, with a number of clubs in the Indian Super League (ISL) keen to capture his signature.
Jhingan is tied down to a long-term deal with Kerala Blasters until 2020 but the club has "quietly signalled" they are willing to sell the Indian international in the January transfer window.
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A regular starter for the Indian national team, Jhingan is one of the highest-paid players at Blasters. His exit comes as a surprise as he had rejected a lucrative deal from ATK in May, saying he's happy to remain with Blasters. Jhingan has been with the Kochi-based club since the club's inception.
Jhingan is now rumored to be on the shopping wish list of FC Goa.
FC Goa's defensive lapses proved to be their Achilles heel last season that ultimately led to the team not making it to the final. The franchise shipped in a whopping 28 goals (1.40 per game) last season. The start of the 2018/19 season hasn’t been any better, at least not defensively.
FC’s Goa brittle backline has been consistently inconsistent and has often collapsed under pressure despite dominating games.
This season, Sergio Lobera brought in Mourtada Fall from Senegal but the likes of Mohamed Ali, Chinglensana Singh have failed to form a stable partnership with the Senegalese. Considering defence has been FC Goa’s primary weakness in being able to challenge for the title, Sandesh Jhingan’s acquisition would add much-needed steel and an air of assurance to a porous Gaurs' defence.
Tall, physically dominating and quick across the ground, Jhingan is brilliant with the ball at his feet and is also a very efficient passer from deep. Additionally, a threat at set-pieces with his height, he is the total package.
Having just turned 25, he’s of a perfect age for FC Goa to experience his peak years. If Sergio Lobero wants to bring home the elusive trophy he can ill-afford to let their rivals steal a march on them.