3 players Bengaluru FC should attempt to sign ahead of 2024-25 ISL season 

Bengaluru FC
Bengaluru FC finished 10th in the ISL last season

Bengaluru FC haven’t met the lofty expectations of them by any means in recent times. After winning the ISL in 2019, the Blues have failed to reach the top and have often been left in a mid-table scrap. A Durand Cup victory and an appearance in the ISL finals last year were ones to cherish, but the 2023-24 season saw Bengaluru struggle once again.

Simon Grayson, who led the club to the ISL finals, was dismissed after winning just one of their first ten games, with former Bengaluru FC assistant coach Gerard Zaragoza joining in December. Although performances improved under the Spaniard, it wasn’t enough to reach the playoffs, with BFC eventually finishing 10th, their lowest position since joining the ISL.

Changes are undoubtedly imminent, with the club planning to splurge in the market to improve the team’s quality and return to their high standards. BFC certainly have depth and quality in Indian players, especially after signing Chinglensana Singh and Nikhil Poojary at the start of 2024.

However, they will now look to add further quality, particularly in midfield and attack. With several players’ futures hanging in the balance, here are three players Bengaluru FC could attempt to sign.

#1 Brendan Hamill

Aleksandar Jovanovic is set to sign a contract extension at Bengaluru FC, leaving the future of Slavko Damjanovic in doubt. Consequently, the club may look to the market for a center-back and consider Brendan Hamill, who has been a key player for the Mariners over the past two seasons.

Hamill’s contract ends in May, making him potentially available on a free transfer. With Bagan looking to revamp their defense, they might let the 31-year-old center-back leave to bring in new talent.

Hamill would certainly be an excellent fit for Bengaluru FC. He is one of the most physically imposing center-backs in the league, and his ability to read the game and experience would be valuable for BFC. Additionally, his knowledge of Indian football is a significant advantage, and he will bring the leadership factor that the club sorely missed last season.

The Australian was primarily used as a backup to Hector Yuste last campaign, making just 13 appearances in the ISL. However, he was a crucial asset in the heart of the defense the previous season, keeping seven cleansheets in 18 games. This transfer certainly would benefit both parties, as Hamill would seamlessly fit into the team and could make an immediate impact.

#2 Thoiba Singh

Thoiba is certainly one of the country’s underrated midfielders, but his game time was significantly reduced under Sergio Lobera. The 21-year-old made just two starts in the ISL season, falling down the pecking order without the opportunity to establish himself in the team.

With Rohit Kumar set to join Odisha, Bengaluru FC could consider Thoiba as a potential replacement, as they seem short on numbers in midfield. He is extremely versatile, capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, advanced midfielder, center-back, or even full-back if needed.

Any club would benefit from a player with this profile, and crucially, he’s still just 21. Despite his young age, he has already made over 45 appearances in the ISL and has gained substantial experience at Odisha FC under various coaches.

The former Punjab FC midfielder is quick across the ground, effective in covering space, and also adept in possession with short passes and positioning. He would undoubtedly fit into a young Bengaluru FC squad and could form a strong partnership with Suresh Singh Wangjam.

#3 Jeremy Manzorro

With the futures of Javi Hernandez and Ryan Williams uncertain, Bengaluru FC may be in the market for another overseas attacking midfielder or winger. Jamshedpur FC’s Jeremy Manzorro could be an ideal fit, given his versatility across the midfield.

The Frenchman, who regularly scored free-kicks for Jamshedpur FC last season, was a consistent presence in the team despite their poor results. Initially starting as an advanced midfielder, he later dropped deeper to help recycle possession and deliver line-breaking passes from deeper positions. He scored five goals and created the most chances for the club (33).

Manzorro is a complete package, combining technical quality and ball-striking ability, making him an asset for any team. With his contract set to expire in May, Bengaluru FC could consider signing the 32-year-old to strengthen their midfield.

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