Although the previous season of the Indian Super League (ISL) proved to be somewhat physical compared to previous seasons, there was a much more expansive style of play in midfield.
In fact, the Indian players in the league accounted for 89 assists last season, 19 more than the 2018-19 season, which is an encouraging sign, to say the least.
In addition to this, the Indian players accounted for approximately 45 percent of all assists in the season, something that has been rising rather consistently over the last few seasons. Let's take a look at the assist leaders in the ISL over the years.
Apart from Coro, Brazilian forward Marcelinho is perhaps one of the most feared strikers in the ISL. Having played for the Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City, and Hyderabad FC over the years, the 33-year-old is looking to make an impact with Odisha FC in the upcoming season.
While Marcelinho already boasts of a terrific scoring record with 31 goals in the league, he tops the charts when it comes to assists as well as having recorded 18 since 2016.
The upcoming season will see the Brazilian partner with the likes of Manuel Onwu and Diego Mauricio in what seems to be a formidable attacking unit for Odisha FC.
2) Hugo Boumous
When Hugo Boumous signed for FC Goa in 2018, he was a relatively unknown commodity in midfield. However, within minutes of donning the FC Goa shirt in the middle of the park, fans came to realize the talent that he is.
The Frenchman has been a mainstay in the FC Goa midfield and has linked up rather well with the likes of Coro and Ahmed Jahouh to ensure Goa's pole position in the table.
While reports are suggesting that he has signed a deal with Mumbai City FC, the 25-year-old's numbers are enviable to any player in the ISL. In over 40 appearances for FC Goa, Boumous has recorded 17 assists and is also tipped to be a contender for the Golden Boot in the upcoming season of the ISL.
3) Ferran 'Coro' Corominas
Despite the acrimonious manner in which Coro left the league, the 37-year-old's legendary status has made him part of FC Goa folklore. The Spaniard, who was a part of the club for three seasons, has been instrumental in helping the club secure important wins to propel them up the table on more than one occasion.
While he recorded 48 goals, the most by any player in the ISL, he also provided 16 assists, something that has made him unstoppable in front of goal. Despite being in talks with several clubs in the league, Coro eventually returned to Spain and signed for Atletico Baleares.
4) Brandon Fernandes
26-year-old Brandon Fernandes has been a fantastic find in the overall context of Indian football. Having begun his journey in the ISL rather slowly, the youngster eventually signed with FC Goa at the start of the 2017 season and has not looked back ever since.
Such has been his impact as an attacking midfielder, that he is the only Indian on the list of the top 5 assist leaders in the league with 15 to his name so far. With Coro, Boumous, and Jahouh having departed the club, the onus will certainly be on the 26-year-old Goa native to come good for his team this season.
5) Dimas Delgado
An important feature of Bengaluru FC is its fantastic ability to retain players. 37-year-old Dimas Delgado is one of a core group of players to have made over 50 appearances for the Bengaluru-based ISL outfit.
Dimas is generally preferred in central midfield, a role that he has played for the majority of his care and, he has found a good partner in the form of Australian Erik Paartalu. So far, Dimas has provided 13 assists in the ISL.Published 01 Oct 2020, 20:23 IST