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ISL 2019-20: 5 worst signings of this season

NorthEast United FC signed Andy Keogh from Saudi club, Al-Qadsiah FC
NorthEast United FC signed Andy Keogh from Saudi club, Al-Qadsiah FC
Mohak Arora
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 21 Feb 2020, 08:43 IST
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Every year, a lot of global football superstars come to the Indian Super League to try their luck in a brand new league in front of passionate supporters. While some players like Aaron Hughes go on to become a household name and stamp themselves in the history of ISL, rest of them are not so successful.

Football club transfers are a hugely complicated process and there is always an air of uncertainty surrounding every transfer. Starting from whether the deal would be agreed or not to whether the player will be able to adapt to his new surroundings or not, there are a lot of questions that are answered over the course of time.

Here, we look at five signings from the ISL 2019-20 season that failed to fulfill their potential.

#5 Noe Acosta (Jamshedpur FC)

Noe Acosta (Photo: Indian Super League)
Noe Acosta (Photo: Indian Super League)

The Real Madrid academy youth product came to the Indian Super League with a huge reputation as a creative central midfielder. The 36-year old had spent most of his career in Spain and Greece and it was tough for the Spanish midfielder to adjust to the Indian weather conditions.

Antonio Iriondo was supposed to bring in a revolution in Indian football with his Spanish style of play and players like Aitor Monory, Piti and Acosta were supposed to be the key figures in this revolution.

However, Acosta could only contribute 3 goals and 2 assists in 15 matches in the 2019-20 season of the ISL.

#4 Matthew Kilgallon (Hyderabad FC)

Matthew Kilgallon (Photo: Indian Super League)
Matthew Kilgallon (Photo: Indian Super League)
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The veteran English centre back was expected to come in and shore up a defense that opened up with a breeze in the previous seasons. Kilgallon and his partners in defense failed to do their job as Hyderabad FC conceded 39 goals in 18 matches, the most conceded by any team in the ISL.

Phil Brown became the first manager in Indian Super League history to not keep a clean sheet in his time in charge of the club and the blame could be put on both the tactics used by the Englishman and the ineffective defending done by his players on the pitch.

#3 Andy Keogh (NorthEast United FC)

Andrew Keogh playing against Chennaiyin FC (Photo: Indian Super League)
Andrew Keogh playing against Chennaiyin FC (Photo: Indian Super League)

Asamoah Gyan came in with a lot of hype and started delivering on the pitch as well as he scored five goals and assisted a solitary goal in just seven starts. But, the Ghanian legend was prematurely ruled out for the season with an injury.

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In the winter transfer window, Andy Keogh was brought in to save the Guwahati-based side's season but the Irish forward massively disappointed as the focal point of the Highlanders' attack. Robert Jarni started the 33-year old in every match since he came to the Indian Super League but Keogh wasn't able to deliver and it costed Jarni his job.

Keogh scored one goal against Hyderabad FC who are rock bottom of the ISL league table and the Highlanders would be hoping to invest in a better centre forward before the start of the next season.

#2 Giles Barnes (Hyderabad FC)

Giles Barnes turning out for Hyderabad FC (Photo: Indian Super League)
Giles Barnes turning out for Hyderabad FC (Photo: Indian Super League)

The 31-year old centre forward came in with a reputation of getting the ball into the back of the net but did that a total number of zero times in this season. Barnes played more than 600 minutes in the 2019-20 season of the Indian Super League, making five starts and appearing off the bench in seven more matches but failed to register a single goal or even an assist.

His lack of application in and around the goal forced the manager to play Barnes in defensive midfield to make use of his tall stature and accurate passing. The experiment didn't bear fruits for the team and he found himself on the bench more often than in the starting XI in the latter half of the season.

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Bobo outshined the England-born forward easily as the Brazilian striker scored five goals and assisted one with Marcelinho chipping in with another seven goals and two assists to his name.

#1 Manuel Onwu (Bengaluru FC)

Manuel Onwu playing for Odisha FC (Photo: Indian Super League)
Manuel Onwu playing for Odisha FC (Photo: Indian Super League)

After Miku was poached by 20-time Cypriot League champions Omonia, Bengaluru FC wasted very less time and brought in Manuel Onwu as his replacement.

The Spanish striker started the season as the first-choice centre forward with Sunil Chhetri supporting him. He played three matches and was dropped to the bench by Carles Cuadrat as Chhetri was shifted to the lone striker role with Raphael Augusto filling in the No.10 role and Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh attacking from the wings.

Three more appearances without any end product saw Onwu being loaned to fellow ISL club Odisha FC. Interestingly, Onwu has scored 4 goals and assisted 1 more in just 3 matches for the Bhubaneswar-based club hinting at some future in Indian football.

Published 21 Feb 2020, 08:43 IST
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