The amalgamation of ATK and Mohun Bagan FC into ATK Mohun Bagan has left everyone in the Indian football community overjoyed. While ATK themselves have been extremely successful in the Indian Super League over the years, there is a lot of expectation on the club this season, having retained several of their ISL squad roster.
Coach Antonio Lopez Habas has been rather busy in the transfer window, and has strengthened his squad to add much-needed depth. Following their title-winning season, ATK Mohun Bagan will be hoping to make sure that the upcoming season will be as fruitful.
Let's take a look at five players who could make a difference for the club this season:
1) Sandesh Jhingan
Sandesh Jhingan has always managed to grab headlines when it comes to Indian football. Speculation over his future dragged out for weeks before he signed with ATK Mohun Bagan. Of course, his injury at the end of the previous season did add a bit of fuel to the fire.
Now, with the 27-year-old having secured a contract with ATK Mohun Bagan, a lot of responsibility rests on Jhingan's shoulders. Given the fact that he is the highest-paid player in the league, coach Habas will be expecting the Indian defensive stalwart to lead the side as well for the upcoming season.
2) Roy Krishna
Whichever team Roy Krishna plays for, he manages to score an amazing number of goals. The Fijian striker was the joint golden boot winner last season with 15 goals to his name. Krishna's impressive performances along with leadership abilities propelled ATK to their third ISL title last season.
Needless to say, coach Antonio Lopez Habas will be expecting more of the same from Roy Krishna as the new season looms over the horizon. Krishna will be expected to play alongside the likes of David Williams and Pronay Halder in ATK Mohun Bagan's attack.
3) Michael Soosairaj
Michael Soosiaraj is Indian football's rising star. Deployed mainly as a defensive midfielder, Soosairaj is as solid as a rock when it comes to adding a screen in front of defence for ATK Mohun Bagan in the previous season. He has also played for Jamshedpur FC and Chennaiyin FC in the league.
Soosiaraj become an integral part of the side in the last season, making 20 appearances in the league and scoring 3 goals as well. He will be joined in midfield by the likes of Pronay Halder and new signing Bradden Inman.
When it comes to defence, Tiri is as rock solid as they come. The Spaniard has been an important part of the ISL since his arrival in India in 2015, and has played for a host of clubs. In fact, he has been transferred to ATK Mohun Bagan three times in the past and was an integral part of the Jamshedpur FC defence from 2017-2019 where he made over 50 appearances for the club.
Having been an important part of the defensive unit for ATK Mohun Bagan last season, the 29-year old will be called upon to deliver yet again as ATK Mohun Bagan look for a title-winning season following their success in the previous season.
5) Carl McHugh
The 27-year-old Irishman signed a deal with ATK for 2019. Having played most of his football in the United Kingdom, Carl McHugh was a mainstay in the midfield unit for ATK last season. He also scored on his debut.
This season however, McHugh's industry and fitness in midfield will certainly be called into question. The humidity in Goa will most certainly be a challenge for the Ireland international, who would not be used to playing in such conditions.