Indian Super League clubs are getting ready for another exhilarating season and the transfer merry go round is at its peak with players signing for new clubs every day.
Players from prestigious high-profile leagues like the La Liga, English Championship, and the A-League have been moving to the ISL off late, marking a positive trend in world football.
While there is the good news of a new player joining a club almost every day, clubs have also been releasing a bunch of players to reshape their squads. Some of these players have been bit-part figures in the league, some of these players have been a regular part of the starting XI, while a few have also attained the stature of club legends.
With the Hugo Boumous move to Mumbai City FC and Manvir Singh moving to ATK Mohun Bagan FC for a sizeable fee, the Indian football transfer market has shown some signs of change. However, clubs have also been shrewd in picking up free transfers, which has been very common in Indian football.
Let's have a look at the top 5 players released by ISL clubs.
#5 Tiri (Jamshedpur FC)
With Agus and Victor Mongil moving on to the next step in their respective careers, ATK Mohun Bagan FC acted fast to replace the two centre backs, who played crucial roles in their 2019-20 ISL success.
Tiri has previously played for ATK in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, helping the club lift the ISL trophy in the latter before moving to Jamshedpur FC. The 29-year old made 48 appearances for the Men of Steel, scoring 3 goals and helping the team keep 13 clean sheets.
Tiri will be looking forward to a reunion with Antonio Lopez Habas, who was the manager of ATK during his previous spell at the club. The Spaniard will be playing in the centre of a back three alongside the likes of Pritam Kotal, Sumit Rathi, and new signing Subashish Bose.
#4 Marcelinho (Hyderabad FC)
Marcelinho was released by Hyderabad FC after their first season in the ISL. Under Phil Brown, the club endured a tough time, registering the worst goal difference for an ISL club in a single season despite a 5-1 win in the last match of the season.
The Brazilian forward scored a brace in that match and is now third in the list of all-time top goalscorers in the Indian Super League. Marcelinho has 31 goals and 17 assists in 63 matches and will be looking to better that record with Odisha FC.
The 33-year old will be looking ahead to being a part of an exciting front three that includes Xisco Hernandez and the fellow Brazilian striker Diego Mauricio.
#3 Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC)
Jeje Lalpekhlua, often dubbed as the 'adopted son of Chennai' has been released by the club after a 6-year stay. Lalpekhlua's stint included 2 Indian Super League victories and many personal milestones including the ISL Emerging Player of the Year award in 2015 and the AIFF Player of the Year award in 2016.
Jeje was almost everpresent in the top 5 of the all-time top scorers list in the ISL but dropped out of the list after missing the entirety of the 2019-20 season due to an injury. The Mizo Sniper will be looking to get back on the list by scoring crucial goals for his new ISL club.
There are rumors that East Bengal FC and Kerala Blasters FC will be competing for the signature of the 29-year old as the player ends his association with the Chennai-based club.
#2 Coro (FC Goa)
When Coro arrived in FC Goa in 2017, Ian Hume was the league's all-time top goalscorer with 23 goals. Since then, the Spanish striker has scored 48 goals in just 57 appearances across three seasons, making him the all-time top goalscorer in the league.
After three glorious goal-laden seasons, Coro has decided to move on with Sergio Lobera, departing for Mumbai City FC as well. The 37-year old has offers from some Spanish clubs back home but a couple of ISL clubs are also interested in signing him.
There were some rumors of FC Goa offering a contract to Coro, which he turned down due to a lack of incentives, which may be down to his increasing age. Goa have roped in a very similar replacement for Coro in Igor Angulo, who has also spent the majority of his career in Spain before moving to the ISL.
#1 Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters FC)
Sandesh Jhingan was almost ever-present in the starting XI of the Kerala Blasters in his first five seasons at the club. The centre-back made 76 appearances for the Yellow Army before suffering a knee injury that didn't allow him to play even a single match of the 2019-20 ISL season.
The 27-year old called time on his stay at the Kerala-based club for a new venture either abroad or in the ISL. He also received the Arjuna Award recently for his services to the Indian national football team.
The towering defender's future has been a centre of attraction for the media and the fans alike during the off-season as Jhingan is pondering over his next destination in Indian football.Published 10 Sep 2020, 17:55 IST