The 2019-20 season was a somewhat forgettable season for Hyderabad FC. With just two wins and four draws in the eighteen matches played, there was a need for a drastic change and a rebuild from the ground-up. This came in the form of Albert Roca, who was appointed at the end of the previous season.
However, the Spaniard, who previously coached Bengaluru FC, left the club without a single fixture to his name after being appointed to the Barcelona FC coaching staff.
Now, it would seem as though Manuel Roca, the current head coach at Hyderabad FC, has a job on his hands. Having filled his squad with several new signings, Roca has shown an intent to improve the team ahead of the start of the Indian Super League in November.
With several new additions to the Hyderabad FC squad, we look at five players who can make a difference in the grand scheme of things for the club.
1) Subrata Pal
As a goalkeeper, Subrata Pal is as solid as they come. Having played in both the I-League and the ISL over the years, the 33-year-old has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the country.
In fact, such was his impact at Jamshedpur FC that he managed to claim the Golden Glove in the 2017-18 season with six cleansheets to his name. Following a successful stint in Jamshedpur, the 33-year-old shot-stopper has now signed a contract with Hyderabad FC.
Needless to say, Pal will be expected to provide cover in defence and will be an integral member in the side as Hyderabad FC look to make amends for their shortcomings in the previous season.
2) Aridane Santana
When Aridane Santana arrived at Odisha FC for the start of the 2019-20 ISL, the club were in a spot of bother, having finished eighth in the previous season. Having arrived on loan from Spain, Santana played as a lone striker for a large portion of the season until he was joined by fellow Spaniard Manuel Onwu, who also arrived on loan from Bengaluru FC.
Despite Odisha's indifferent season, Santana managed nine goals from just fourteen appearances, a phenomenal scoring record. In fact, he was also in contention for the Golden Boot at one point in time.
This time around, the 33-year-old has joined Hyderabad FC and is on their books as a full-time striker. Given his penchant for goals, Santana will be expected to lead the Hyderabad FC attack long with Fran Sandaza.
3) Halicharan Nazary
In the overall context of Indian football, 26-year-old Halicharan Nazary is one of the brightest prospects in the country. In fact, he has been touted on many occasions to take over the mantle from the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Ashique Kuruniyan, and Jeje Lalpheklua.
The previous season witnessed Nazary put on a few delightful performances for the Kerala Blasters, something which saw him provide assists as well as fill in the gaps left by CK Vineeth. With the 26-year-old performances in the previous season, it will be hard to imagine him not regularly starting at Hyderabad FC this season.
4) Odei Onaindia
When it comes to marquee signings, Odei Onaindia is most certainly one that fits the bill. In fact, the 30-year-old, who has almost exclusively played his football in Spain, will be expected to shore up a defense that let in a plethora of goals in the 2019-20 season.
In spite of not really being an imposing figure at the back, Onaindia's pace and strength ensure his efficiency and effectiveness as a center-back. The Spaniard will be expected to partner with the likes of Adil Khan and Sahil Panwar to keep the opposition at bay as Hyderabad FC looks to better their performances from the previous season.
5) Joel Chianese
Australian Joel Chianese comes into the side as an additional attacking option for Manuel Roca and Hyderabad FC. While the likes of Aridane Santana and Fran Sadanza will be the first choice strikers, Chianese will be expected to come in as a 'super-sub' and score important last-minute goals in crunch games.
The 30-year old comes into the club on loan from Australian side Perth Glory. While his goalscoring is the main reason for his arrival at the club, Chianese also has a proven track record of providing assists. Chianese recorded 16 assists in the last three seasons with Perth Glory, something he will be hoping to replicate for his new club in the ISL.Published 08 Oct 2020, 16:26 IST