ISL 2020-21: 5 overseas players who have flopped so far this season

Kerala Blasters in the ISL.
Kerala Blasters in the ISL.

Despite the fitness issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the quality of football in the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season has improved leaps and bounds. While it took some time for the Indian players to grow into the league, the overseas players came out all guns blazing.

With the likes of Bright Enobakhare, Juande, and Roland Alberg coming into the league, the quota of overseas players in the ISL filled up fast. However, there have been a few foreign players who have not managed to grow into the league.

Let's take a look at five overseas players who have flopped in the ongoing ISL season.

#1 Steven Taylor (Odisha FC)

Steven Taylor
Steven Taylor

The former Newcastle United FC captain came into the ISL with a world of expectations on his shoulders. However, with Odisha FC currently sitting at the bottom of the league table, Taylor is among those who will need to take the blame for the team's poor performances.

The 34-year-old defender has started in all eight games the club has played and has not managed to keep a single clean sheet all season. Odisha FC have let in 14 goals while managing to score only 6. The situation is looking very dire for Stuart Baxter, who might get the boot before the end of the season.

As for Steven Taylor, he will have to pull up his socks and put in some good performances for Odisha FC to have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs this season.

#2 Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev (Chennaiyin FC)

Fatkhullo Fatkh
Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev

Although not many in India had heard of Fatkhullo Fatkhuloev, the 30-year-old arrived in the ISL with a terrific goal-scoring record to his name. Fathkuloev was also handed the captain's armband by Csaba Laszlo ahead of the start of the season and it seemed as though he would be the club's talisman for the campaign

However, things have not gone according to plan for either Fatkhuloev or Chennaiyin FC, who currently find themselves outside the top four.

While Chennaiyin has been good defensively this season, their attacking unit has simply failed to score goals. Needless to say, the Tajikistan captain will have to start making things happen in attack if he wants to make an impact at the club.

#3 Marcelinho (Odisha FC)

Marcelinho from Odisha FC
Marcelinho from Odisha FC

Marcelinho has been, arguably, the biggest let-down in the current ISL season so far. The Brazilian has a terrific goal-scoring record in the ISL and is one of the top goalscorers in the history of the tournament. However, in the handful of appearances he has made so far this season, he has not managed even a single goal.

The 33-year-old's goal-scoring drought, coupled with an injury problem, has seen him benched for most of the campaign. Stuart Baxter has preferred his Brazilian counterpart Diego Mauricio and Spaniard Manuel Onwu in attack in recent weeks.

#4 Gary Hooper (Kerala Blasters FC)

Gary Hooper
Gary Hooper

In terms of market value, Gary Hopper is one of the most expensive strikers in the ISL this season. Having played in some of the most elite competitions in Europe and Australia, a lot was expected of the former Celtic man.

The signing of Hooper meant that he would be a part of a star-studded Kerala Blasters lineup, which featured the likes of Bakary Kone, Costa Nhamoinesu, and Vicente Gomez.

However, the 32-year-old's debut season in the ISL has been underwhelming. Having managed just one goal in 8 appearances for the club, Hooper has been relegated to the bench with Kibu Vicuna preferring Australian Jordan Murray in attack.

#5 Kristian Opseth (Bengaluru FC)

Kristain Opseth
Kristain Opseth

With problems in front of goal last season, Carles Cuadrat looked far and wide to recruit the best overseas strikers for Bengaluru FC ahead of this year's ISL. Having retained Deshorn Brown, Kristian Opseth came into the ISL as a player who could play as an attacking midfielder as well as a central striker.

However, with half the season done and dusted, neither Opseth nor Brown have managed to score a goal in the current ISL season. While a case can be made for the labored manner in which Bengaluru attack and try to break teams down, there have been games where Opseth has rarely had time on the ball.

The Norwegian is currently on 99 goals in his professional football career. Whether or not he manages to score his 100th goal in the ISL remains to be seen.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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