The upcoming edition of the Indian Super League is set to begin on the 21st of November. All the matches will be played behind closed doors in Goa, something that has never really happened in the history of the league. The ISL will conclude on the 31st of March 2021.
Over the years, there have been a plethora of players who have made the trip to India with many having etched their names into Indian footballing history. Such has been their impact that players like Iain Hume and David James have more or less become household names. However, with the ambitions of the franchises becoming larger each year, the transfers of players who have made their mark overseas has also increased.
Let’s take a look at five overseas players who can make a significant impact in the upcoming season.
1) Facundo Pereyra (Kerala Blasters)
Having made a mark for himself in Greece with PAOK, Facundo Pereyra became the Kerala Blasters' first foreign signing for the upcoming season of the ISL when he penned down a contract recently. Generally deployed as an attacking midfielder, Pereyra’s speed also means that he can play as a second striker.
With the loss of Slavisa Stojanovic, Bartholomew Ogbeche and Halicharan Narzary, it would seem as though Pereyra is the only striking option Kibu Vicuna has at the moment.
In the grand scheme of things, the 33-year-old Pereyra becomes a rather important part of the 2020-21 Kerala Blasters squad. Moreover, with a tremendous goalscoring record in the past, fans will be keen to witness what he is capable of.
2) Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC)
While the accolades, titles and trophies definitely paint a pretty picture for Carles Cuadrat’s Bengaluru FC, the 2019-20 ISL campaign was more or less a reality check. With the loss of talisman Miku, a lot fell on the shoulders of the ageing Sunil Chhetri and an out-of-form Udanta Singh. In addition to this, with the likes of Deshorn Brown and Manuel Onwu misfiring, there was to be no glory for the Blues.
The signing of Cleiton Silva from Thai club Suphanburi has been one of the most talked-about stories in the Indian transfer season so far. Silva’s ability to play in any of the three positions in the front three and his penchant for putting the ball in the back of the net has been unparalleled, evident by his last outing with Supanburi where he netted 11 goals in 30 matches.
Needless to say, fans of Bengaluru FC would be waiting for the 33-year-old Brazilian to make his mark in the upcoming campaign. This will be Silva's first season in the ISL.