It is often said that in order to win championships, teams need an excellent goalkeeper between the sticks. That is because it helps teams win invaluable points during the course of a season, something that is also applicable in the context of the ISL (Indian Super League) as well.
Five goalkeepers who could win the ISL 2020-21 Golden Glove this season
With the new season of the ISL just a few months away, we take a look at five goalkeepers who have the potential to bag the Golden Glove award (for keeping the most clean sheets) this season.
#1 Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Bengaluru FC)
A few years ago when he left India to join Norway's Stabaek, many were apprehensive about whether he could have an impact there. While he did not go on to become a regular starter for the club, he gained priceless experience and even started for the team in a Europa League game.
Since then, Sandhu has signed for Bengaluru in the ISL and has gone from strength to strength. In the process, he has also firmly established himself as the national team’s number one as well.
For the ISL franchise, he has kept an impressive 25 clean sheets in 58 matches and has made 158 saves. He remains the only goalkeeper in ISL history to have won the Golden Glove award twice.
If Bengaluru FC get into gear on the pitch this season as well, it would take a brave man to bet against Sandhu winning the coveted award in the ISL for the third time.
#2 Arindam Bhattacharya (ATK Mohun Bagan)
ATK Mohun Bagan, who look like one of the most formidable units in the upcoming edition of the ISL, further strengthened their roster with the signing of Bradden Inman from Brisbane Roar to give themselves a great chance of going all the way this season.
Arindam Bhattacharya, who will be between the sticks for ATK, has a good opportunity to end up with the ISL Golden Glove award this season.
Even though he has kept 19 clean sheets in 56 matches in the ISL, it was with ATK that the former FC Pune City and Mumbai City FC custodian won the competition. He will look to continue the good form he has shown ever since he joined the franchise.
#3 Subrata Paul (Hyderabad FC)
The grand old goalkeeper of Indian football is still going strong in the ISL with Hyderabad FC.
Subrata Paul, called the ‘Spiderman of India’, has bailed out every team he has played for on a number of occasions. Even though he was involved in a forgettable campaign with Jamshedpur FC in the ISL last season, you can never count out one of the most experienced keepers in the country from being in contention for the Golden Glove award.
His save percentage of 62.85% in the last ISL season may not be the most impressive. But if Hyderabad FC manage to shore up their defence as they are expected to, we could see Paul back to his best, making saves that can at times defy the laws of physics. And let’s not forget that he won the ISL Golden Glove award with Jamshedpur FC in 2018.
#4 Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City FC)
Amrinder Singh’s impressive performances in the ISL in the last few years has seen him in the conversation for a place in the Indian team, especially when the current incumbent Gurpreet Singh Sandhu showed patchy form.
Singh, who won the ISL Golden Glove in 2016 while playing just six matches in that edition of the competition, will turn out in Mumbai City FC colours in the upcoming ISL season.
The shot-stopper has spoken about how it would be a completely fresh start for him. He has also said that the team is extremely motivated to improve on their fifth-place finish from last season when they missed out on an ISL playoff spot by three points.
With his form likely to be key to Mumbai City FC's hopes of making the ISL playoffs this time, Singh is another contender to win the Golden Glove in the 2020-21 edition of the competition.
#5 Mohammad Nawaz (FC Goa)
Mohammad Nawaz is currently one of the brightest young goalkeeping prospects in the country, along with Dheeraj Singh.
After being thrown into the deep end for FC Goa in the ISL last season, Nawaz showed great maturity in several matches to keep his team in contention. His save percentage of 59.15% may not be the highest in the ISL, but that does not tell the whole story as FC Goa topped the league stage of the competition last season.
This may just be the season when FC Goa go that one step further and clinch the ISL title. If that were to happen, Nawaz could be a crucial cog in the wheel for the Goa-based franchise.Published 21 Sep 2020, 20:58 IST