After two successive years of disappointment, Indian Super League (ISL) outfit Bengaluru FC have had something to cheer about. Their joy resulted from the team's triumph in the recently concluded Durand Cup.
The Blues edged past a few big names to get their hands on the coveted trophy. Simon Grayson's side pulled off a 2-1 win against Odisha FC in the quarterfinals, followed by a 1-0 win against Hyderabad FC in the semi-final. The Blues then bested favorites Mumbai City FC in the final to emerge champions.
The club had never won the Durand Cup before and success in the 131st edition of the coveted tournament seemed like the perfect way to start the season.
In the upcoming edition of the ISL, the team would be looking for some impressive performances from its star players.
On that note, let's take a look at 3 players who are most likely to become Bengaluru FC's player of the season in the ISL 2022-23 campaign.
#3 Sivasakthi Narayan
Bengaluru FC's newfound gem shone in the recently concluded Durand Cup. The 5'4" inch forward managed to oust Mourtada Fall in the final to open the scoring for his side. But it is not just his ability to score goals that brings him to light.
The 21-year-old is a hard-working forward who manages to cover every blade of grass in the opposition's half, making their lives miserable.
Sivasakthi has an eye for goal-scoring opportunities and is able to get himself in between defenders and stick out a boot to score in chaotic situations. The young forward could pave the way for the club's success in the upcoming edition of the ISL.
Hungry for glory, Bengaluru FC needed a new face who could steadily rise through the ranks and eventually replace big stars in the days to come. Sivasakthi's performance in the 2022 Durand Cup was a clear example of the forward's potential to do that. Under Grayson, the young attacker could excel this season.
#2 Roy Krishna
The Fijian ace fell out of favor with Juan Ferrando and was allowed to leave ATK Mohun Bagan. Roy Krishna's arrival at Bengaluru FC received massive plaudits owing to the expectations of a strike partnership with club captain Sunil Chhetri.
The former Mohun Bagan forward has already managed to live up to the hype in the recently concluded Durand Cup.
His late winner against Odisha FC in the Durand Cup quarterfinals sent out a message to his critics that business was far from over. His goal against Jamshedpur FC during the group stages of the Durand Cup was a clear example of the partnership the Blues' faithful could expect in the upcoming edition of the ISL.
Krishna's physicality, goal scoring prowess, and relationship with full-back Prabir Das could open up new doors for Grayson's side in the ISL.
#1 Sunil Chhetri
Under Simon Grayson, Sunil Chhetri has found a new role that suits the forward. In the Durand Cup, Chhetri was occasionally deployed as a number 10 and the Indian national team skipper lived up to the demands of the role with ease.
He helped the Blues open up new spaces between the lines and orchestrate attacks based on his side's strengths.
This new role could complement his goal-scoring prowess and help Grayson put Bengaluru FC back where they belong. Chhetri bagged four very important goals in the tournament, signaling his return to goal-scoring form. The Blues skipper will be the man to watch out for in ISL 2022-23.