ISL Transfers: Odisha FC to miss Aridane Santana for rest of season due to injury

Aridane Santana's absence will be a big blow to Odisha FC's playoff aspirations this season
Aridane Santana's absence will be a big blow to Odisha FC's playoff aspirations this season

Indian Super League club Odisha FC's star striker Aridane Santana has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to the injury he sustained in their previous encounter against Bengaluru FC. The Spaniard was brought on loan from Spain's third tier club Cultural Deportiva Leonesa before the season began and scored 9 goals in 14 appearances.

The injury bug to foreign strikers seems to have finally bitten Odisha FC after previously claiming NorthEast United FC's Asamoah Gyan, and Bengaluru FC's Manuel Onwu and Jamshedpur FC's Sergio Castel momentarily.

Santana played 1144 minutes this season and averaged at 0.64 goals per game. The 32-year-old was second in the goalscoring charts behind Chennaiyin FC's Nerijus Valskis and tied with Bengaluru FC's captain Sunil Chhetri.

Santana also had 2 assists to his name and took 37 shots in this season of ISL alongside lodging 7 crosses. Primarily being deployed as a #9, he didn't disappoint his teammates when it came to dropping deep and picking up the balls. With 16 tackles, 38 clearances, and 10 blocks also to his name, he also helped his defense whenever it was necessary.

Santana formed a focal triumvirate in the attack alongside Jerry Mawhmingthanga and Xisco Hernandez. The trio had registered 16 out of 19 goals the team scored and 8 out of the 12 assists awarded to individual players.

Odisha FC currently sit in fourth position on the points table with 21 points from 14 matches. The likes of Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC, and Jamshedpur FC are breathing just below their neck, waiting for them to drop points, so as to make a claim to the final playoff spot which the competition offers.

Odisha FC next faces FC Goa on Wednesday at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. It remains to be seen how the coastal state fares in their first test without Santana.

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Edited by A. Ayush Chatterjee