How do you define a perfect 10/10 transfer window in Indian Football?
Signing the second-highest scorer from the A-League and three prominent players from the Indian national team does make a good case. This is exactly what Mohun Bagan has achieved this summer. The Bagan fans have returned to fill the stands after the club dropped its disliked prefix from their name and the team’s management responded effectively by significantly strengthening their squad, creating ripples through the entire Indian transfer market. Among the big signings were Jason Cummings from Central Coast Mariners, followed by the likes of Armando Sadiku, Sahal Abdul Samad, Anwar Ali, and Anirudh Thapa.
In this article, we’ll explore what Jason Cummings will bring to Juan Ferrando’s side and what we can expect from the Australian striker.
Who is Jason Cummings?
During his time with Shrewsbury Town in England, just before their FA Cup match against Liverpool, Jason Cummings confidently strutted half-naked in the background in a prank while his teammate was being interviewed by broadcasters. Few days later, he scored two goals coming off the bench against Liverpool, leading his team to a remarkable comeback from a 2-0 deficit and securing a replay at Anfield. That is Jason Cummings.
After scoring his first international goal in his debut match for Australia against New Zealand, Cummings, in a post-match interview, dedicated the goal to his dog back in Scotland, who is even tattooed on his calf. “I touch the dog on my calf, I rub his chest like I used to rub his chest back home and it brings be luck.”
Now if you move past his calf, you can also find a tattoo of Heath Ledger’s Joker on his thigh. A bit of a painter himself, Cummings remarked, “I started painting a year ago, just blank canvases with acrylic paint. That’s something the Joker would do: sit in a dark room painting.” In a hilarious gig, the Socceroo star attended an event dressed as the Joker without seeking permission from his then-club Dundee FC. The next morning, his exit from the club was sealed as the manager deemed him “unfit to train.” Well, that’s Jason Cummings.
During his time at Peterborough United, a video captured his eccentricity as he sprayed champagne around his own flat, smashing things and even throwing a television set out of the window. Last June, right before the A-League grand final, Cummings was caught on tape laying down in his boxers. His teammate Yaren Sozer took a shot at a golf ball placed between Cummings’ buttocks as part of a bet. The striker had lost a previous round to Sozer and warned the goalie, “Lad, if you hit my hip, I am out of the grand final.” He netted a hattrick later in the final. That’s also Jason Cummings.
That is just the beginning when it comes to exploring Jason Cummings’ character. For our more serious readers, it’s important to note that Cummings is coming off a remarkable sixteen-goal season with Central Coast Mariners, the A-League Championship winners. In the final against Melbourne City, he scored three goals and provided one assist, capping off an impressive tenure with the Australian club. Since leaving Dundee FC, Cummings rejuvenated his career in Australia and even earned a spot in the Socceroos squad for the Qatar World Cup.
During his first season with the Mariners, he contributed with fifteen goals and assists, catching the attention of Graham Arnold, who then took the 27-year-old to Qatar. He made a 35-minute appearance in the group-stage match against France. Cummings made his mark in Scottish club Hibernian before catching the eye of English side Nottingham Forest, who signed him up. However, his career didn’t take off as anticipated, following loan spells with Rangers, Peterborough, and Luton. Eventually, he signed a permanent deal with Shrewsbury Town before heading back to Scotland to play for Dundee FC.
How would Jason Cummings fit into Juan Ferrnado’s system?
In the beginning, Mohun Bagan faced some challenges last season, particularly in their attacking department where they lacked a suitable number nine. As the season advanced, Petratos managed to hold his own in that position despite certain limitations. However, it remained evident that the team required a true striker, and Petratos could complement well with another forward who would operate higher up the pitch.
It’s essential to consider that Mohun Bagan has also got Armando Sadiku as another forward option besides Jason Cummings. This presents two possibilities: either Ferrnado may opt for a two-striker system upfront, or Petratos might be positioned on one of the flanks or as an attacking midfielder, leaving Sadiku as a substitute on the bench.
Without a doubt, Cummings is set to be the main starting forward in every game, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Petratos and either Ashique or Liston taking up positions on the flanks. Considering the addition of Sahal and Thapa, a conventional 4-3-3 formation appears to be the most optimal choice for Ferrando at this time.
Notably, Ashique Kuruniyan prefers to play as a winger on the left, sticking close to the touchlines.The presence of a proper striker inside the box will allow him to do just that. This also allows Sahal Abdul Samad to have more freedom on the left side, enabling him to take up advanced positions that suit his strengths. Additionally, with Petratos, who likes to cut inside or occupy central positions, Cummings can benefit from the presence of his fellow Australian teammate who excels at providing assists.
Cummings and Petratos make for an electrifying and imposing attacking duo, possessing an abundance of knack of scoring goals. Their on-field chemistry will be fascinating, and it will be interesting to see how Ferrando will unleash this lethal duo in the Indian Super League.
The significance of this signing for Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan managed to win the ISL Playoffs Trophy last season without a proper nine in their ranks, and now that they have one in Jason Cummings, it is expected that they can do one better and challenge for the ISL League Shield. Having a player of Cummings’ caliber is sure to excite fans and attract more of them to the stadium, hoping to witness the star Aussie in action.
Signings like Jason Cummings also helps in continental tournaments like the AFC Cup where Bagan will be competing in next month. Past the group stages, the team may face opponents who are stronger as a unit, but players like Cummings, with their ability to score from half-chances, can make a significant individual difference.
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