The 2020-21 Indian Super League is expected to start amidst of the COVID -19 outbreak in November and teams are on full swing for the 7th edition of India’s premier footballing event at Goa. When some of the teams might be brainstorming for another title, new clubs like Hyderabad FC are still yet to make a mark. After a disappointing début season under Phill Brown and being the bottom first, the franchise from Telangana is all set for the new season with new hopes and of course, new signings.
With Albert Roca taking on the Technical Director spot, everything was on the right track. It was when Ronald Koeman took charge as FC Barcelona’s new manager, Indian super league outfit Hyderabad FC had to part away with Roca, who is replaced by another Spaniard, Roca in the name of Manuel “Manolo” Márquez Roca. Hyderabad FC had to bid adieu to their star striker and two-time golden boot winner of the ISL, Marcelinho, all their foreign players except Nestor, some young Indian Players too. Let’s take a look at the foreign signings of Hyderabad FC for this season.
Hyderabad FC foreign recruits.
- Joao Victor (Defensive Midfielder, Signed from OFI Crete).
Hyderabad FC started this season’s foreign signing with the Brazilian defensive midfielder João Victor de Albuquerque Bruno. ‘ Jao Victor’ as he is commonly known, penned a one year deal with HFC for the upcoming season of ISL. The 31-year-old former Mallorca player started his professional career in 2005 with Nautico and has played for Brazilian clubs like São Caetano and Treze.
Joao then flew to ply his trade abroad with Uzbekistan Super League side FC Bunyodkor. He represented Mallorca in the Spanish league. He has also played in Qatar and Cyprus before joining Greek Super League side OFI Crete FC. The player has played in Asia before, and is all set to make his mark in the Indian subcontinent!
- Joel Chianese (Winger, Signed from Perth Glory).
The A-league saga continues in ISL as HFC signed former Perth Glory attacker Joel Chianese on a one year deal. The 30-year-old started his professional career with Blacktown City FC in 2009 and began his A-league career with Sydney FC in 2011.
The Aussie has also played for Malaysian sides Sabah FA and Negeri Sembilan FA, netting down 17 goals in 29 matches. He then returned back to the A-league in 2016 with Perth Glory, he has led Perth into the first position in the points table in 2018-19 season. Now he is here with Hyderabad FC after Perth Glory has lost the semi-final of A-League against Sydney FC.
- Aridane Santana (Striker, Signed from Odisha FC).
Aridane Jesús Santana Cabrera, known simply as Santana has been part of ISL since last season when he was on loan from Cultural Leonesa to Odisha FC. Santana has played for many Spanish clubs like Mirandés, Deportivo B, Leganés and also for Bangkok Glass which is a Thai club. Santana has been a real goal machine for Odisha FC by playing 14 matches he has scored 9 goals and given 2 assists with a 1.50 PPG.
He would’ve done better if he wouldn’t have missed 21 games due to a foot injury. The Spaniard is very good at heading the ball. He drops very deep, offers help on the wings. Most of his goals are from inside the box. He will be a good boost to the Nizams because of his 14 years experience in Spanish leagues.
- Odei Onaindia (Centre Back, Signed from CD Mirandés).
Odei Onaindia Zabala, known simply as Onaindia is an academy product of Athletic Bilbao. He is an experienced Spanish defender (30 years old) who has played in second and third-tier Spanish leagues. He has played for Athletic Club B, Mirandés and Melilla. He joined the Nizams after two seasons with Mirandes where he led them to promotion to Segunda Division in the 2018-19 season.
With a market value of 2.5 Crore rupees, Odei ranks 30 in the ISL players list. Nizam’s coach Manolo Marquez believes that Odei is a good signing and his experience will help the squad. His experience in Spain, his play, his strength, all will be a good boost for the Nizams. By looking at this strength, it feels like the Spaniard might play for one or more years than his initial contract with the Nizams.
- Fran Sandaza (Striker, Signed from AD Alcorcón).
Francisco “Fran” José Sandaza Asensio, known simply as Sandaza is a 35 year old Spanish forward, he has played for many Spanish clubs like Valencia B and Girona. He has also played in Scotland, Japan, China and England. Sandaza has scored 3 goals, given 2 assists by playing 22 matches for AD Alcorcón last season.
Looking at his stats it feels like Sandaza is only a back-up striker for the Nizams in case Santana gets injured again. Even if his performance wasn’t good in his previous seasons it might be good enough for ISL, given the competition isn’t the same.
- Lluis Sastre (Central Midfielder, Signed from AEK Larnaca).
Lluís Sastre Reus, commonly known as Sastre is a midfielder. Sastre is a former La Liga player. He played for Valladolid, Leganes and Huesca. He is a La Masia product who has only played for Barcelona C and B. Sastre isn’t the first La Masia product who joined an ISL club.
He started his career in 2005 with Barcelona C. Sastre has played for Spanish U-19 team too. The Nizams midfield wasn’t up to the mark last season as Nestor and Marko Stankovic didn’t perform well. So this might be the reason why Stankovic was let go and the Nizams have signed a better-experienced former La Liga player.