Mumbai City FC Season Preview – 2023/24

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Mumbai City FC, the reigning ISL League Shield winners had a decent run in the league last season where they had an undefeated period to boast about. Although the playoffs didn’t go as they planned. They were knocked out on the penalty shootouts by Bengaluru FC as both sides were unseparated despite playing two thrilling legs of football. In the Super Cup 2023, the Islanders fielded an all-Indian squad & displayed good performance as they won two of their three matches, but failed to make it through.

Mumbai City FC Season Preview - 2023/24 Mumbai City FC1692711467716 edited

In the 23/24 pre-season, Mumbai City FC flew to Thailand for their training camps to escape from the Mumbai monsoon rains primarily and also get good facilities abroad. The side even played a couple of closed-door matches to come back to their best shape. Head Coach Des also got a chance to look at some of the new faces on the team. Mumbai City began their Durand Cup journey by comfortably winning three group-stage matches against Mohammedan SC, Indian Navy FT, and Jamshedpur FC. However, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual champions Mohun Bagan.


What Are The Stakes?

The stakes for Mumbai City FC’s 23/24 season are simple yet very difficult. They have already proven from the last season that they are among the top two teams in India. And, that will put pressure on them to build upon those performances, and continue the same momentum this season as well. Not just the expectations on them to emulate last season’s ISL form but also the anticipation to perform the same way they did in the 2022 AFC Champions League where they won two games and finished second in the group.

Coach Des and Mumbai will now have to ensure that they keep on playing the same attractive brand of football they have been playing and then also bring the results. That’s all the fans are demanding.


Transfer Activity

Here are the players who have arrived at the club in the summer transfer window.

Player NamePositionFormer Club
Akash Mishra (21)DefenderHyderabad FC
Jayesh Rane (30)MidfielderBengaluru FC
Vinit Rai (25)MidfielderOdisha FC
Nathan Rodrigues (19)DefenderRF Young Champs
Franklin Nazareth (19)MidfielderRF Young Champs
Seilenthang Lotjem (19)AttackerSudeva Delhi FC
Nasser El Khayati (34)MidfielderChennaiyin FC
Yoell Van Nieff (30)MidfielderPuskas AFC
Jose Luis Espinosa (31)DefenderMohun Bagan SG

Among the arrivals, only Jayesh Rane has been signed on a season-long loan deal from his parent club Bengaluru FC. Rest all are on permanent transfers, either for free or with transfer fees paid in some cases.

Mumbai City FC Season Preview - 2023/24 90671731 edited

Here are the players who have departed the club in the summer transfer window.

Player NamePositionPresent Club
Ahmed Jahouh (34)MidfielderOdisha FC
Mourtdada Fall (35)DefenderOdisha FC
Vignesh D (25)DefenderHyderabad FC
Asif Khan (22)MidfielderInter Kashi FC
Naocha Singh (23)DefenderKerala Blasters
Gyamar Nikum (18)MidfielderInter Kashi FC
Rowllin Borges (31)MidfielderFC Goa
Amey Ranawade (25)DefenderOdisha FC
Gursimrat Singh (26)DefenderEast Bengal FC
Mandar Rao Desai (31)DefenderEast Bengal FC
Naorem Tondomba (24)MidfielderDelhi FC

Only Naocha Singh, Gyamar Nikum, Rowllin Borges, Amey Ranawade, and Naorem Tondomba Singh have departed the club on a loan transfer. The remaining others have left the club on a permanent basis.


Strengths

  • Regulars Stay – Mumbai City FC have managed to hold on the core of the team
  • ISL Experience – All the foreign players except Van Nieff have played in the India
  • Team Chemistry – A decent bond between all the Indian and foreign players
  • Squad Depth – A lot of options in the bench for Des to select from in case of injuries
  • Inform Indians – The domestic players also possess top quality like the foreigners

Weaknesses

  • Overaged Foreigners – All 7 foreigners in the team are 30 years or older.
  • Jahouh and Fall’s Absence – They were felt already as both played an important role.
  • Lack of Full-Backs – There aren’t many options in that department, and that’s a worry.
  • Chances Wasted – Despite creating many goalscoring opportunities, they aren’t finished.
  • Vulnerable from Set-Pieces and defensive errors – Must limit these to register the wins.

Possible Starting Lineup


One Youngster To Watch Out For

Seilenthang Lotjem – A 19-year-old versatile player, who was the I-League’s top Indian goal scorer with six goals. The Manipuri youngster has been a prolific scorer throughout his career. Without any doubt, he will be the standout performer for Mumbai in years to come, with his overall contributions.

The promising winger joins the Islanders on a three-year contract. In 2020, Seilenthang was signed by Sudeva Delhi FC at the age of just 16 after coming up through the JCT Academy in Punjab. In his second season with Sudeva Delhi, Lotjem was promoted to the First Team and featured regularly in the 2021/22 I-League. Lotjem made ten appearances in his debut season and also scored one goal.

Mumbai City FC Season Preview - 2023/24 F42fLm XkAAWMRx edited

Lotjem shot to prominence came in the very next season as he went on to feature in as many as 21 times for Sudeva Delhi FC and most notably, scored 6 goals, which made him the joint-highest Indian goalscorer in the 22/23 I-League at just the age of 18. Youngster Seilenthang Lotjem is also capable of playing across the attack and midfield positions. He will be the one to watch out for the Islanders.


Predicted Finish

Although it’s very difficult to predict the future of a club and their performances for a year from now it’s not that tough for Mumbai City FC’s case. The side is coached by one of the ISL’s finest mentors Desmond Buckingham, and his experienced assistants. Not to forget about their star-studded team.

Indian Super League Table – On 2nd Place

Indian Super League Playoffs – Champions

Super Cup – Should make it to the Semi-Finals

AFC Champions League – 2nd Position in Group


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Liven Bose
Liven Bose
A die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter and Indian Football fan from Kolkata who dreams of seeing glorious and successful days ahead.

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