Jamshedpur FC stepped foot into the 2022-23 season on their first title-winning high, hoping to defend their ISL league shield victory after bringing in English manager Aidy Boothroyd to replace the outgoing Owen Coyle. JFC’s ambitious revamp did not go according to plan however as they managed to pick up only four points from their first 10 games.
Jamshedpur FC fans will not be too disheartened however with how the team finished off their season with the lingering errors that cost the Red Miners games being rectified. An attractive brand of football with a lot of potential was on display towards the end. Jamshedpur FC roped in Scott Cooper for the 2023-24 season to replace the outgoing Boothroyd.
Jamshedpur FC have a mountain to climb if they want to repeat their past exploits and go in search of glory once again with their right flank in dire need of fresh talent following the recent outgoings.
Options available –
Well, there aren’t many but Ritwik Das who has been Jamshedpur FC’s star man down the left flank can slot into the right wing position as and when required. He managed to grab himself 6 goals and an assist in the 2022-23 campaign and has recently signed a new long-term deal with the club.
Farukh Choudhary also remains an option for Jamshedpur FC’s right flank as he has some cameo appearances playing as a right-winger in the season gone by. He will look to impress and have a more prominent role in the recently vacated positions in the upcoming season.
Komal Thatal is another option for the right-wing position and will be available for Jamshedpur FC as and when called upon.
Transfer activities so far-
Boris Singh had been Jamshedpur FC’s starting right-midfielder in the 2022-23 season and Jamshedpur FC will be looking for a capable replacement after Singh signed a contract with FC Goa.
The hole in the right-midfield position left by the departure of Renthlei to Odisha FC is one Jamshedpur FC will have to fill with urgency.
The 23-year-old right-back from Aizawl FC will be turning quite a few heads with his contract expiring this summer. A mainstay in the Aizawl FC starting line-up, Lalmalsawma Khawlhring played 100% of the minutes in Aizawl FC’s 26-game campaign in the 2022-23 season. Khawlhring clocked over 2200 minutes, grabbing himself an assist as he helped Aizawl FC to a 7th-placed finish in the I-League.
The young defender from Mizoram mainly plays as a right-back and constantly bombards up the right flank looking to add to the attack. Khawlhring’s defensive abilities are quite sound as well as he looks to take the next step in his career. Jamshedpur FC will do well with a player of his quality as his profile is very similar to the departing Renthlei who has been a focal point in Jamshedpur’s right flank in the 2022-23 ISL season.
Naresh Singh’s impressive I-League campaign in the 2022-23 season has been turning heads from many ISL clubs after he starred in the right-back role for TRAU FC as they finished 4th in their most recent I-League campaign. Singh’s solid defensive abilities made him one of the first names to go on the TRAU FC line-up as he clocked over 2300 minutes, playing every possible minute in TRAU FC’s I-League and Durand Cup campaign.
Singh will be very familiar with Jamshedpur FC as he started out his professional career in Jamshedpur FC II before making the move to TRAU FC in 2020. Naresh Singh’s strength lies in his ability to lock down the right flank and play out of pressure from the back. Not a very attack-minded player, Singh is more than familiar with how to lock down defenses and the Red Miners will be looking for such traits to cover the cracks of their leaky defense as we witnessed in the most recent campaign.
Foreign Options –
A foreign option Jamshedpur FC could place their bets on is Macva’s Aleksandar Popovic playing in the Serbian 2nd division. The Men of Steel have struggled to create chances from their right flank all season and Popovic might be the answer to their prayers. A constant threat from the right flank, Popovic has grabbed himself 4 assists and 2 goals in the bygone campaign.
Popovic loves to bombard down the right side, making overlapping runs behind the right winger which would be beneficial to Jamshedpur FC’s style of play. He has clocked in over 2900 minutes over 33 games so far and with the Serbian league wrapping up soon the talented Serbian right-back might look for better opportunities abroad. Popovic has his contract expiring this summer and the Macva regular would have no difficulties in adapting to Jamshedpur FC’s system.
Chaika Pes.’s Mikhail Tikhonov might be another option as his attacking capabilities down the right flank are exactly what Jamshedpur FC is looking for at the moment. Clocking over 1000 minutes over 16 appearances, the Russian right midfielder can also slot in as a right-back as he has done multiple times this season.
Tikhonov’s exploits in the Russian league have been eye-catching as he managed to grab himself 2 goals in Chaika’s group campaign in the 2022-23 season. With his contract running out this summer, Tikhonov will look to take his next step, and what better club than Jamshedpur FC who happen to be in need of a very similar profile.
Jamshedpur FC will be looking for an offensive-oriented player for their right flank ahead of the upcoming season to be Ritwik Das’s complement. With a new coach coming in and an impressive end to the previous season, the future seems full of opportunities for Jamshedpur FC.
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