ISL 2020-21 season is all set to kick-off from 20th November. All clubs have retained some of their foreign players while for the remaining slots they have made their best attempts to sign new foreign players. Teams looked more concentrated on signings of experienced and quality midfielders as they can be deployed on the field as the pivot, being able to create chances for forwards or defend in front of the back four.
Let’s have a glimpse at the top 5 new foreign midfielders signed, prepared to showcase their mastery on the field –
Hernan Santana (Mumbai City FC) –
Hernan Santana began his youth career at UD Las Palmas. Progressing from their Under-19 team he joined the Las Palmas reserve side and made his debut in Tercera Division. He was promoted to the first team in 2012. Due to his disciplined playing style in midfield, he made 133 appearances over six seasons for Las Palmas till 2018. Surprisingly, Santana played under the guidance of Sergio Lobera, the current graffer of Mumbai City FC. Lobera was in charge of Las Palmas from 2012 to 2014.
In 2018, Santana moved to Sporting Gijon which competes in the Segunda Division, the second tier of the Spanish football system. Without any doubt, Santana’s presence at Mumbai City FC will surely have an impact in midfield as he comes in with the experience of playing one of the world’s best competitive league like La Liga.
Alex Lima (Jamshedpur FC) –
Alex Lima is another name that has to be included in this list. The 31-year-old has the experience of playing in K League 2 of South Korea and Major League Soccer of USA. The Brazilian trained in the youth system of Gremio Esportivo Mauaense in Brazil. FC Wohlen in Switzerland was his first club where he inaugurated his professional football career in 2008. Till 2012, Lima made 92 appearances for the Swiss side, also comprising a loan stint at FC Gossau. Due to his ability in positional play in creating chances for strikers, he was signed by MLS side Chicago Fire in 2012. He went to represent them on 82 occasions in three years till 2015. Later, he was signed by Houston Dynamo. Interestingly, Alex played under Owen Coyle itself till 2017. His stint was pretty successful as he scored 11 goals and assisted 10 times in 88 matches. In two successive seasons from 2018 to 2020, he represented Suwon FC and FC Anyang one year each, back to back in Korea.
Recently, he was signed by Vietnamese club Ho Chi Minh City FC till the end of the season, later getting released by the club without a contract extension. Putting pen on the contract paper of Jamshedpur FC, Lima expressed his delight and said, “I have played football across four continents. To now join this exciting league wearing the colors of one of the top teams of India makes me extremely proud. I can’t wait to meet my teammates. I want the fans of Jamshedpur to know that we are going to fight tooth and nail to win the ISL.” The attack-minded midfielder will be a useful asset for Jamshedpur helping the team to perform better than its previous season.