This year’s ISL would see a flurry of foreign talents and some could argue that this year’s ISL might have the best foreign signings so far. This has to do with the new rules. The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) has modified its foreign player registration rule to accommodate players affiliated to AFC countries. As per the new rule, the seventh foreign player in the squad has to be affiliated to an AFC member association.
And most of the clubs have chosen Australia as their go to country to get their AFC signings (there are exceptions).
Let us take a look at all the AFC signings this year.
- 1) Erik Paartalu (Bengaluru FC)
Let us start with a familiar name in the Indian footballing circle, from 2017 he is a part of the Bengaluru FC squad. This defensive midfielder with his 6.4ft towering frame has been a strong presence in the field and has not disappointed Bengaluru FC fans ever since.
Before Bengaluru FC he had played for various football clubs in various leagues across the globe they are Brisbane Roar and Melbourne City FC, Gretna FC, Stirling Albion FC, Greenock Morton FC, Tianjin TEDA FC, Muangthong United FC, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC and Al Kharaitiyat SC. His momentum was disrupted by injuries last year but he seemed to shrug it off and move on in the later stage of ISL 2019-20. He is 34 now but a workhorse and an aerial threat that could dismantle defences with ease. Paartalu’s defensive role might be the key for Bengaluru FC this year.
2) David Williams (ATK Mohun Bagan)
When ATK-MB FC brought Roy Krishna last year from Wellington Phoenix, who was the top scorer of A-league, they also splashed money on his striking partner David Williams and he proved he was worth every single penny spent on him. Williams is the first indigenous australian player to play for an A-League club, Melbourne City FC. Williams represented Australia twice in 2008. He had also played in Danish League. In the last ISL, the 32-year old registered seven goals and two assists. His combination with Roy Krishna could be vital for ATK-MB FC this season.
3) Jordan Murray (Kerala Blasters FC)
A 25-year-old young and vibrant forward, who could be a great back up and assist for Gary Hooper, was released from his contract by A-League club on an undisclosed fee so that he can complete a deal to move to the Hero ISL.
Murray joined the Mariners in 2018 from APIA Leichhardt FC, scored seven times in 41 appearances in A-League. He scored four goals in 18 appearances (13 starts) in the league as his club finished at the bottom of the table last season. KBFC have made some really solid signings this year and Jordan Murray would be another arrow in Kibu’s plan.