7 Biggest Transfers ahead of ISL 2022-23

Roy Krishna and Greg Stewart had plenty of ISL sides chasing their signatures

The upcoming Indian Super League 2022-23 season could be a ground-breaking one in the history of the league, since all the fixtures will be played over the weekend, in alignment with the footballing calendar in Europe. A long season and a new playoff format would mean teams will need to prepare better for the upcoming campaign.

There have already been some blockbuster transfers ahead of the start of the season, and with less than a month remaining before East Bengal and Kerala Blasters kick off the new ISL campaign, here are some of the biggest transfers that have taken place so far. 

#7 Asish Rai – ATK Mohun Bagan

The 23-year-old was one of the key cogs in Hyderabad’s romp to the ISL title last year. Since joining the Nizams back in 2019, Asish Rai had contributed six assists in 48 appearances for the club whilst providing exemplary defensive support as well.

ATK Mohun Bagan prized away the young defender away from Manolo Marquez to acquire his services and Juan Ferrando would be expecting him to nail down the right-wing back spot ahead of Ashutosh Mehta and Pritam Kotal.

#6 Jorge Pereyra Diaz – Mumbai City

Filling in the boots of Igor Angulo won’t be easy, but Mumbai City has roped in ex-Kerala Blasters forward Jorge Pereyra Diaz to lead their line for the upcoming ISL campaign. Diaz scored his maiden goal for the Islanders in the 2022 Durand Cup against title-rivals ATK Mohun Bagan and would be hoping to increase his tally in the tournament if he recovers from an unknown injury.

With eight goals, and a solitary assist in 21 matches last season, the Argentine is a work-horse and is known for his commitment and drive even without the ball. Des Buckingham would be entrusting a lot of trust in the former Blasters forward after securing his deal in a coup that shocked most of the football fans in India.

#5 Ashique Kuruniyan – ATK Mohun Bagan

Ashique Kuruniyan’s presence would allow the Mariners to play more overseas midfielders

Ashique Kuruniyan’s presence would allow the Mariners to play more overseas midfielders

The 25-year-old versatile winger had been impressive for India during the Asian Cup qualification campaign, and ATK Mohun Bagan signed him on a five-year deal from Bengaluru. After making 65 ISL appearances for the now-defunct Pune City and Bengaluru, Kuruniyan scored 5 goals and provided 5 assists, often playing at left-back.

Known for his guile and creativity, Ashique has been capped 24 times at the international level and he has the potential to be one of the pillars of the Mariners for years to come. Kuruniyan’s ability to play across the forward line would be quite helpful to the Mariners’ set-up as Manvir Singh and Liston Colaco’s bursting runs would become more unpredictable.

#4 Sandesh Jhingan – Bengaluru

Sandesh Jhingan was reportedly eager to move abroad once again but that didn’t materialise and the towering central defender has instead returned home to Bengaluru where he won his first silverware, the Federation Cup in 2017. 

Jhingan also made his continental debut in the AFC Cup making 5 appearances after making 11 I-League appearances in a campaign that saw the Blues finish behind eventual champions Aizawl and arch-rivals Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.

The 29-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Blues in hopes of getting his hands on his maiden ISL title. Playing with the likes of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sunil Chhetri, Prabir Das, Naorem Roshan Singh, Suresh Singh, Udanta Singh,  Jayesh Rane, and Danish Farooq, Jhingan would be part of an elite Indian contingent at BFC.

#3 Alvaro Vazquez – Goa

Alvaro Vazquez celebrates a goal for Kerala Blasters

Alvaro Vazquez celebrates a goal for Kerala Blasters

The Gaurs have landed Alvaro Vazquez in order to fill the void left by Jorge Ortiz, who left for China. The Spanish forward was a key figure in Kerala Blasters’ run to the final last year, forming a formidable partnership with Pereyra Diaz.

Vazquez scored eight goals and also contributed two assists in 23 appearances last term, and he will be hoping to replicate those goods for Goa as well after signing a two-year deal. Alongside the likes of Noah Sadaoui and Iker Guarrotxena, the 31-year old Spaniard would be instrumental in the Gaurs’ attack.

#2 Roy Krishna – Bengaluru

When ATK Mohun Bagan decided to part ways with Roy Krishna, the move came as a shocking decision. The Fijian striker has been one of the most consistent and prolific goal scorers in ISL for the last couple of years.

Krishna scored 36 goals and provided 18 assists in 60 ISL appearances as he helped ATK win the 2019-20 ISL trophy. In the 2020-21 ISL season, Krishna lost out on the Golden Boot award to Nerijus Valskis courtesy of playing one more match as ATK Mohun Bagan also lost out on the ISL trophy to Mumbai City in the final.

Nonetheless, the Mariners’ loss was Bengaluru’s gain as they struck a deal to land Krishna on a two-year term, and he has already shown glimpses of a mouth-watering lethal partnership with Sunil Chhetri in the ongoing 2022 Durand Cup as the Blues are possibly marching towards their first triumph in the competition. 

#1 Greg Stewart – Mumbai City

In their bid to get their hands on the coveted ISL title, Mumbai City has made some big moves. The Islanders landed last year’s ISL Golden Ball winner Greg Stewart who has joined from Jamshedpur on a two-year deal.

The Mumbai-based outfit has assembled a star-studded squad in Rahul Bheke, Amey Ranawade, Mandar Rao Dessai, Mourtada Fall, Rostyn Griffiths, Ahmed Jahouh, Alberto Noguera, Apuia, Vinit Rao, Rowlin Borges, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh Pereyra Dias, and Stewart.

The Scottish forward had contributed 10 goals and as many assists in just 21 matches. Stewart took the entire league by storm in his maiden ISL campaign and played a crucial role in the Red Miners’ maiden silverware win. Des Buckingham will be hoping that he can be the final jigsaw piece to land the trophy that they crave the most.