Top 5 midfielders of the 2022-23 Indian Super League

Julius Duker and Ahmed Jahouh were among the best midfielders this season

In the 2022-23 season of the Indian Super League, we saw some excellent defenders, who put their bodies on the line to make last-ditch recuperation efforts. We also saw some brilliant attackers, who wriggled their way past anyone and everyone to score for their respective teams.

But once again, doing the thankless job of serving as the bridge between defenders and attackers, and ultimately, ensuring the smooth transitions that we saw, was a big bunch of quality midfielders. 

The league features defensive midfielders who gave nightmares to the opponents’ attackers, and also attacking midfielders who passed the thread through the needle effortlessly by seeing what no one else saw.

Let us have a look at the top five midfielders of the season:

#5 Jeakson Singh

Jeakson Singh is still only 21 years of age, but one would not say that after looking at the way he plays, with immaculate maturity. Playing this third season in the ISL, the midfielder was once again a vital cog in the engine room of the Tuskers.

Playing mostly as a defensive midfielder, Jeakson covered every blade of the grass and made the second-highest number of successful tackles for Ivan Vukomanovic’s team (30). Besides that, he also ranked second on most successful passes for the tuskers, with 774 completed passes in 20 matches at an average of nearly 40 passes per game.

#4 Julius Duker

Julius Duker was one of the few consistent players from Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin had another disappointing season, as they won only seven games and finished in the 8th position. However, one of the few positives they will be taking from this season is Julius Duker, the German midfielder who played an instrumental role in almost every game that he played.

In terms of attacking output, he scored one goal against NorthEast United and gave four assists – two against the Highlander, and one each against Jamshedpur and Mumbai City. Besides that, he also made the most successful passes (824) by anyone from the Marina Machans and also got the most successful tackles (37).

#3 Javi Hernandez

Javi Hernandez had a point to prove this season, after making the move from Odisha to Bengaluru. He did take time to settle under Simon Grayson’s set-up, but once he did, there was no stopping the Spanish midfielder. He scored six goals and gave five assists for his team.

Hernandez scored a brace against Goa, while also finding the back of the net against Kerala Blasters, East Bengal, ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City. Meanwhile, he gave two assists against Jamshedpur, and one each against NorthEast United, Kerala Blasters and Mumbai City. To top it all off, he also created the most chances by any Blues player (42).

#2 Iker Guarrotxena

Iker Guarrotxena was Goa’s leading goal-scorer

After Chennaiyin’s Duker, Goa’s Iker Guarrotxena is the second player on our list who was playing only his first season in Indian football but still ended up having a superb season. He was the Gaurs’ leading goal-scorer with 11 goals.

Guarrotxena scored the third-fastest hat-trick in ISL history achieving this feat against East Bengal. Apart from that, the Spaniard scored three goals across two matches against Jamshedpur, netted twice against NorthEast United, and found the back of the net once each against Mumbai City, Kerala Blasters, and Bengaluru. Besides that, he also created 15 chances for Carlos Pena’s team.

#1 Ahmed Jahouh

While we saw plenty of good attacking midfielders this season, the first position on our list belongs to a central defensive midfielder who is among the most versatile players in the league – Ahmed Jahouh. 

Playing in this sixth season in India and third for Mumbai City, the Moroccan was omnipresent throughout the tournament, playing a big role in all of the Islanders’ matches except one, where he was serving a suspension.

He made the most successful tackles by anyone in the league (49). Besides that, he also made the most touches by any player from Des Buckingham’s side (1538); and was second in terms of successful passes (1001) and interceptions (28).