The Indian Super League (ISL) is almost upon us with the new season just a few months away. But the action off the field is on as all the clubs look to build a strong team during the transfer window.
This year, we have already seen some big names moving from clubs to different ISL clubs. And many surprise transfers as well that left us wondering.
Now, let us take a look at the top 5 transfers of the 2022-2023 season:
5. Greg Stewart (Mumbai City FC)
The ISL 2020/21 winners Mumbai City FC have got a huge boost as the best player of the latest ISL season, the 32-year-old Scottish forward Greg Stewart.
They are surely desperate to bring powerful performances from the beginning of the new season, and Greg Stewart’s addition to the team can hugely help them to achieve their goal.
Greg Stewart played a hugely influential role for Jamshedpur FC to achieve their first-ever playoffs qualification in the ISL 2021/22 season. The Red Miners finished on top of the points table in the league stage of the latest ISL season, which also helped them to qualify for the Playoffs for the 2023/24 AFC Champions League group stage.
4. Ashish Rai (ATK Mohun Bagan)
ATK Mohun Bagan has signed right-back Ashish Rai from Indian Super League (ISL) champions Hyderabad FC. The Mariners were looking for a quality player at that position. The 23-year-old seems to be the perfect signing with ATKMB’s Prabir Das’s move to Bengaluru FC.
Ashish evolved into one of the best full-backs in the country. He had a much better 2020-21 ISL season as his number soared up with uninterrupted game time. He registered 2 assists, 58% passing accuracy, 2.7 crosses, and 43 passes per game in 18 appearances. He was contributing at both halves of the field. His defensive number also developed, as he registered nine tackles and interceptions in every match. HFC missed the playoffs by a whisker in the 2020-21 season but their enterprising style of play earned them lots of applause.
3. Prabir Das (Bengaluru FC)
Indian Super League-winner Prabir Das shifted his base to Bangalore after a seven-year-long stay at Kolkata Giants ATK Mohun Bagan. Bengaluru FC announced the signing of right-back on a three-year deal which will see the 28-year-old enjoy his prime at the club.
Das, once a key member of ATK, fell back in the pecking order after the takeover of new coach Juan Ferrando.
Having signed with I-League side Mohun Bagan in 2015, the 28-year-old was pivotal to the counter-attacking style of the club, which saw them sitting deep, till they got a chance to go forward. Empowered by the pace of Roy Krishna, Prabir Das and others, the team would burst into spells of attacks and seal the game with clinical precision.
2. Ashique Kuruniyan (ATK Mohun Bagan)
India midfielder, Ashique Kuruniyan, one of the stars of the country’s Asian Cup qualification campaign, joined Indian Super League side ATK Mohun Bagan on a five-year deal.
The 25-year-old Kuruniyan impressed with his speed and creativity in the recent Asian Cup Qualifiers here. India had topped Group D to secure a berth in the main tournament for successive editions, a first for the country.
Kuruniyan comes from Bengaluru FC which he joined in 2019 from Pune City. He is a product of Pune Academy. Apart from playing as a left-winger, Kuruniyan can also operate as a left-back or a left-wing-back. In Europe, he played for Villareal C. He has played for FC Pune City and Bengaluru FC in the ISL. The 25-year-old has appeared 65 times in the ISL and scored five goals and provided as many assists.
1. David Williams (Mumbai City FC)
The Islanders have completed the signing of Aussie striker David Williams from ATK Mohun Bagan. David Williams signed for ATK FC in the 2019-20 Indian Super League season. He joined the team along with his fellow phoenix player Roy Krishna. Krishna and Williams had built a deadly combination up front and were a thorn to the opposition defense. Their solid partnership continued at ATK Mohun Bagan FC (founded in 2020 with the merger between ATK FC and Mohun Bagan Athletic club) in the 2020-21 season as well.
In total, David Williams has appeared in 62 ISL matches and scored 22 goals while also assisting 9 goals. The Indigenous Australian who has also appeared for the Socceroos U-17 Category, U-20 Category, and also U-23 Category has scored a total of 24 goals in 37 matches. Williams was also called up to the Australia senior national team on two occasions in the past.
Having signed David Williams, Mumbai City FC have strengthened their attack and will have more options up front with his addition. Williams is likely to be a key figure under coach Des Buckingham who himself was a former Wellington Phoenix manager.