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ISL 2019-20: Two midfielders Kerala Blasters must target in summer

Blasters’ do not have any reliable midfielders and here are two mid-fielders that the team could sign in the summer to overcome their mid-field woes.

ISL 2019-20: Two midfielders Kerala Blasters must target in summer

Olive Paul

Published: 25 Feb 2020 4:54 AM GMT

Kerala Blasters are attempting a summer rebuild as they look to put a disappointing Indian Super League (ISL) campaign squarely in the rear-view mirror.

Followers of Kerala Blasters will know well that one of the team's most fundamental weaknesses is the lack of dynamism in the midfield department. While they have gone a long way to addressing the defensive weaknesses in the team with the signing of Tiri, midfield remains an ominous blindspot.

Underinvestment isn’t the sole reason for Kerala’s subsequent decline – poor judgement is also significant.

In listing all of the current options, one consistent theme is apparent - the midfield areas lack the necessary quality. Spanish mid-fielder Mario Arques has been plagued by injuries and Senegalese midfielder Moustapha Gning hasn't set the world on fire. Also, there are doubts hovering over the rest of the club’s midfielders, including Sergio Cidoncha, who appears to be on the decline. Young Jeakson Singh is a promising talent but still far too inexperienced and callow for such a pivotal role.

Blasters’ do not have any reliable midfielders at the peak of their game that can control games. The central element of any XI dictates the character, tempo and overall style of play, but Blasters lack a strong central beam. Therefore, Blasters’ need for options in midfield has never been greater.

Here are two players who could solve Blasters’ midfield woes in the summer.

Hans Mulder

Hans Mulder (Image: ISL) Hans Mulder (Image: ISL)

The Dutch-Spanish midfielder sits deep in midfield, recovers the ball, and dictates the tempo of his team's play.

With a passing accuracy of 80.69%, 98 tackles and 65 interceptions to his name, Mulder has been arguably one of the best central midfielders in the history of the ISL.

After two successful seasons with Delhi Dynamos FC, Mulder joined Chennaiyin FC. The 32- year old currently plays for RKC Waalwijk in the Dutch Eredivise.

Kerala is in need of a defensive midfielder who could dictate the game for them. As they find it difficult to control games and create chances when they dominate ball possession. Mulder is the ideal fulcrum to build this Kerala side around.

Paulo Machado

Paulo Machado (Image: ISL) Paulo Machado (Image: ISL)

Another player that Blasters should go all out and and bring on board is Paulo Machado. Known for his tenacious and intelligent style of play, the Mumbai City man would be the ideal foil for Mulder in midfield. The Portuguese has excelled as both a box-to-box and ball winning midfielder.

His passing, movement, positioning, technical ability and vision in the game are second to none.

The 33-year old began his career at Porto and went on to play for top European clubs like Dinamo Zagreb, Olympiacos and St Etienne. He has also represented the Portuguese national team in the past.

That said, signing him won’t be an easy task but Kerala will have managed a serious coup if they sign him in the summer.

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