Out of all the teams that are playing in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season, Mumbai City and its players have, without a doubt, looked the most accomplished and assured on the ball. That has a lot to do with having players like Ahmed Jahouh, Hugo Boumous and Rowlin Borges who are extremely economical with possession and have extraordinary awareness of everything around them.
Still, in a team that has so many players who want to come towards the ball and then weave their magic, you need someone who does the opposite and tries to get at the end of things. This is where Bipin Singh has been terrific for the Islanders this campaign. The Manipur-born youngster broke through into the Mumbai City first team last season with a string of impressive outings. He featured 15 times last term bagging two goals and an assist but had mostly slipped under the radar following an underwhelming campaign for his side.
We're buzzing too, just like Bipin! 😌
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) January 6, 2021
This season though, he has been at a different level altogether. In 9 appearances so far, he already has three assists to go along with the goal that he scored against Bengaluru FC. The 25-year-old former Shillong Lajong and ATK winger has been equally effective on either flank and always adds dynamism and imagination to his team’s attacking third play. He is adept at stretching opposition defences and has also improved his decision-making in terms of when to make a run beyond the last defender.
His passing accuracy of 64% might not inspire huge confidence in someone who hasn’t followed Mumbai City’s matches recently. But for those who have, his importance in the side doesn’t need to be reiterated. Defensively, he is always there to help out the full-backs. Moreover, his tireless off-the-ball movement and ability to run the channels have made him an effective attacking outlet in countless situations.
A good example of this would be the chance that he created against ATK Mohun Bagan in the 14th minute when he chased down a seemingly lost cause of a pass from Boumous, wrapped his left foot around it and crossed it into a dangerous area. What this also shows is how simple football can be at times as long as you are aware of the space around you. With quality passers of the ball all around him, he does a fantastic job of picking his moments and gambling on their ability to play him in. And when he does get beyond the defence, he invariably makes good use of the ball.
When you think of it, a Sergio Lobera side should not provide much scope for a ‘direct’ player like him to thrive. In reality though, he is increasingly becoming the catalyst for all things positive when their midfield does choose to go on the offensive after their typical spells of possession. For that and so much more, Bipin right now is indispensable and maybe even ‘undroppable’ for the table-toppers.