The seventh edition of the Indian Super League is almost here, and it will feature a number of new foreign players who will be playing in India for the first time. The Bridge lists out five such names, in no particular order, who we think can make a difference for their respective sides once the season gets underway:
5.Igor Angulo (FC Goa)
Spaniard Igor Angulo is a proven goal-scorer based on his exploits in the Polish and Greek leagues. During his 4-year stay in Poland, he plundered 88 goals and 21 assists, highlighting his overall quality in the attacking third. The former Athletic Bilbao player was a regular fixture for his club Gornik Zabrze whom he powered into the first division in his first season before taking them to the Europa League qualifying rounds the following year. A terrific finisher who can also link up play around him, the 36-year-old is expected to do well in India despite his seemingly older age and is capable enough to replace the departing FerranCorominas effectively.
4.Anthony Pilkington (SC East Bengal)
32-year-old Anthony Pilkington is a quality signing for ISL new boys SC East Bengal. The Republic of Ireland winger joins the Red and Golds from Wigan Athletic in England and likes to operate on the left side of the attack. He is a Manchester United youth product and was a Premier League regular during 2011-13 when he was at Norwich City. Having also played for Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers, Pilkington has immense experience in the English game and should flourish under the tutelage of Robbie Fowler. However, with just 16 starts in the last three seasons and just one match in which he played the full ninety minutes during the same time, question marks remain on his fitness levels.
3.Vicente Gomez (Kerala Blasters)
32-year-old defensive midfielder Vicente Gomez has joined the Tuskers from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna, having previously impressed at Las Palmas for eight consecutive seasons. The midfield stalwart captained Las Palmas to consecutive mid-table finishes in the La Liga and has the knack of scoring important goals even though he operates from deep. Having played at the top level for so long, his experience will count for a lot when he lines up for Kerala under new head coach Kibu Vicuna.
2.Cleiton Silva (Bengaluru FC)
The Brazilian forward has joined the Blues on a one-year-deal with the option for an extension and should bring in a lot of goals for the side who had a disappointing campaign last term in front of goal with just 22 goals. The 33-year-old joined Thai outfit BecTeroSasana in 2012 and won the Thai league in his very first season, bagging the golden boot along the way with 24 goals. After an unsuccessful spell in Mexico next season, he came back to Thailand joining Muangthong United in 2014 for whom he had the best goal scoring output in his career. He amassed a staggering 57 goals in 79 appearances for the club becoming the first foreign player to score 100-goals in Thailand. He then moved to China and maintained his efficiency in front of goal with Shanghai Shenxin, before moving back to Thailand for Chiangrai United and then Suphanburi FC.
1.Adam Le Fondre(Mumbai City FC)
Mumbai City have made a number of mouthwatering signings this season with Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall, Hugo Boumous and BartholomewOgbeche all joining the Islanders. However, one name that everybody seems to have missed is that of English striker Adam Le Fondre. The 33-year-old has been a prolific goal-scorer for A-League outfit Sydney FC for the past two seasons, scoring 45 times in 67 appearances and winning two championships and a premiership with them. The former Reading, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan Athletic forward is a genuine goal threat and his partnership up top with Ogbeche should give opposition defenders sleepless nights.