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ISL: Analysing Chennaiyin FC's foreign contingent for the Hero ISL 2021-22 season

Before the season starts, let's have a closer look into the Marina Machans foreign roster. Brazillian midfielder Rafael Crivellaro will be leading their squad, but who are the other foreigners?

ISL: Analysing Chennaiyin FCs foreign contingent for the Hero ISL 2021-22 season

(Image Source: leagueteamupdates.com)


Sattyik Sarkar

Updated: 29 Sep 2021 7:57 AM GMT

On the 4th of September, 2021, two-time Indian Super League Champions Chennaiyin FC completed the signing of all their foreign players. The South Indian outfit finished eighth in the ISL table last season with only three victories, eleven draws and six defeats. They were able to gather only 20 points and scored 17 goals while conceding 23. The management parted ways with former head coach Csaba Lazlo and brought in former Buriram United coach Bozidar Bandovic.

As there are hardly two months left for the Hero Indian Super League to begin, let's take a closer look at the foreign recruits of Chennaiyin FC.

1) Lukasz Gikiewicz

The Polish centre forward, Lukasz Gikiewicz signed for Chennaiyin FC on a one year deal. The 33-year-old was previously the top goal-scorer for Al-Faisaly Amman in the Jordanian Pro League in the 2017-18 season. He has played in European countries like Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. He has the experience of playing in Asian countries like Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Bahrain. The 6'2" striker has 12 appearances in reputed competitions like UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Lukasz Gikiewicz (Image Source: www.digisport.ro)
Lukasz Gikiewicz (Image Source: www.digisport.ro)

Speaking about his playing ability, he is a clinical header of the ball. The way in which he positions himself in really something to observe. Apart from brilliant finishing, he can also create opportunities for other players on the pitch.

It would be a treat to watch how Gikiewicz combines with Crivellaro, Thapa and Murzaev.

2) Mirlan Murzaev

Mirlan Murzaev was Chennaiyin FC's last foreign recruit ahead of the upcoming Hero ISL season. The right winger/right-wing forward was signed on a one year deal by the club. Keeping in mind the quality of all the foreigners in Chennaiyin FC, it can still be predicted that Murzaev is perhaps their best foreign recruitment. He is currently the top goal scorer for his country, Kyrgyzstan and also is the second most capped player in their country with 48 appearances. Recently, in the month of July, he scored a hattrick against Myanmar, so his current condition shouldn't be questionable. He has played previously in India in the Nehru Cup in 2009 where he scored a goal against the Indian National team.

Mirlan Murzaev
Mirlan Murzaev
Speaking of his technical abilities, he has the speed required by a winger/wing-forward. He can fall deep when required. The best quality that every winger possesses is their ability to cut inside towards the penalty box and surely Murzaev is well-educated in that. He also has the ability to play with defenders/midfielders breathing on his shoulders.

Murzaev will seriously create headlines this season. That's what the Marina Machans can hope for.

3) Vladimir Koman

Vladimir Koman is signed by Chennaiyin FC on a one year deal. The attacking midfielder has a great profile and there can be no question-mark on his quality as he has played for Italian outfit U. C. Sampdoria and French outfits AS Monaco. He even has 6 UEFA Europa League appearances for U. C. Sampdoria. Koman was the second highest goal-scorer in the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. He has played 36 matches for his country's senior team.

Vladimir Koman (Image Source: www.skysports.com)
Vladimir Koman (Image Source: www.skysports.com)

Koman has a good passing ability and is good at set pieces as well. The coach has said that he expects goals from Vladamir, as the club did not have enough scorers to find the net last time out.

Needless to say, head coach Bozidar Bandovic will be struggling in selecting his best 4 foreigners as this time the ISL teams can only field 4 out of their 6 foreign signings.

4) Rafael Crivellaro

Rafael Crivellaro mostly spent the season out of the starting line-up last time around. But the club has extended his contract on a multi-year deal. Crivellaro had 7 goals and 8 assists to his name in the sixth edition of the Hero ISL.

Rafael Crivellaro (Image Source: ISL Media)
Rafael Crivellaro (Image Source: ISL Media)

A stunning left-footed entertainer on the pitch, Crivellaro's ability to hold the ball and pass it around feels like oxygen to the Chennaiyin FC team. The Brazilian has the ability to go past defenders, score goals or create chances for his teammates. His inclusion back again into the side will create room for more opportunities for Chennaiyin FC and with the presence of Gikiewicz and Murzaev upfront, they may also bag in more goals this time. Rafael Crivellaro will most likely be leading the Marina Machans as the captain in this ISL season.

5) Ariel Borysiuk

Ariel Borysiuk, the central defensive midfielder from Poland who has signed on a two-year deal will help Chennaiyin FC strengthen their backline this season. He has previously played for FC Kaiserslautern in Germany. Chennaiyin FC had conceded 23 goals in the previous edition of the Hero ISL. Hence, the signing of this former Bundesliga custodian will help them stop the balls from reaching their defensive third.

Ariel Borysiuk (Image source: www.skysports.com)
Ariel Borysiuk (Image source: www.skysports.com)

Speaking of his on-field capabilities, Borysiuk can bag in a few goals from long-rangers. He is also good in set pieces which may be of use to Chennaiyin FC. When required, he can also step in as a central defender, thus increasing the coach's options to field in more forwards when trailing.

6) Slavko Damjanovic

The 6'2" central defender has signed on a one-year deal with the South Indian outfit.

Slavko Damjanovic (Image source: voiceofindiansports.com)
Slavko Damjanovic (Image source: voiceofindiansports.com)

His height is such that he will surely be a threat during set pieces in opposition territory. With immense ability to shield off his opponents, Damjanovic can be said to be a highly tactical player. The way he uses his height to gain advantage over his opponents is truly amazing. It is really very difficult to get past him as his defensive awareness is of much repute. The defender will be the wall at the back and the one who starts building up the game from the back,

Who do you think will be Chennaiyn FC's most impactful foreigner?

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