Now that the Indian Super League (ISL) has reached its conclusion, there is time for fans to look back at the season and identify the players in each position who have been the most consistent throughout the season. While there have been a number of standout players, here we list out the eleven that we think have been decisive for their teams. Here goes,
Goalkeeper - Amrinder Singh (Mumbai City)
Despite a few mistakes here and there, the Islanders' custodian has mostly been dependable this term. Also, he has the joint most number of clean sheets alongside his ATK Mohun Bagan counterpart Arindam Bhattacharja with 10. Although Arindam did receive the Golden Glove for a better minutes per goal statistic, Amrinder stays ahead because of the former's howler in the final that gifted Mumbai the ISL trophy.
Right back - Asish Rai (Hyderabad FC)
Asish has been absolutely immense for the Nizams. He has the 4th highest number of interceptions this season with 51 as well as the 2nd highest number of tackles within Hyderabad FC. Not only that, he also has extremely high metrics when it comes to ball progression, successful take-ons and having committed just 20 fouls, is also one of the league's cleanest defenders.
Right centre back - Mourtada Fall (Mumbai City)
This was between Mourtada Fall and Ivan Gonzalez in our opinion and based on his physicality and heading prowess, the Senegalese just clinches it. He has an average rating of 7.67 this season, the highest of all defenders in the league and has chipped in with four crucial goals for Sergio Lobera's side on their way to the title.
Left centre back - Sandesh Jhingan (ATK Mohun Bagan)
After missing the entirety of the 2019-20 season, the India defender stormed back to prominence this season with a number of impressive displays. He has been extremely intelligent in using his body and has read situations better than most in terms of when to engage physically and when to drop back and protect the space behind him. A decent passing accuracy of 65.51% adds further sheen to that.
Left back - Akash Mishra (Hyderabad FC)
The former Indian Arrows prospect has undoubtedly been the find of this season. He has the 3rd highest number of interceptions in the league with 55 (highest for his club) and the highest number of tackles amongst Hyderabad FC players with 80. If that is not enough, his marauding runs from the left have created quite a few goalscoring chances while he himself has attempted an impressive 9 shots at goal, most of which have worked the goalkeeper.
Defensive midfielder - Rowllin Borges (Mumbai City)
Borges has been one of the most important cogs for Mumbai City on their way to the title. The lanky midfielder has the 3rd highest passes in the league and is one of the most efficient midfielders when it comes to recycling possession. Furthermore, he is always involved in the game and is ready to receive the ball in tight spaces, something that is crucial for a central midfielder.
Box-to-box midfielder - Apuia (NorthEast United)
The emerging player of the season, Lalengmawia Ralte or Apuia as he is fondly called, is another one of those gems who have been unearthed this term. Having scored one of the goals of the season and been an able deputy for the ever-dependable Khassa Camara, Apuia is now ready for his national team debut which goes on to show how important he has been for the Highlanders on their way to the playoffs.
Left winger - Jorge Ortiz (FC Goa)
In the absence of Brandon Fernandes, the Spaniard has lived up to his billing as one of the top creators for FC Goa. The highest rated player for the Gaurs, Ortiz has been a livewire throughout, hustling and harrying defenders at will. His partnership with Igor Angulo upfront has also been one of the key reasons why Goa created as many chances as they did despite having a shaky defence.
Attacking midfielder - Hugo Boumous (Mumbai City)
This was a close call between Alberto Noguera of FC Goa and the French-Moroccan but in the end, Boumous' penchant for popping up at the right place in and around the box is what tilted the scales in his favour. He has seven assists this season, one less than Roy Krishna and Noguera. However, his ball-carrying ability and the thrust that he provides from midfield is probably second to none in the entire league.
Right winger - Bipin Singh (Mumbai City)
Another promising Indian to feature in this list is Mumbai City's Bipin Singh. He has 6 goals to show for his efforts this season, including the all-important winning goal in the final. His decision-making, passing range, ability to cross with both feet and eye for goal have been lauded by one and all and rightly so. Having made it to the national team, it remains to be seen if he can carry this form over to the upcoming friendlies and the World Cup qualifiers.
Centre forward - Roy Krishna (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Last but definitely on the least is the Fijian Roy Krishna who was this close to winning yet another ISL title. The joint top-scorer with 14, what makes Krishna steal a march of Igor Angulo is his overall involvement in matches and ability to bring others into play, something that makes him such a difficult player to mark. With 8 assists to boot, he is probably the only player whom even the staunchest East Bengal fan would take in their side in a heartbeat.