Kerala Blasters are back in the Indian Super League with a fresh look team and a new coach after a forgettable season. As they start on a new adventure under the tutelage of Serbian coach Ivan Vukomanovic, the Blasters are keen to rectify all of last season’s wrongs. The Indian Super League’s new season is coming, and Kerala Blasters will be hoping to improve their fate this time around and progress to the playoffs.
The Blasters’ six foreign players are all fresh additions, and they will play an important part in helping the squad meet its goals. Ivan Vukomanovic, will be hoping that the new influx of promising talents will propel them to tremendous success this campaign. Kerala Blasters will face Hyderabad FC on November 23 to kick start their 2021-22 Indian Super League season.
Let us look at their probable line-up for the coming season:
Kerala Blasters: Probable Line-up
Vukomanovic is a seasoned manager who has worked with a number of prestigious clubs. During his tenure at Standard Liege in Belgium, he also had the opportunity to work with some of the best in the field. He favours a conventional 4-2-3-1 shape and prefers to play pragmatic football. He is, however, highly adaptable in that regard, and can even switch to a 4-3-3 if necessary.
Goalkeeper – Albino Gomes
Albino spent his first two seasons in the Hero ISL with Mumbai City FC before joining Delhi Dynamos FC in 2017. For the Lions, he was the backup goalie. Albino signed Kerala Blasters FC for the 2020-21 Hero ISL season and quickly established himself as one of the team’s finest players, making 58 saves and playing every minute. In addition, he made three penalty saves.
Right Back – Jessel Carneiro
Carneiro joined Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the Hero ISL 2019-20 season and has quickly asserted himself as a key member of the defence. In addition, he had five assists, which was tied for the most by a defender in the 2019-20 season. Carneiro, however, had a less successful campaign in 2020-21.
Centre Back – Ruivah Hormipam
Hormipam Ruivah, a native of Somdal, Manipur, signed a three-year agreement with Hero ISL club Kerala Blasters FC in April 2021. In his youth, the centre-back played for the Sports Authority of India and Minerva Punjab. In addition, he was a member of the Indian squad that won the SAFF U-18 Championship in Nepal in 2019.
Centre Back – Enes Sipovic
The ex-Chennaiyin FC centre back switched sides to Kerala Blasters earlier this year after leaving the Mariners. He will be the backbone of Kerala Blaster’s defence. Enes is a powerful defender who can dominate aerial duels as well as initiate attacks from the back. The fans will be hoping for a steady defence, and he will be held to a high standard.
Left Back – Nishu Kumar
Nishu made his ISL debut in 2017-18, and won the 2018 Hero Super Cup and played a key role in Bengaluru’s Hero ISL triumph in 2018-19. His outstanding achievements earned him a call-up to the Indian national team, and he made his debut against Jordan in a friendly. Nishu moved to Kerala Blasters FC ahead of the 2020-21 campaign and bagged one assist in an injury riddled season.
Defensive Midfielder – Harmanjot Khabra
The brave Punjabi is a street-savvy player who ascended through Sporting Clube de Goa’s levels. In 2015, he lifted the Hero ISL with Chennaiyin FC, a team he played for for three seasons. After that, he joined Bengaluru FC, where he won again in the 2018-19 season. He joined Kerala Blasters FC following a disappointing season with the Blues in 2020-21.
Defensive Midfielder – Jeakson Singh
Jeakson Singh is a key component of the Kerala Blasters FC side right now. He appeared in 16 games for the Blasters last season, scoring one goal, a late equaliser against SC East Bengal. His statistics from the last Indian Super League campaign may be summed up with 48 tackles, 26 interceptions, 21 clearances, and 22 blocks.
Right Midfielder – Adrian Luna
The Uruguayan is a jack of all trades who can play as a number ten, a number 8, and an inside forward on either side. The Blasters will be optimistic that he can score and assist a lot of goals for the club. He’ll be crucial in connecting the Blasters’ midfield and the attack, and he may just be their signing of the season.
Attacking Midfielder – Sahal Abdul Samad
When Sahal Abdul Samad was named Emerging Player of the League, he was only 20 years old. Sahal should blossom this season under Ivan Vukomanovic, as he appears more driven than ever to prove his naysayers wrong. After scoring India’s third goal against Nepal in the SAFF Cup final, the attacking midfielder displayed his prowess.
Left Midfielder – Checncho Gyeltshen
The “Bhutanese Ronaldo” Chenhco, a former Indian Super League winner with Bengaluru FC, might be the icing on the cake for Ivan Vukomanovic. He has a lot of football experience in India and understands how to make an influence on a team. Chenco can play on the right side of a front three as a left winger or even a centre forward.
Striker – Alvaro Vazquez
The former Swansea City, Espanol, and Sporting Gijon forward might be Kerala Blasters’ finest foreign signing. Alvaro has featured in La Liga and the Premier League, and his expertise will be crucial for Kerala Blasters throughout the season. The ace striker is recognised for his goal-scoring ability, and if he receives the supply he desires, he might lead the team to its first playoff appearance in five years.