ISL 2022-23: Top five players to watch out for

The list shows five players who could light up the ISL 2022-23 season based on their past performances on the football pitch.

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Indian Super League (ISL).

Indian Super League (ISL). (Source: Twitter)

Indian Super League (ISL). Indian Super League (ISL). (Source: Twitter)

The new season of the Indian Super League (ISL) kicks off on October 7 with Kerala Blasters clashing with East Bengal in the curtain-raiser event. With COVID-19 having been lifted and the world returned to normalcy, teams will come back to their home stadiums after two years of exile.

After an eventful pre-season and transfer deals, the new-look teams have welcomed some great talent into the league. Let’s look at five players who could light up the ISL 2022-23 season.

Greg Stewart- Mumbai City FC

Greg Stewart formerly played for Jamshedpur FC in the ISL. Greg Stewart formerly played for Jamshedpur FC in the ISL. (Source: Twitter)

Greg Stewart was the best player of the ISL 2021-22 season at Jamshedpur City FC, after having scored 10 goals and assisted 10 more. Mumbai City FC however flexed their financial muscle and snatched Stewart from Jamshedpur FC for ISL 2022/23.

Their decision has already borne fruit after Stewart took the Mumbai-based team to the final of the Durand Cup 2022. He scored six goals in seven matches for Mumbai FC in the Durand Cup and looks in good touch for another successful stint in the ISL 2022-23 season.

Sandesh Jhingan- FC Bengaluru

Sandesh Jhingan. Sandesh Jhingan. (Source: Twitter)

Sandesh Jhingan and Bengaluru FC are a match made in heaven. The imposing defender makes his comeback to the team after trophy-less seasons at ATK Mohan Bagan and Kerala Blasters. The 29-year-old won his last trophy at Bengaluru (Federation Cup 2017) and has won another on his return (Durand Cup 2022).

Blessed with solid defence, the Bengaluru team’s back line could be further fortified with Jhingan’s addition and both could come out better as a result of it.

Bart Ogbeche- Hyderabad FC

Bart Ogbeche. Bart Ogbeche (Source: Twitter)

The top scorer of the ISL 2021/22 season, Ogbeche’s 18 goals in 20 matches were overshadowed all by a huge margin. The second top scorer, for comparison, had scored 10 goals.

On the back of his sensational performances, Hyderabad not just made it into the playoffs but went all the way to clinch their first ISL trophy as well. He has continued his sensational form from last year this season as well. In the Durand Cup 2022, the Nigerian scored five goals in six matches showing signs of another good season in the ISL 2022 and would be a player to watch out for in the upcoming season.

Narender Gahlot- Odisha FC

Narender Gahlot. Narender Gahlot (Source: Twitter)

On the back of Narender Gahlot’s solid defensive performance, Jodhpur FC topped the ISL 2021-22 league table and lifted the Winners Shield. 26 tackles, 15 interceptions, 10 blocks and 33 clearances in 15 matches were the highlight of the 21year old footballer.

Having signed for Odisha FC for the 2022/23 season, Gahlot is expected to take the next step and become one of the best in the country.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas- Jamshedpur FC

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Source: Twitter)

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas has been signed by Jamshedpur FC to replace last season’s Golden ball winner Greg Stewart, which in itself is a huge ask. The former Arsenal product however is fully capable of matching the expectations and then some.

A towering presence at the top, Emmanuel- Thomas could play as a striker as well as a winger making him a versatile attacker. He could turn out to be the most dangerous player in the ISL 2022-23 season due to his daft touch and physicality.

Football ISL