5 Players who can replace Jhingan at Kerala Blasters

Sandesh Jhingan’s talks with clubs in UK and Australia are no more hidden and that highlights the need and requirement of a player to replace the giant and powerful defender at Kerala Blasters FC. Known for his ​physical strength, aerial ability ​and willingness to put the body on the line, he is considered to be one of the best defenders in India. Parting ways with a player like him is quite a misery for the club and finding a replacement to such an amazing player is a real big task to be completed. The ​winner of the Indian Super League Emerging Player of the Year and All India Football Federation Emerging Player of the Year​ in 2014 is now a veteran who did every possible thing on field for the club during his 6 years.

Getting a replacement for this gem is really difficult but let’s have a look at his possible replacements for the club :-

1) Sarthak Golui

Born in West Bengal, Golui was a part of the AIFF Elite Academy before trialing with I-League side, Mohun Bagan.On 9 January 2016, Golui made his professional debut with Mohun Bagan in the opening game of the I-League season against Aizawl. He came on in the last minute for Kean Lewis as Mohun Bagan won 3–1.

Sarthak Golui of FC Pune City celebrates a goal during match 74 of the Hero Indian Super League between Bengaluru FC and FC Pune City held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bangalore, India on the 16th Feb 2018 Photo by: Vipin Pawar / ISL / SPORTZPICS

The number 16 has represented India in both the under-16 and under-19 level, he has also played AFC Cup qualifying round against Maldives club. Other than playing as a full back Golui also plays as the centre back and a right mid fielder which makes him a versatile player.

Sarthak has had 4 percent goal participation in all games and has started in almost 75% of all games he has played. He can be a possible replacement for Jhingan at KBFC.

Indian player of the season – Hyderabad FC

This article is a part of our Indian Player of the Season (IPS) series, where we talk about the best Indian player from each club.

The star Indian defender Adil Khan was quite in demand in the market and got a lot of lucrative offers from major ISL clubs like ATK FC, Kerala Blasters and FC Goa. However he has dedicated his future to Hyderabad FC. Hyderabad FC have announced that Adil Khan has signed a new deal that will keep him at the club till the Indian Super League 2023 season.

The veteran: Adil Khan

The 31-year-old, with his tireless performances as a box-to-box midfielder in the ISL and as a CB in the Indian National team has proved his worth and importance in the team, his experience is really important specially for the young players such as Narender Gahlot and Sahal Abdul Samad.

Speaking on his contract extension Adil said, “I’m happy to make Hyderabad my home for the next 3 years. I have faith in this club and its management and believe we will have better luck and achieve greater success in the next few seasons.”

The midfielder cum defender started his professional footballing career with Sporting Clube de Goa where he played for them in the Second Division and I-League for five years. Thereafter, he began his journey by representing Mohun Bagan, Delhi Dynamos, Bharat FC, Lonestar Kashmir, and Churchill Brothers.

Adil had made his debut for the Blue Tigers in 2012 before making a comeback seven years later under Igor Stimac in the King’s Cup 2019.

“Being recalled to the Indian team this year (2019) was somewhat a reincarnation for me as a footballer”  – Adil Khan 

His comeback was a high point in his life but things were pretty difficult for him when India had to face Bangladesh in the World Cup Qualifier because his dad was in operation theatre as he fought for India.

Adil’s father, Badrudin Khan, was in hospital with two heart blockages and needed surgery. The surgery, his family told him, would happen later that evening, when the defender would line-up for India against Bangladesh in a World Cup 2022 qualifier at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata. He kept everything to himself and took a deep breath and started warming up and still took the field as if nothing had happened.

Initially his game didn’t felt like his game or his playing style , but gradually he showed everyone who Adil Khan is and scored a banger on the 88th minute, equalizing 

India with Bangladesh and dedicated his goal to his father, wife and injured defender Sandesh Jhingan, Adil said he was happy with the performance but not the result.

Adil rushed to Goa and discovered that his father was recovering well after a successful surgery.

Like every other player , Adil had to switch to Hyderabad FC as Pune City FC shifted their base to Hyderabad under Phil Brown. During the pre season 

Hyderabad FC played a pre-season friendly against an I-League club Real Kashmir FC on 4 October 2019. They drew the match 1–1 with Laldanmawia Ralte scoring the solitary goal for the Hyderabad side.

It was only after gaffer Phil Brown’s departure that the “City of Nawabs” got back to playing well. The addition of former Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca as their instructor mid season further boosted their progress. But it was a little too late for the team to do much and get back to the top half of the league table. But the team management is surely working to develop a strong team for the next season 

With a dull season in the Hero ISL campaign this season Adil Khan was one of those bright spots that the team needed the most, his performance as the defence was extremely amazing throughout his 9 appearances for the team. He came up with 59 tackles all together in his appearances, 12 interceptions, 27 clearances, and 7 blocks despite playing as a midfielder.

Adil Khan surely deserves to the player of the season because his crucial 27 clearances helped the team to atleast sustain the season and prepare them for a better season ahead. Despite being at the bottom of the table this season he has extended his contract for the same team which surely is a positive step put forward by him to bring glory to Hyderabad FC.