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ISL 2022-23: Five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status

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ISL 2022-23: Mumbai City FC ISL 2022-23 LIVE- Mumbai City FC will look to move on from their Durand Cup final loss to Bengaluru FC and reclaim their place in the ninth edition of the Indian Super League under Des Buckingham. The ISL 2022-2023 season begins on October 7, with the Islanders fighting for a playoff spot. Follow Indian Super League and ISL 2022-23 LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN.

Also Read-ISL 2022-23: Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City FC to FORGET pre-season adversity in ISL-Check Mumbai City FC Preview, Team News, Predicted XI

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Mumbai City FC finished fifth in the ISL table last season and just missed out on a playoff spot to Kerala Blasters FC. Despite appearing to be a pale imitation of Sergio Lobera’s Mumbai City FC, the Islanders managed 31 points from nine wins and four draws in 20 matches.

Although the management kept faith in head coach Des Buckingham, who led them to an AFC Champions League victory, the team underwent a complete re-evaluation and let go of the majority of their foreigners. Des Buckingham, on the other hand, justified his extension by leading the team to the Durand Cup final where they were narrowly defeated by Bengaluru FC.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

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To regain their former status, Mumbai City FC had the most extensive summer transfer window. Islanders surprised Indian football fans when they signed Jorge Pereyra Diaz to join Kerala Blasters. It wasn’t long before they picked up Jamshedpur FC’s ISL 2021-22 Golden Ball winner Greg Stewart. They also got help from Rostyn Griffiths. Mourtada Fall, on the other hand, is expected to continue.

While Mumbai City FC has the best foreign contingent in the league, their Indian contingent is equally impressive. From SAFF U20 best player, Gurkirat Singh to Chhangte, they also have National Team mainstays Vikram Pratap Singh and Rahul Bheke, as well as Vinit Rai from Odisha FC.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Greg Stewart

Greg Stewart was signed by Mumbai City FC earlier in the summer transfer window after tearing up the Indian Super League in his first year. Stewart ended up leading the assists stat last season with 10 assists while playing for Jamshedpur FC and scored 10 goals out of the Men of Steel’s 43 goals.

As a result, the 32-year-old Scottish striker was named ‘Hero of the League’. Stewart won the Scottish Premier League with Rangers FC in the 2020–21 season before switching to India. His ability to carry the ball upfield will make him an important part of Des Buckingham’s team.

Greg Stewart demonstrated why Mumbai City FC went to such lengths to bring him on board this season. Des Buckingham used him as their most attacking player, almost as a false 9 position. The shrewd midfielder handled the transition impressively, and even seemed intimidating at times.

For the Islanders, he managed to score six goals in six games along with two assists. This included a hat-trick in a 5–3 quarter-final win over Chennaiyin FC, making him the only player in the tournament to score three goals in a single match. He also received the Golden Ball award.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Lallianzuala Chhangte

The 2022 Durand Cup Golden Boot winner had a tournament to remember. Chhangte was given more freedom and license to roam in Buckingham’s new system, which did not feature a natural striker. He took advantage of every opportunity and scored seven goals in the tournament. He finished beautifully from inside the box and looked more clinical than ever for the Islanders.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status - Check Out
ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status – Check Out

Chhangte wriggled into promising areas with his nimble movement and natural close control. He has developed a ruthlessness that has allowed him to surpass everyone else in the Durand Cup. Despite not being in the winning team in the final, Chhangte’s heroics suggest he could be in line for a special season in the ISL.

Vikram Pratap Singh

Singh began his junior career at the Chandigarh Football Academy and advanced to the senior squad in 2018. He later joined the Indian Arrows and played in the I-League until 2020, scoring 5 goals in 27 matches.

Mumbai City announced Singh’s signing in October 2020 ahead of the upcoming 2020–21 Indian Super League season. He signed a contract with the Islanders that will keep him there until 2023, with an option to extend for another year. He scored a brace in a 5–1 win over ATK Mohun Bagan on 1 December 2021. He was later named in the club’s AFC Champions League squad for 2022. Vikram scored two goals in four appearances in the recently concluded Durand Cup.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status - Check Out
ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status – Check Out

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Vinit Rai

Rai was loaned out by Odisha to defending Indian Super League champions Mumbai City in 2022. He was later named in the club’s 2022 AFC Champions League squad before being signed permanently. The defender played 17 games last season with a passing accuracy of 85.8%. He also delivered 43 key tackles to stave off the danger for Mumbai, while blacking out 17 shots.

During the Durand Cup, Vinit was a commendable player who was the boss of the midfield. His experience and stoic expertise would make him a mainstay for Des Buckingham’s Islanders.

Jorge Pereyra Diaz

In an unexpected twist, Mumbai have secured the services of the former Kerala Blasters FC player ahead of the upcoming season. Diaz scored eight goals and had one assist in 21 games for the Blasters, lining up alongside Alvaro Vazquez.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status - Check Out
ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain lost status – Check Out

The Argentina international is not a pure striker, but he provides much more in the way of build-up play in the final third. Diaz’s quick feet and movement off the ball can unlock defenses with Greg Stewart at his side. Diaz made 21 appearances for Ivan Vukomanovic’s side, scoring eight goals. The striker’s contribution is slightly overshadowed by Jorge Pereyra Diaz’s goalscoring record.

The former Johor Darul Ta’zim FC player is also known for his off-the-ball movements and ability to support creativity in both the middle and final thirds. His partnership with former Jamshedpur FC star and playmaker Greg Stewart will energize Des Buckingham’s attacking division.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Mumbai City FC is packed with star players who are known and credited in their own ways and deserve to be in the starting XI. However, we have InsideSport.IN picked our pick of how the Islanders should come together.

Phurba Lachenpa (Goalkeeper), Mehtab Singh, Amey Ranawade, Rostyn Griffiths, Vignesh Dakhinamurthy; Vikram Pratap Singh, , Vinit Rai, Ahmed Jahouh, Chhangte; Greg Stewart, Jorge Pereyra Diaz.

ISL 2022-23: From Greg Stewart to Vinit Rai, five players who can help Des Buckingham regain LOST STATUS – Check Out

Follow Indian Super League and ISL 2022-23 LIVE updates on InsideSport.IN.

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