Top 5 foreign defender recruits of ISL 2020-’21
The 7th edition of the Indian Super League(ISL) is set to kick off on 20th November with ATK Mohun Bagan facing Kerala Blasters in the opener . The entire ISL is set to be played behind closed doors with 11 teams and the two Kolkata giants making their debut in India’s newly crowned top division . All the teams have been busy with their pre seasons in Goa although some of the sides (Odisha and Chennaiyin) are yet to have their coaches join training . Some of the foreigners are also yet to take the field .
With the league being longer than ever before , a lot of emphasis will be on the foreign defenders who will be tasked with leading their respective backlines . Here , we look at some of the best foreign recruits of this season . We wont be considering players who have played in India before in this list , which is no particular order .
• Danny Fox ( East Bengal ) – Danny Fox has joined the Red and Golds after a season in the English Championships in 2019-’20 with Wigan Athletic . He started his career with Everton but soon moved out due to lack of game time . He has played 3 seasons in the Premier League – 2 for Southhampton and 1 for Burnley . He has also featured in the Scottish Premiership (Scotland top tier) for Celtic . Since 2014 , Fox has played in the Championships (English 2nd division) for clubs like Nottingham Forest and Wigan . He has featured in competitions like the FA Cup , League Cup , Europa League and UEFA Champions League qualifiers . He has appeared in 4 games for the Scotland National team and 1 match for the England u21 side .
•Steven Taylor (Odisha) – Taylor started his career at the famous Premier League club Newcastle United . He has represented England at the u16 , u17 , u20 and u21 levels . He spent 12 seasons in the EPL with Newcastle from from 2003 to 2016 and only spent only the 2009-’10 season in the Championships . After leaving Newcastle , Taylor has played in USA’s Major League Soccer and the English Championships and League One (3rd division) . He spent the last two seasons at A-League club Wellington Phoenix where he was once teammate with ATKMB stars Roy Krishna and David Williams and also EB midfielder Matti Steinmann .
• Stephen Eze (Jamshedpur) – Eze joins the Red Miners from Bulgarian top division side Lokomotiv Plovdiv where he spent the last 3 seasons . He started his professional career in Nigeria with Lobi Stars and is a past winner of the Nigerian Super Cup . He has 13 appearances for the Nigerian National Team and is only 26 years old
• Bakary Kone (Kerala Blasters) -Kone is a Burkina Faso international and has 83 international caps . He has played in the Ligue 1 for Lyon , LaLiga for Malaga and in the Russian top flight for Arsenal Tula .
• Peter Hartley (Jamshedpur) – Hartely started his career with Sunderland with a season in the Championships . Though he was in the Sunderland Premier League squad next season , he didnt make any appearance . Since then he has plied his trade in the English 3rd and 4th tiers (League One and League Two) for clubs like Stevenage , Plymouth , Bristol and Blackpool . He had been playing in the Scottish Premiership for Motherwell FC from 2017 before joining Jamshedpur this season .