Here is our exclusive North East United FC Squad Preview for ISL 2020/21. The Highlanders, who proudly represent Northeast India, in the ISL, did not really impress football fans so far in their 6-year history with the results. Needless to say, this season, the competition even got harder due to the addition of SC East Bengal and Mohun Bagan (now ATK Mohun Bagan FC). And with the addition of new players, the Highlanders prepare themselves to put up a fight this ISL season against the top sides and remove the tag of underdogs.
North East United FC Squad Preview: Key signings
- K. Appiah ( from AFC Wimbledon)
- B. Lambot (from Nea Salamis)
- P. Gogoi (from Kerala Blasters)
- Dylan Fox (from Central Coast Mariners)
- I. Sylla (from Zulte Waregem)
- A. Mehta (from Mohun Bagan)
- K. Camara (from AO Xanthi)
- L. Machado (from Moreirense)
North East United FC Squad Preview: Squad Overview
Goalkeepers : A blend of Experience and Youth
The experienced 34-year-old Subhasish Roy Chowdhury is expected to play under the posts again this season for the Highlanders, after starting 15 games for them last season. New signing Sanjiban Ghosh and 20-year-old Gurmeet Singh are also good options for the highlanders.
Defenders: What can the new signings provide?
Although NEUFC didn’t have the worst conceding records among the bottom half teams in the table, the defense department should always be refreshed with new legs, to cope with the other teams. Key foreign signings like the Belgian Benjamin Lambot played 27 games for Nea Salamis in the Cyprus Lague and also scored 2 goals playing as a centreback, and is likely to start in the defense. Another new signing the Australian defender Dylan Fox will also add solidity to the team besides other new defense options like Asutosh Mehta and Gurjinder Kumar as well as the retained players like Provat Lakra and Wayne Vaz.
Midfielders: The backbone of the team
Fan-favorite Uruguayan midfielder Federico Gallego is expected to impress again this season in his attacking midfield role, with his performance, and is likely to be the permanent member in the midfield department for the upcoming season. New defensive midfield signings Imran Khan (from Neroca) and the Mauritanian Khassa Camara will be fielded to perform the anchoring roles. Local boys Lalengmawia, Pragyan Gogoi, and Lalrempuia Fanai might impress too for the Highlanders
Forwards: High expectations from foreign signings
The Highlanders’ fan-base has high expectations from the trio of foreign forwards their team has signed for this season. New signings, Portuguese winger Luís Machado signed from Moreirense FC, Guinean Centre-Forward Idrissa Sylla and Ghanaian Centre-forward Kwesi Appiah would want to make an impact on their debut for the club.
North East United FC squad preview: Coaching Staff
Gerard Nus (Head Coach)
The Spanish coach has had experience in coaching when since he was a 14-year-old. With experiences in working at Liverpool FC, Brighton and Hove Albion, Korean team Chunnam Dragons, Ghana National Team, and Spanish teams like Rayo Vallecano, Elche. After all these stints, he would definitely want to make an impact on the Indian soil as the head coach of the Highlander Brigade. His preferred formation is 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1
- Ivan Pinol (Assistant coach)
- Khalid Jamil (Head of Academy)
- Asier Rey Santìn (Goalkeeping Coach)
- Adith KD (Sports Therapist)
North East United FC Squad Preview: Players to Watch Out For
The Uruguayan midfielder played a key role in the team’s 2018-19 season, in which they reached the playoffs, and has continued to give his best for the team henceforth, and would hopefully continue it this season too. He is definitely a player to look out for.
With the experience of playing for Queens Park Rangers, French side Le Mans FC, Sylla has also represented the Guinean National Team and scored 5 goals for them. Signed as a free agent, he will be another signing to look out for.
Fondly also named as Ninthoi, Meetei is a promising Indian talent, who represented India in the U-17 World Cup 2017, averaged 18 passes per game in the previous season for the Highlanders, and would want to continue and improve his from this season too.
The Highlanders have not shown much impressive results except the 2018-19 season, so far in their history. Players like Joan Capdevila, Asamoah Gyan couldn’t change their fate. Now with fresh legs, can Nus and his men live up to the expectations of the fans from the 7-sisters and other parts of India? Only time will tell.
Are you excited to see North East United FC in ISL 2020-21? What is your opinion about this North East United FC Squad Preview? Please let us know in the comments below.