The Indian Super League (ISL) is set to start on October 20, 2019, and John Gregory-led Chennaiyin FC will be looking to improve majorly after they flopped horribly at defending their title last season, having managed to finish at the bottom of the table. The two-time champions have made a bunch of new acquisitions to bolster their squad ahead of the upcoming campaign. Here we look at the Chennaiyin FC's squad for the season.
ICYMI, Dragos' brace, a goal each for Rafael and @andreschembri27, a clean sheet and much more!— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) October 15, 2019
Read everything from our final pre-season friendly 🆚 @realkashmirfc here 👉🏻 https://t.co/iMF967HqaN#CFCRKFC #PoduMachiGoalu #ChennaiyinFC
Chennaiyin FC finished tenth on the points table last season, but they enjoyed a good run in the Hero Super Cup, reaching its final before losing out to FC Goa. They leaked 32 goals while scoring just 16 times, which made it evident that an upgrade is needed in defence and attack both. Also, Maison Alves has departed the club which will ensure that it will have a new captain this season.
They have introduced 11 players to the roster this season while bidding goodbye to 9 players at the same time. One of their signings is the former Mumbai City FC defender, Lucian Goian. The Romanian international spent three years in Mumbai before joining the two-time ISL champions this summer. He is expected to shore up their leaky defence and is an early contender for the club's captaincy this season. Chennaiyin have also roped in 30-year old attacking midfielder, Rafael Crivellero to add much-needed creativity and experience to their midfield. Romanian winger Dragos Firtulescu, Afghan defender Masih Saighani and Nerijus Valskis also joined the club during the summer. Among Indian football players, 23-year old Vishal Kaith, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Edwin Vanspaul were acquired. On the other hand, Alves, Raphael Augusto, Laishram Singh, Chris Herd, Mohammed Rafi and Abhijeet Sarkar were some of the other departures for the team.
Another huge boost for Chennaiyin FC going into the Hero ISL 2019-20, will be the return of local hero Dhanpal Ganesh. After playing an incredibly crucial role in Chennaiyin's Hero ISL 2017-18 triumph, the defensive midfielder missed the whole of last campaign with a knee injury. However, the midfield dynamo is set to return to the fold this season and will be looking to have an immediate impact for his side.
Goalkeepers: Karanjit Singh, Sanjiban Ghosh, Vishal Kaith
Defenders: Eli Sabia, Deepak Tangri Hendry Antony, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Laldinliana Renthlei, Lucian Goian, Masih Saighani, Tondonba Singh, Reamsochung Chongompipa Aimol, Zohmingliana Ralte
Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Dhanpal Ganesh, Dragos Firtulescu, Edwin Vanspaul, Germanpreet Singh, Thoi Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Rafael Crivellaro
Forwards: Andre Schembri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Nerijus Valskis, Rahim Ali
Chennaiyin FC play FC Goa on October 23 to kick-off their campaign.