With Kerala Blasters FC currently considering some of their own to fill the hole. The transfer football market has caused a few issues for most top-tier teams.
Blasters finished fifth in the Indian Super League (ISL) and were controversially eliminated in the playoffs by Bengaluru FC. Failure to advance to the semi-finals will be a setback for a club that reached the finals last season.
The club is now attempting to fill the voids, but this is easier said than done.
“We clearly know what we have to change and what needs to be done,” Blasters sporting director Karolis Skinkys stated. “There are clear targets. It’s just that the list of potential reinforcements (for Indian players) are not that long. The market for domestic players is really limited and that’s the biggest problem. That’s a reason why we are looking at our reserves.
“The supply and demand of players around the league now is not matching. The only way to win against this is to create players. That’s where we will keep investing. We need reinforcements and we will get whoever possible.”
After an outstanding training stint with Polish club Rakow Czestochowa, academy graduates Mohammed Aimen and Mohammed Azhar have already been promoted to the senior team. Moreover with ISL experience include Bijoy Varghese, Nihal Sudeesh, and Sreekuttan MS. While Muhammed Saheef, Thejas Krishna, and Sachin Suresh are all in the Super Cup.
“Apart from those already promoted, we will call a group of reserve team players for pre-season and it’s up to the coaches to decide, depending on the profiles we need. Moreover, this year Nihal did well. The same way, we will give more opportunities to the boys to prove themselves to the coaching staff (during pre-season),” Karolis stated.
Blasters will require domestic reinforcements, notably in defence, where captain Jessel Carneiro has completed his four-year contract, as has the seasoned Harmanjyot Khabra.
KBFC, on the other hand, anticipated these losses and, according to the sports director, has already begun planning for next season and beyond.
“In football, you always plan not for upcoming few months, but at least a year ahead. You get an idea of what’s going to happen. The planning has started. Some things we are still not sure, but what we need to do or wherever we are not up to the mark, we have to go back to basics and find an efficient way to play.
“Once you find your weakness, reinforcements have to be brought in, whichever possible in the market. We have to start with new energy. You need quality, surely, and whatever best reinforcements are available, we will get them,” Karolis stated.
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