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Ghana legend, A-League MVP among ISL's newest stars

ESPN picks out five players you must keep an eye on for the 2019-20 ISL season.

Sahal Abdul Samad

A coach who doesn't feel playing through midfield is a sin. A striker who converts more often than not, and demands high quality service. Midfielders who can create and control in equal measure. What more could a playmaker ask for?

Eelco Schattorie, Bart Ogbeche, Mario Arques, and Sergio Cidoncha are great signings for Kerala, and it'll be fascinating to see just how much this helps the development of Sahal Abdul Samad. Having shown glimpses of his talent last season, Samad's challenge now is to repeat it game in, game out, to develop into the kind of playmaker India have been seeking for ages.

With quality all around him, Samad's progression promises to be one of this season's most fascinating story arcs.

Asamoah Gyan

The biggest name to come into the ISL this season. At 33, the Ghanaian superstar may not be at his absolute prime, but is still likely to have plenty to offer, including but not limited to finding the back of the net on a regular basis. 

Gyan has spent the better part of the last decade in Asia, and has been in banging in goals for fun, especially in the UAE. He promises to have a similar impact in India. With the talismanic Ogbeche gone, Gyan will need to step up for NorthEast United and their new coach Robert Jarni to stand a chance this season.


Also read: Can the nation's top league deliver?


Roy Krishna

A foreign import currently on career-best form playing in the ISL? Not a common sight, but ATK have pulled off one of the transfers of the season in signing Roy Krishna, the reigning A-league MVP (Most Valuable Player).

It will be interesting to see how the Indian-origin Fijian adapts to the conditions and indeed the standards of his team-mates.

Up top with him will be some of India's most mercurial talents, Michael Soosairaj, Jobby Justin, and the young Komal Thatal. Could Krishna prove to be the mentor that'll get the best of them? It will make for an absorbing watch.

Sunil Chhetri

Always box-office, Bengaluru FC's captain will now have an additional goal-scoring burden on him, with Miku gone. Having excelled as a support forward down the left, he may now have to move more centrally - especially if Carles Cuadrat chooses to go with his India team-mates Ashique Kuruniyan and Udanta Singh alongside Chhetri in attack.

Is that still his best position? How can Bengaluru get the very best out of their main man? It makes for an intriguing tactical question, the answer to which may well hold the key to the league title.

Amarjit Singh

Amarjit Singh Kiyam is one of India's most promising midfield talents. The captain of the team that played in the U-17 World Cup, he has been playing for the development side, Indian Arrows, for two seasons now and it just might be time for him to step up to the big leagues.

Having been handed his India debut by Igor Stimac, and having duly impressed all and sundry, Jamshedpur would do well to trust him in central midfield. Possessed of a lovely technique and a rare calmness on and off the ball, the freshness and pure potential of youngsters like Amarjit is just what might be needed to energise the team, and indeed the league itself.

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