League 11 is taking a look at the five possible contenders for the ISL 2021-22 golden boot. The Indian Super League is ready to kick off later this month. Also, all the clubs are more than ready for going toe-to-toe for the eighth edition. Since last season, several teams have bolstered their ranks with quality players. They all are roaring to get on the field for the action. Some of the players have expected to hit the ground running from the very first whistle.
Here, we take a look at five of the most promising strikers who can battle it for the Golden Boot in the coming few months of Hero ISL.
#5 Igor Angulo
Probably the most obvious man on the list is the new Mumbai City striker, Igor Angulo. The Spanish forward first arrived in ISL in 2020 and went on to lift the Golden Boot in his debut season for FC Goa as he scored 14 goals in 21 games for them.
But for the upcoming season, he is all set to feature in the sky blue kit for the Islanders. Also, they have a new head coach in Des Buckingham. The 37-year-old is known for his positioning and is a dream of every midfielder creating chances for fun.
#4 Bartholomew Ogbeche
Bartholomew Ogbeche had a rather silent season for Mumbai City FC last time around. He has scored eight goals in 23 games. But the season before that, the one with Kerala Blasters in the 2019-20 edition, he bagged 15 goals and was tied at the spot with Golden Boot winner Nerijus Valskis and Roy Krishna.
The 37-year-old former Paris Saint Germain forward is absolutely cruel in front of the goal. He has a lethal right foot. He is a penalty specialist, his turnaround from outside the box is promising, and always has an eye for strong headers.
#3 Roy Krishna
Does he need any introduction? The Fijian striker came as a high-profile signing for ATK, which became ATK Mohun Bagan a year later, and lit the league on fire. He had tied on top for the Golden Boot award after scoring 15 goals with Nerijus Valskis and Bartholomew Ogbeche. What stands him apart from the other two is that Krishna scored another 14 goals the very next season in 2020-21, while the other two could only manage eight goals each. He is also the fifth highest goalscorer in ISL’s short yet stellar history.
A lot is expected from him and considering his age and form of the last two years, it will be a conscious bet to support him to finally lift the award. The arrival of Hugo Boumous is also promising for the same though.
#2 Airam Cabrera
Airam Cabrera is expected to fill in the boots of Igor Angulo, the Golden Boot winner for FC Goa last season. Although the past of the Gaurs and their scouts is in the favor of the striker as they have, time and again, got quality goalscorers to the league. Players like Manuel Lanzarote, Ferran Corominas, and the aforementioned Angulo have all been the men to beat.
The Spanish forward has the experience of playing in countries like Spain, Poland, and Cyprus and it would be down to Goa and Juan Ferrando to bring the best out of him. One thing which could excite the fans about Airam is what he said to Bridge when he signed for the Gaurs.
“Coro is one player, Angulo is another but I am Airam,” said the striker, making his intent clear to everyone.
#1 Jonathas de Jesus
The newest boy in town is Jonathas. Also, Odisha FC did rope him in from the likes of Mumbai and Goa. Quite impressive, isn’t it? He is just 32 years old and has the potential to up the game for Juggernauts in the upcoming ISL season.
The presence of the likes of Samuel Lalmuanpuia, Jerry Mawihmingthanga, Javi Hernández, and Friday Cabrera strengthens the case for the striker as he prefers a fluid, possession-based football with a formation of 4-2-3-1, something which would complement the style and gameplay of the Brazilian. His chance creation is admirable, so is his ability to find spaces between the defenders.