Kerala Blasters' all-time top scorer and former PSG striker Bartholomew Ogbeche is the latest name in the list of players who could soon be part of the City Football Group-owned Indian Super League (ISL) club Mumbai City FC.
Blasters and Mumbai City are close to finalizing a deal and if things go as planned, it will be another good move pulled off by the Islanders since the conclusion of the 2019-20 season of ISL.
The Indian football fraternity was curious and excited when the ISL took it upon themselves to announce the arrival of CFG to India. The owners of clubs such as Manchester City, Melbourne City and Girona officially took a majority stake in Mumbai City in November 2019.
It was important for the new owners to watch Indian football closely both before and after taking over and that's exactly what they did. The group seems to have done plenty of work behind the scenes and come up with a solid plan for their first full season in charge. And they are making their presence felt in their first summer transfer window.
Having missed out on a playoff spot last season, changes were bound to be made. They have roped in Sergio Lobera, the master tactician behind the attractive football that FC Goa showcased in the last three seasons. It is a definitive indication of the direction that the club wants to take.
With a deal for Ogbeche more or less wrapped up, the Nigerian is set to join the likes of former FC Goa stalwarts Ahmed Jahouh, Mourtada Fall and Mandar Rao Dessai in donning the blue kit next season. It is very clear that Mumbai City's squad will be restructured to fit the philosophy of their Spanish head coach. In doing so, the aggressive and professional workflow of the new-look Islanders will help the team put out a strong squad capable of challenging for the title.
Ogbeche, a former wonderkid, has had a phenomenal impact in the ISL although he is 35 years old. Fans can expect more such good moves from their favourite club in the coming days - they are globally known for trying to make a mark with their investment both on and off the field and raise the profile of the club.
Ogbeche is a player who offers a lot to any attack. He gets involved in the build-up play heavily and brings his teammates into play. He scores goals from outside the box with a lethal right foot and also takes up intelligent positions inside the box. It is a trait Sergio Lobera loves in his strikers, as evidenced by how Ferran Corominas has been a success under him at FC Goa.
The move is also mutually beneficial. Ogbeche has pumped in goals galore despite playing for two teams who have struggled to offer him quality service from the wings in the ISL. However, he can expect that to change for the better at Mumbai City with the squad Lobera is assembling and the style his teams play.
It will be interesting to see how the Mumbai City squad shapes up in the coming weeks.
Somebody other than three-time champions ATK, two-time champions Chennaiyin FC and Bengaluru FC needs to go all out for the ISL trophy for the league to not be termed as a three-horse race.
And going by what is known about Mumbai City's involvement in the transfer market, it is safe to say that they are off to a good start.