When teams make winter transfer signings, the idea is to improve the squad from its current state. At least that’s the idea. The coach identifies areas in which the team needs strengthening and after sifting through various CV’s, an apt name is considered. The said player is then signed following negotiations.
Among the best signings made in the January transfer window, the names of Wellington Priori (Jamshedpur FC), Marko Stankovic (FC Pune City), Manuel Arana (Delhi Dynamos) and Hugo Boumous (FC Goa) spring to mind. These four players have made an impact on the fortunes of their respective teams, in the manner in which they play or have added a different dimension to their attack.
When FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera decided that probably they could part ways with Arana, the decision was questioned as the Spaniard had made an impact in several games after coming on a substitute. However, in Lobera’s mind, he realized that the club at that point needed someone who could play a little deep and to an extent, add solidity to their lightweight midfield which was heavily dependent on Ahmed Jahouh.
Probably in hindsight, it was the best decision for Arana too who joined Delhi Dynamos and helped them finish the season on a six-match unbeaten run.
In came Hugo Boumous and the 22-year-old had big shoes to fill in. The team wasn’t in the best of forms and was clouded by negativity. Midway through the campaign, the club had notched a mere two wins from 10 matches and hence, their chances of making it into the play-offs appeared slim.
He made three substitute appearances, which was in the 88th, 77th and 59th minutes. However, he couldn’t assert himself. Against Delhi Dynamos, it was his deflected effort which fetched them a point at home in what was his first start. Goa then needed to win their final three games of the league stage in order to qualify for the play-offs.
Boumous made his second start in an away fixture against Pune and he led the team from the front. He scored, assisted, won a penalty and struck the woodwork. In the following home match against ATK as well, he dictated the proceedings. The same was in Jamshedpur before he picked up an injury which saw him miss the first leg of the play-off. He already has two goals and two assists to his name.
Boumous often picks the ball in the middle of the park or at times from an even a deeper position. He draws the opposition player towards him and dribbles past him with relative ease. What this does is give Goa a numerical advantage in a further advanced position on the field. He can hold the ball and make those surging runs through the middle which makes him an exciting player to watch.
Against a Chennaiyin FC side which is organised and disciplined, you need someone like Boumous to help create space for the likes of Manuel Lanzarote and more importantly, Ferran Corominas. Goa struggled to carve open the Super Machans in the first leg of the play-offs and they cannot only rely on Lanzarote for it.
Goa need to cut through the lines and thread a pass to Corominas in the final third. For that, Boumous is integral to the side.
Lobera mentioned that Boumous should be fit for the second leg on Tuesday and his services will certainly be called upon if Goa are to book a berth in the ISL final.