Kerala Blasters are reportedly getting closer to completing the signing of former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov. New coach Rene Meulensteen has already got hold of his former player Wes Brown at the Indian Super League club ahead of ISL 2017.
With Berbatov possibly coming in, the two-time ISL finalists could turn out to be just formidable in season 4 of the Indian football competition.
The Kerala side's attack is one area that none of the other nine teams of the ISL would be able to match up. A forward line-up featuring Berbatov, Iain Hume, CK Vineeth and Jackichand Singh pulling strings from the wing would turn out to be an absolutely nightmarish affair for the defenders.
With Meulensteen at the helm of things at Kerala Blasters this time around, the total field domination of play that we have seen at Manchester United over the years under Sir Alex Ferguson could once again come to the fore front.
Meulensteen has worked under Ferguson from 2001-2013, and the coaching experience he would be bringing at Blasters is unimaginable.
In defence, new signing Wes Brown could forge a brilliant partnership with either Sandesh Jhingan or another Nemanja in Lakic-Pesic. There could be massive competition both in the heart of the defence as well as in the right-back position.
Jhingan plied his trade mostly as a fullback last season at Bengaluru FC and he could continue in that role. Rino Anto's return to fitness, however, could see the Kerala lad competing for the spot with one of Kerala Blasters' biggest stars.
With the attack and defence almost sorted out, the Blasters need to get the best out of their midfielders. Maybe, the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side should pursue a solid foreign player who could bring out the best of performances in the middle of the park and link the defence with the attack with ease.
Arata Izumi is known for his good performances in the ISL and he can nevertheless forge a great partnership with Siam Hanghal at the heart of midfield.
Clearly, if all factors are taken into consideration, it is Kerala Blasters' trophy to lose, this ISL 2017.
Kerala Blasters team for ISL 2017
- Indian players: CK Vineeth, Sandesh Jhingan, Jackichand Singh, Rino Anto, Lalruatthara, Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Milan Singh, Siam Hanghal, Lalthakima, Pritam Kumar Singh, Samuel Shadap, Arata Izumi, Loken Meitei, Karan Sawhney, Ajith Sivan.
- Foreign players: Nemanja Lakic-Pesic, Courage Pekuson, Iain Hume, Wes Brown, Dimitar Berbatov (not confirmed).