After enduring a disappointing campaign in ISL Season 6, Kerala Blasters will be going into the new season, which is set to kick-start next month, with renewed hope and a squad that has undergone major overhaul.
The Blasters have parted ways with several of their key players from last season, and have brought in new faces to the squad. Among the foreigners who played for the South Indian outfit last season, only Sergio Cidoncha has been retained.
Blasters are yet to complete their signings, but what they have done so far in the transfer market looks promising. Here, we take a look at three players who will be key for Kibu Vicuna's team in the new edition of Indian Super League.
1. Gary Hooper
With both Barthalomeo Ogbeche and Raphael Messi Bouli, who spearheaded Blasters' attack last season, having left the club, the Tuskers will be hoping Gary Hooper will step up and deliver the goods this season.
Hooper, 32, has tremendous experience on his CV and he last played for A-League side Wellington Phoenix.
2. Costa Nhamoinesu
A leaky defence was a cause for concern for Kerala Blasters last season. The Kerala-based ISL outfit conceded 32 goals in the previous campaign, and if it were not for those poor displays at the back, Blasters would have performed better.
Costa Nhamoinesu will be crucial to Blasters in strengthening the defensive department this season. The 34-year-old comes with loads of experience and will be critical to the Southerners performance at the back.
3. Sahal Abdul Samad
Sahal has already showcased what he is capable of, and Kerala Blasters will probably benefit from the India midfielder's creativity on the pitch. Sahal, however, will have to ensure he maintains the consistency he needs to excel in the team. He's a still a work in progress - a few aspects of his game needs to be improved - but when he is on top of his game, he could do wonders.