ISL Draft: Kerala Blasters snap up Michael Chopra, Team Chennai sign Bernard Mendy

Kerala Blasters' marquee player-manager David James was quick to snap up fellow countryman and experienced striker Michael Chopra in the Indian Super League's foreign player draft.

Chopra, who has Indian parentage, is a former Newcastle United, Sunderland and Cardiff City player. He has also played for Watford, Nottingham Forest, Barnsley, Ipswich Town and Blackpool.


Chopra, who has Indian parentage, is a former Newcastle United, Sunderland and Cardiff City player. Reuters

"The international draft came and the first name was Michael Chopra. To pick him is a tremendous achievement for us. He also wants to help in setting up academies and growing football in India. As part of the Kerala Blasters legacy, with Chopra’s experience and enthusiasm to improve Indian football — he's a great addition to a wonderful team," James said.

Kerala also signed Canadian striker Ian Hume, Spaniard Víctor Herrero Forcada and young Brazilian Erwin Spitzner.

The first four rounds saw all the big names being signed by the eight clubs. Former PSG, Bolton Wanderers and Hull City defender Bernardy Mendy went to the newly announced Team Chennai and so did former Manchester United attacking midfielder Bojan Djordjic. The team which will replace Bengaluru FC after Sun Group pulled out of the ISL went straight for the big names — also signing former Marseille goalkeeper Gennaro Bracigliano.

Atletico de Kolkata signed two more Spaniards in striker Arnal Llibert Conde Carbó and right-back José Miguel González Rey — the latter a Champions League winner with Liverpool in 2005.

North East United continued with their tradition of signing squad players, adding Senegalese international Massamba Sambou for defence and 20-year-old Korean winger Do Dong-Hyun.

Team Mumbai's biggest signings yet are the exciting young Argentine striker Diego Nadaya and Czech centre-back Pavel Čmovš. Both are 24-years-old but already have a combined 215 appearances at club level.

Delhi went for 20-year-old Brazilian Gustavo Marmentini dos Santos. The attacking midfielder has come through the youth ranks of CA Paranaense.

All the players getting signed today are in addition to the marquee players they have already announced.

More to follow