If there was anyone left in the world of football in India who was ready to admit publicly that they doubt the intentions of Delhi Dynamos… well, there isn’t any longer. That can easily be the claim with the news that DDFC have pulled off one hell of a transfer coup with the recruitment of Spanish flyer Xisco Hernandez.
And Dynamos’ gain is Bengaluru FC’s loss — even though they were Indian Super League (ISL) champions last season they couldn’t halt the switch making right-winger Hernandez coach Josep Gombau’s second new foreign signing for the campaign. Dynamos have already snapped up ex-Barcelona B ace Diawandou Diagne and have boosted their squad further with the addition of Indian wing-man Jerry Mawhmingthanga from Jamshedpur FC. Diagne said of his transfer from Belgian outfit Eupen:
“I have played in Europe amongst some of the best in the world, and I am eager to bring all my experience on the field here in India.”
And quizzed on his move, Hernandez — who has well as hugging the touchline can also play in an attacking midfield role — paid tribute to Gombau and made it abundantly clear that he would do all that that was in his power to repay the faith shown in him. He said:
“I am so very happy to be back in India after a successful first season outside Spain. Coach Josep Gombau has vested great trust in me and I am very sure that I will be able to deliver as per his expectations. Delhi has a very young squad and I see a lot of potential in the team. Once again, really happy to join Delhi Dynamos and I can’t wait to roar.”
Gombau picked out the fact that the player has a league title winner’s medal under his belt and with that type of experience and ability it was an easy decision to make to recruit him. He added:
“As a coach, I am so happy to have him in my squad. He’s a player who will bring a lot to us, both inside and outside the field. He is a player who is familiar with India and more importantly, he has won the Hero ISL.”
But it’s not all gone entirely the way of Dynamos with the news that they have lost reliable defender Gianni Zuiverloon to Kerala Blasters FC. Former West Bromwich Albion and Feyenoord centre-half Zuiverloon, who is aged 32, was a steadying influence in the rear guard and, indeed, only missed one game last season. He was a favourite of boss Gombau, who liked his innate ability to be able to play out from the back. Next season, though, he’ll be doing it in the colours of the Blasters.