Chennaiyin FC on Friday announced a 35-man squad for the upcoming Indian Super League season with head coach Thomas Brdaric looking to build on a promising Durand Cup campaign that concluded earlier this month.
Nasser El Khayati joined the club as its seventh foreign acquisition. He replaced Rafael Crivellaro in the midfield, having played in a similar role in the Dutch first division in May this year.
The Dutch footballer joined vice-captain and Senegalese international Fallou Diagne, Iranian defender Vafa Hakhamaneshi, German midfielder Julius Duker and attackers Kwame Karikari and Petar Sliskovic from Ghana and Croatia, respectively.
Petar, Julius, Vafa and Karikari found the back of the net over the five games they played in the Durand Cup.
While there has been a complete overhaul of CFC's foreign contingent, the team has reinforced its Indian contingent by inducting several youth players alongside experienced campaigners.
In the Durand Cup, Petar top-scored for CFC with three goals, while skipper Anirudh Thapa scored twice and assisted thrice.
The competition also saw Edwin Sydney get his first goal for the club, while the likes of Aakash Sangwan and Ninthoinganba Meetei also impressed -- all part of the league squad.
Some key absentees during the Durand Cup, who will be a part of the season, are Mohammed Rafique, Alexander Romario Jesuraj, Sourav Das and Vincy Baretto.
This year, Chennaiyin will kickstart its ISL campaign on October 10 against ATK Mohun Bagan in an away match before hosting Bengaluru FC at the Marina Arena on October 14.