Jamshedpur FC will begin its quest for the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) title when it takes on Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan on November 24.
Ahead of the seventh edition of the league, which will be held across three stadiums in Goa owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the Jamshedpur made some lucrative foreign signings including the likes of Nerijus Valskis and Peter Hartley. As per the All India Football Federation's rules, ISL clubs can have seven overseas players in their squad.
Here's a look at the seven foreigners in Jamshedpur FC team.
1) Peter Hartley
Englishman Peter Hartley signed for Jamshedpur FC in September after spending more than two years at Scottish club Motherwell FC. The 32-year-old centre-back was recently named captain of the club, replacing Spanish defender Tiri, who had been the Red Miners' skipper for the last three seasons.
Hartley, a product of the Sunderland Youth Academy, turned professional in 2007 and has since plied his trade with teams like Chesterfield FC, Hartlepool United, Stevenage, Plymouth Argyle, Bristol Rovers and Blackpool.
2) Nerijus Valskis
Lithuanian striker Nerijus Valskis played an instrumental role in Chennaiyin FC's remarkable turnaround last season, steering the Owen Coyle-managed side to a second-place finish. The formidable pair of Valskis and Coyle has reunited at JFC for the upcoming season and the joint top-scorer of last season would hope to replicate his form.
The 2019-20 season Golden Boot winner, who netted 15 goals in 20 games last season, started his professional career with Lithuanian club Zalgiris Vilnius in 2005. Since then, the 33-year-old globetrotter has represented 16 different clubs with stints in Hungary, Belarus, Poland, Latvia, Israel and Thailand.
3) Stephen Eze
Stephen Eze put pen to paper for Jamshedpur on September 10, 2020. The Nigerian has featured for his national team 13 times since his debut in 2016 and was a prominent member of the Super Eagles side that finished runner-up in the African Nations Championship in 2018.
Centre-back Eze started his professional career back home with Lobi Stars in 2012. Over the course of six years, the 26-year-old played for three other local clubs - Sunshine Stars, Ifeanyi Ubah and Kano Pillers - before moving to Bulgarian First League club Lokomotiv Plovdiv.
4) Alex Lima
Alex Lima is a big signing for Jamshedpur this season. The Brazilian midfielder comes to India with valuable experience of playing in the Major Soccer League. He spent five years in the United States, having spent the first three with Chicago Fire before shifting base to Houston Dynamo.
Alex began his youth career at Germio Mauaense in 2008 and four years later, the 31-year-old made his professional debut in the Swiss League challenge against FC Servette. Alex has also played for South Korean clubs Suwon FC, FC Anyang and Vietnamese club Ho Chi Minh City FC.
Despite being a conventional midfielder, the Sao Paulo-born footballer is known for his versatility as he can play in multiple positions in midfield, making him an exciting prospect for manager Coyle.
5) Nicholas Fitzgerald
Australian footballer Nicholas Fitzgerald arrived at Jamshedpur after a year-long spell with Australian club Newcastle Jets. The 28-year-old is an A-League veteran, having spent 12 years on home turf.
He made his professional debut for Blacktown City in 2010 before signing for Central Coast Mariners two years later. He has also represented Bundaberg Spirit, Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne and Western Sydney Wanderers.
The dynamic right winger is a two time A-League champion, once each with Brisbane (2011-12) and the Mariners (2012-13). Along with Valskis and Alex Lima, the former Australia U-20 and U-23 international can prove to be lethal in front of goal for the Tata Steel-owned franchise.
6) Aitor Monroy
Spanish midfielder Aitor Monroy is one of the two foreigners retained by Jamshedpur FC for ISL 2020-21. The 33-year-old featured in 18 games in his ISL debut season last year, scoring and assisting a goal each alongside recording a decent passing accuracy of 69.7 per cent.
Monroy, who has represented 10 other clubs across four different countries (Spain, Romania, Israel and Mondova) and played over 200 matches so far, has mainly spent time in his native country. He has also donned the Atletico Madrid's B and C jerseys in the past.
7) David Grande
Monroy's Spanish compatriot David Grande is the other international player who extended his stay at the club. After a short stint with Unionistas, Grande moved to Jamshedpur FC during the 2019-20 season's January transfer window.
The striker played eight matches in his debut ISL season, netting just one goal. The 29-year-old began his senior career with Spanish club Marchamalo in 2010. Three years later, he would go on to represent La Liga side Getafe's B team. During the 2017-18 season, he featured in 34 games for the Granada B team.
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