New Delhi: Over the years, Mehtab Hossain has evolved into one of the most important members of the Indian national team. From his days as a young attacking midfielder at Tollygunge Agragami to being the best defensive midfielder in India, Mehtab has undoubtedly come a long way.
Kerala Blasters begin their campaign in the first edition of the Indian Super League against NorthEast United FC with the 29-year-old holding the key to their success.
At his new home in the Southern state of Kerala, Mehtab has been reunited with his mentor and former East Bengal head coach, who played a key role in transforming the midfielder into one of India's best players.
During an interview, Mehtab said Morgan is the one coach who best understands his game and exactly knows how to extract the best possible performance out of him. However, another East Bengal coach, Philippe De Ridder, probably deserves some credit for converting Mehtab from an attacking midfielder to a defensive one.
Having earned 34 caps for India, the East Bengal midfielder is a one of the first names on the team sheet for club and country. His importance to the Blasters can be stated from the fact Mehtab was drafted as the first pick during the ISL domestic player draft by the management.
In the last few years, the Bengal player has undergone trials with several Scottish, English and Spanish clubs. After spending time at Tollygunge Agragami and Mohun Bagan, Hossain's most productive years have come at East Bengal.
For Blasters to succeed, Mehtab's ability to stamp his authority in the middle of the park will be of paramount importance. Apart from being a leader, some of the qualities he brings to the table are accurate passing , a tireless work ethic and an ability to execute well-timed yet ferocious tackles.
Despite winning multiple honours during his career for club, the I-League trophy has always eluded the midfield general. As a new chapter in his career begins with the ISL, Mehtab Hossain will be hoping the football gods will bestow some much needed luck on him.