The I-League is all set to start from December 26. And Aizawl FC plays its first match against Real Kashmir on December 27.
The Mizoram-based side has brought in several players for this season. Here is a view of all these new faces of the team which won the I-League in the 2016-17 season.
Jones Lalthakima: A talented young defender who was born in Mizoram, this will be like a homecoming for Lalthakima. Jones started his career with the Odisha FC youth teams and has been brought in to add energy to the team on and off the pitch. He has also shown a lot of leadership skills throughout his young career, captaining the youth sides of his former team.
Samuel Lalmuanpuia: Another player who has come in from Odisha FC, Lalmuanpuia is an experienced and versatile midfielder. He can play across the frontline and in the number 10 role as well. Samuel has been brought in to provide the creative spark in the final third and with the experience that he possesses playing for so many top clubs, Aizawl FC will be counting on the right-footed centre-forward.
Jakob Lalhlimpuia: A big and pacy winger, Lalhimpuia has a lot of experience in Indian football when it comes to providing firepower to the men upfront.
Nikhil Mali: The third player on this list to join Aizawl from Delhi FC, Nikhil Mali is probably the most exciting one for Indian fans. The extremely skilful winger from Pune was a revelation at the recently concluded futsal club championship, vowing the crowd with his skills, goal-scoring ability and his two-footedness. A player who will be at peak confidence levels, Mali will be looking to carry his form from Delhi to Aizawl.
Rinraithan Shaiza: A young, energetic playmaker who will be playing in the middle of the park, Shaiza arrives at Aizawl to strengthen the midfield.
Lalhmunmawia: An experienced defender, Lalhmunmawia will be looking to become the backbone of the team in central defence. A defender who is superb at tackling, winning aerial duels, timing his interceptions and good with the ball at his feet as well, Lalhmunmawia will be looking to make a mark in the I-League.
Dipanda Dicka: Another centre-forward who has come through this window, Dipanda Dicka has been in Indian football for a long time now. He has been crowned the best striker of the I-League twice in his career and the Cameroonian will now be looking to make that a third time.
Willis Plaza: One of the marquee signings by Aizawl FC, Willis Plaza is a prolific goal scorer. He will be tasked with leading the attack for Aizawl FC and get them goals which will win matches for the Mizoram-based side. Willis Plaza has tasted the waters of several clubs in India, ranging from Mohammedan Sporting Club to Delhi FC most recently. He was a constant threat for the latter in the recently conducted Hero I-League Qualifiers and the management at Aizawl FC would be banking on him to repeat those dominating performances.
Bazie Armand: A player who will be counted on to become the centre-piece of the team, Bazie Armand is a defensive midfielder who has been through the rigors of the I-League previously as well, having won it with Minerva Punjab. Hailing from Ivory Coast, the defensive midfielder will be looking to take this Aizawl FC side to the next level and provide the solidarity which they will need if the team from Mizoram wants to mount a serious title challenge.