Not Corominas, not Jahouh, Boumous has been Goa’s best foreign player this season…
Few players in the Indian Super League (ISL) have the ability and flair to turn a game on its head like FC Goa’s Hugo Boumous.
He has been a crucial component in Sergio Lobera’s system at FC Goa. While not always a regular first-team player, the Frenchman has managed to become an important player for the team nonetheless.
After replacing Manuel Arana at the club two years ago in a winter transfer window, Boumous has arguably been one of the league’s best arrivals. He signed a new contract at the end of last season which means he is here to stay at least until 2022.
Since signing the new deal, Boumous has been on fire. He has four goals (his best return for FC Goa) and four assists to his name already this season after 11 rounds of matches and is second on those charts only behind Ferran Corominas (8 goals) and Brandon Fernandes (5 assists). He is second on the assists’ chart in the league and also has the best return of goals and assists combined (G+A). The number of chances that he creates for Goa in very game is noteworthy.
“I’m happy in Goa. I know my team-mates very well. I think we are the best team in India. I know the coach (Sergio Lobera) and all the staff. I know what the coach expects from me and I also know the management very well. So I had no reason to change the team,” Boumous had said upon putting pen to paper on a three-year deal ahead of the season.
The relationship with the coach and the rest of the team has helped Boumous. At FC Goa, Lobera has managed to keep the core of his squad intact for three seasons now, which means all he has had to do in the transfer windows is to make small changes to polish his squad. Boumous was one such addition and knowing Lobera from their stint together at Moroccan club Moghreb Tetouan helped both parties to establish trust very quickly.
And the trust has only grown this season. Even when the likes of Coro, Ahmed Jahouh and Edu Bedia missed out due to suspension or injury, it was Boumous who led the charge for the Gaurs on the field. He was the most advanced option for Goa in the attacking third in the first few matches this season. When Corominas returned, he slotted into his usual role in behind the striker and has been carving defence open ever since.
After making just 17 starts in 27 games in the last two seasons, Hugo Boumous has started all of Goa’s last seven matches so far. He is having his best season in orange colours and could turn out to be the key for Goa to finally lay hands on the trophy this season.