Mumbai City FC have roped in some top international players as they begin their new journey in the Indian Super League (ISL) under the City Football Group, and English striker Adam Le Fondre is probably one of the most high profile names among those signings.
The 33-year-old striker comes to the ISL with a rich experience of 16 years of professional football to his name. During this period, he has scored a total of 228 goals and that sees him placed at sixth in the list of highest English goal-scorers in the 21st century.
Le Fondre has represented a total of nine clubs previously. He started his career with his hometown club Stockport County in 2004 and scored a total of 18 goals during a three-year stint with them. A loan deal with Rochdale followed soon after and it became a permanent one later on. He stayed with them for another two years before moving to Rotherham United, Reading and Cardiff City successively.
In the three years he was associated with Cardiff City, Le Fondre had loan spells with Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers as well. After his 13-year long spell in English Football, Le Fondre finally set course for international waters as he was signed up by A-League Club Sydney FC in 2017.
Claim to Fame
Le Fondre scored a total of 183 goals along with assisting 44 times in his 532 appearances across 14 seasons of English football. He was once adjudged as the Premier League's Player of the month during his stint with Reading in the 2012-13 season as well. Apart from that, the striker holds the record for being one of the few players to score on their Premier League debut and has netted goals against top Premier League clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton as well.
However, his real claim to fame came during his two-year-long stay with Sydney FC in Australia. The English striker scored 45 goals and supplied four assists in 67 appearances for the club across two seasons and thus helped them to two Grand Final wins and one Premiers as well.
What does he bring to Mumbai City now?
Le Fondre is everything that Mumbai City's head coach Sergio Lobera wants. He has pace, skill, an eye for goals and more importantly, he is a leader as well. All these attributes are similar to Ferran Corominas, who was Lobera's favourite during his stint with FC Goa until last year. But Corominas has hung his boots now and Le Fondre seems to be the right piece to replace him in Lobera's jigsaw. The Spaniard has already brought most of the players who played under him at FC Goa to Mumbai City. And Le Fondre seems to be the final brushstroke of his masterpiece.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Glyn Kirk