ISL Season 8: Mumbai City FC have recently announced the signing of former Odisha FC forward Diego Mauricio. The Brazilian forward will replace his compatriot Ygor Catatau who is returning to his parent club Madureira Esporte Clube after completing his loan stint with the Islanders. Follow all the ISL 2021-22 LIVE Updates only on InsideSport.IN
Catatau had a great impact mostly coming off the bench and scoring some crucial goals. He scored three goals along with an assist in around 360 minutes of gameplay spread across 11 matches.
Welcome to #TheIslanders, Diego Maurício! 👋🇧🇷
The Brazilian forward joins the Club on a short-term deal until the end of the season ✍️
— Mumbai City FC (@MumbaiCityFC) January 21, 2022
However, Mumbai City may not miss him much as Mauricio is a very experienced forward who comes in with ISL experience and Buckingham will hope that the former Odisha FC man can replicate that form for the defending champions.
Prior ISL Experience
The biggest advantage of this signing has to be Diego Mauricio’s prior Indian Super League experience with Odisha FC. Although the Kalinga Warriors had a pretty ordinary season, Mauricio was their main man up front. The Brazilian striker last season scored 12 goals in Odisha FC colours along with a couple of assists and that proves his mettle as a goalscorer.
Mauricio will hardly take any time to adapt to the Indian weather or culture as he has already experienced those things in his last stint. So he can very well be an instant impact for the Islanders. It is a massive plus point for Des Buckingham as well as his new signing will not take much time to settle in with the new conditions and also helps their case as he is joining mid-season.
Mauricio’s primary trait has to be his goalscoring prowess. He proved his mettle in the ISL last season for Odisha FC and will be looking to continue that goalscoring form in Mumbai City colours. Apart from just scoring goals, Mauricio likes to get involved in the attacking buildups and helps in chance creation.
The Brazilian’s playing style matches with the way Des Buckingham wants Mumbai City to play. Although he will mostly be Igor Angulo’s deputy at Mumbai, Mauricio is surely a great alternative to have for any manager.
Apart from ISL experience and goals, Mauricio offers great versatility to any team. While he is predominantly a centre forward who likes to lead the lines, he can also play as an inverted winger. He has featured on the flanks earlier during his stints in South Korea and Brazil so it will allow Buckingham to use Mauricio the same way he tried using Ygor Catatau by pairing him alongside Angulo.
Mauricio’s agility and quick feet help him adjust to the requirement needed to play out wide. He is also a great player for hold up play so he can definitely play a role in holding the play up for the likes of Bipin Singh or Cassio Gabriel among others. So his versatility should definitely allow head coach Des Buckingham more options.
A different alternative to Angulo
While Mauricio may have similarities with Angulo, he offers a lot of different aspects aswell to the Spaniard. Mauricio is someone who brings in a lot of physicality and can be used to hold the play up. So Buckingham can use the Brazilian according to the situation of demand. He did not have that luxury till now but now adding someone with Mauricio’s goalscoring prowess is a massive advantage for the Islanders.
Mauricio will allow Buckingham to try out a different alternative, the English tactician may also rest Angulo in some games and still be assured that Mauricio will put in a great shift. So the Brazilian brings in massive flexibility and a different facet, something that was not available for the Islanders earlier.
While Steven Taylor led Odisha FC last season, it was mostly Diego Mauricio who remained an inspiration for the youngsters amid a very underwhelming season. The Brazilian has plied his trade in various countries starting from his native Brazil to all the way in South Korea. He also had short stints in China and Portugal. So there is no denying his experience.
Even when the chips were down at the Odisha FC camp due to the results, Mauricio always stepped up and led the lines with a lot of promise. He scored 12 goals and was the only reason to cheer for the Odisha fans. He also backed a lot of youngsters unmotivated them to keep fighting. He will bring in similar traits to the Mumbai City camp and that way Buckingham will have another leader in their dressing room.