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Mashoor Shereef has settled down well at NorthEast United in his first season at ISL …
Former Manchester United striker Kavungal (a local team in Malappuram) Mashoor Shereef is now proving to be an extremely useful addition to NorthEast United’s defense as Khalid Jamil’s team chase the playoffs.
The forward-turned-defender, who started his career in the Chennai soccer leagues, joined the Indian Super League (ISL) club before the current season and has established himself in the first team in no time.
He has played nine games for the ISL so far this season, and seven of those appearances were a starter. For an Indian player in his first year in the ISL after transitioning from the I-League, he has logged more minutes than he could have expected at the start of the season. And he has made the most of his opportunities.
Mashoor has developed into a strong and physically skilled central defender who reads the game well and is alert during games. He’s not a tough tackle or ballplayer – the 28-year-old is somewhere in the middle and may choose to stay away compared to facing a risky challenge.
At NorthEast, he has benefited from the mentorship of fellow central defender Benjamin Lambot with whom he has played the most as a central defender. Mashoor has been paired with Lambot a total of five times, while he has played Dylan Fox early on in just two games. The Belgian’s experience has helped Mashoor to settle behind and face the opposition forwards in a calm manner.
The Highlanders have conceded a total of 24 goals in 18 games this season. In the games that Mashoor has started, he has conceded 10 goals while in the 11 games that he has not appeared in the starting line-up, the team has conceded 14 goals.
The former striker, who hails from the soccer-loving Malappuram district, had 11 appearances to his name, including three starts, as Chennai City won the I-League in the 2018-19 season. His numbers improved again the following season, as the then 27-year-old played every league game, started an AFC Cup match and scored six goals in all competitions.
“The turning point in my career was to change my position (to be defense). After that I was able to make an impact and received offers from other clubs after having done well in that position. I am happy and I trust that I can do well. up front (in the ISL) “, had said the defender of Malayali Aim before the season started.
While he still has room for improvement, Mashoor has taken his time to reach the level he is at now and has endeavored to seize the opportunity NorthEast United has provided. And he has turned out to be one of the few Indian centers to have caught the eye at ISL this season.