July 26, 2021

Is Rowllin Borges the best Indian midfielder in the ISL this season?

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Goal extracts statistics from Opta that portrays the Mumbai City midfielder as among the best in business…

Mumbai City FC lead the Indian Super League (ISL) standings this season with 33 points from 15 matches. Sergio Lobera’s side have only suffered two defeats in this campaign, both to NorthEast United.

It must be noted that in both these defeats, Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges didn’t play together as a midfield pair for 90 minutes. Jahouh was sent-off in the season opener before half-time and Borges was suspended for the second game against NorthEast.

As much as Jahouh is deemed crucial for Lobera’s team, Borges has slowly but gradually grown in stature and taken his game to the next level. In fact, no Indian midfielder or rather outfield player is having the kind of impact he has had this season.

The Indian international has so far appeared in 14 games for the Islanders, finding the back of the net once while also providing one for his teammates.

The former Sporting Clube de Goa player has the most number of touches per game this season. In 14 games, he has amassed 1015 touches as compared to 1070 by full-back Ashis Rai of Hyderabad FC. Borges is always around to receive a pass and is known for his control on the ball in tight situations.

Player Team Games Played Touches Touches/Games
Played (%)
Rowllin Borges Mumbai City 14 1015 72.5
Asish Rai Hyderabad 15 1070 71.3
Akash Mishra Hyderabad 15 1014 67.6

When it comes to passing accuracy, he is third on the list but it’s vital to note that he has played almost double the number of minutes when compared to Lenny Rodrigues. Chinglensana Singh has the best passing accuracy however, it must be underlined that he plays a centre-back as opposed to being deployed in the middle of the park.

Player Team Passes Successful Passes Passing Accuracy
Chinglensana Singh Hyderabad 633 538 85
Lenny Rodrigues Goa 472 401 85
Rowllin Borges Mumbai City 856 725 84.7

Borges has completed 725 of his 856 attempted passes, the second most in the league. Again, only Bedia has completed more passes than the former NorthEast United player (873).

Despite playing as a holding midfielder, Borges has been heavily involved in the build-up of attacks at Mumbai City. His passing range and ability to get up and down the pitch constantly has been a great asset to Lobera’s team.

It is no surprise to see him lead the table when it comes to the most successful passes in the opposition half among Indian players. And when you consider players with a minimum of 200 successful passes in the opposition half, Borges has the second-best passing accuracy as well, only trailing behind FC Goa’s Seriton Fernandes who is a right-back.

Player Team Successful Passes
in opposition half
Passing Accuracy in
opposition half (%)
Rowllin Borges Mumbai City 275 77.7
Akash Mishra Hyderabad 229 71.3
Seriton Fernandes Goa 213 79.8

And it is not just his passing ability that has stood out. Borges’ defensive positioning and workrate has also been exemplary, forming an effective shield for Mumbai City’s backline. That part of his game is highlighted by the fact that he has made the most interceptions amongst all midfielders in the league this time around. 

Player Team Interceptions
Rowllin Borges Mumbai City 34
Cole Alexander Odisha 30
Hernan Santana Mumbai City 28

And it is not just intercepting loose balls and breaking up play, he also has the second-best ball recovery stats among Indian midfielders. 

Player Team Recoveries
Lallianzuala Chhangte Chennaiyin 79
Rowllin Borges Mumbai City 77
Suresh Wangjam Bengaluru 71

There is no doubt that the Goan is arguably the best midfielder in India right now. 

*All stats are from Opta and are correct as before the game between NorthEast United vs FC Goa on February 4, 2021.