The Indian Super League has been primed for giving young Indian players an opportunity to make their mark and impress the national team selectors ahead of playing for the country sometime in the future.
Here are five youngsters in this year’s ISL season to watch out for:
1) Ishan Pandita
This signing has come with a lot of expectations and intrigue because FC Goa fans are keen to see how a young Indian player playing in the lower leagues of Spanish football has developed so far. Some even expect him to one day lead the forward line for India in place of Sunil Chhetri.
2) Sahil Sheikh
Having made the move from I-League 19/20 winners Mohun Bagan after the merger with ATK, Sahil Sheikh is expected to play a fringe role at the defending champions. Nevertheless, that should not stop the athletic 20-year-old midfielder from impressing when he gets the chances in the heart of the club’s midfield.
3) Vikram Pratap Singh
Shining immensely in the junior ranks with India and Indian Arrows, 18-year-old Vikram Pratap Singh’s goalscoring instincts will be put to the test in the big leagues this season. Playing for Mumbai City under new manager Sergio Lobera, Vikram will be desperate to act as the impact substitute and showcase his skills whilst providing a few goals.
4) Nongdamba Naorem
20-year-old Naorem has already become a star of sorts in his hometown Imphal, but this will be his first season in the Indian Super League. A bright winger that has been tipped to make the Indian team in a few years, Naorem will reunite with Kibu Vicuna at Kerala Blasters and should be expected to fill the shoes of the recently departed winger Ogbeche.
5) Abhijit Sarkar
Another 20-year-old who has recently joined Chennaiyin FC, Abhijit represented India at the FIFA U-17 World Cup a few years back. With the club having lost a couple of midfielders, Sarkar might be expected to step into the rotation cordon and fulfil the squad member duties ahead of a long season.
Do check out: