An exciting aspect of football is to witness the emergence of young talent and that is true for our Indian Footballers as well. These young players often find themselves going head-to-head with veterans, and step up when needed to secure their spot in the team.
The Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season kicks off soon and there are a couple of players with similar potential. They have showcased their competence in earlier seasons.
Now whether or not they perform to their highest levels is not the question really. That depends on a number of factors, barring individual flair itself. Nonetheless, these players have been outstanding and possess huge potential. Taking it all into account, the following is a list of the top 5 Young Indian Footballers who could make their ISL debut this time.
1. Bidyashagar Singh (Bengaluru FC)
Bidyashagar Singh won the 2020-21 I-League Golden Boot with TRAU FC. He garnered interest from many ISL sides. However, Bengaluru finally snapped him up on a three-year contract. The young forward has dazzling striking abilities and will be an ever-present option for the side. He was also in the Blues’ AFC and Durand squads, scoring a total of three goals in eight games.
In the I-League, he was awarded “Hero of the Season” and booked a spot in the “Team of the Season.” All in all, the striker is a well-known and highly-anticipated player. Given Bengaluru FC finished in seventh last term, he will be instrumental for the side in the new season. But considering their established front three, specifically Cleiton Silva, Singh will have to fight for his place.
2. Ruivah Hormipam (Kerala Blasters)
Ruivah Hormipam is a 20-year-old centre-half, who most donned RoundGlass Punjab colours before signing for Kerala Blasters. He is a promising defender, who has played crucial defensive roles throughout his career. While with Punjab and Indian Arrows, he stood out for his impressive defensive showings that included marking, stunning tackles and timely clearances.
Hormipam was also in the KBFC Durand Cup squad. He started the game against rivals Bengaluru FC. The young defender is one to watch this season.
3. Sivasakthi Narayanan (Bengaluru FC)
Sivasakthi Narayanan has displayed his goalscoring abilities in Bengaluru FC colours at the Durand Cup. From the BDFA Super Division to this season’s AFC group stage game vs Maziya S&RC, he has shown his potential often. Assistant coach Naushad Moosa lauded the youngster many times for rapidly rising through the ranks.
The 20-year-old comes directly from Bengaluru FC and passed from their ‘B’ team to the senior squad this year. He possesses exquisite finishing abilities, having bagged four in seven senior appearances. He might not be the first choice but is sure to make an impact when on the pitch.
4. Huidrom Naocha Singh (Mumbai City FC)
Huidrom Naocha Singh is another ex-I-League winner with Gokulam Kerala. He was unveiled as a Mumbai City signing on September 1, 2021. He started his career at NEROCA and switched to TRAU FC before signing for the Malabarians the last term.
The 22-year-old is an adaptable and agile wing-back, who is able to play on either flank. He was vital in GKFC’s I-League-winning season, starting all their games. The youngster is predicted to recreate this form for the defending champions.
5. Muhammed Nemil (FC Goa)
Muhammed Nemil was excellent in FC Goa’s victorious Durand Cup run. He registered four goals in six matches, leading the Gaurs attack beside Devendra Murgaonkar.
The 19-year-old agonized the opposition with his attacking abilities. The forward possesses splendid ball-carrying skills, greatly exploits spaces and finds the target. Besides this, he also has European experience, having donned the colours of the Spanish outfit UDA Gramenet.
Unfortunately, he went off with an ankle injury in the recent pre-season game against Gokulam Kerala FC. This rules him out for around 3-4 weeks and will be absent for the opening games. Nonetheless, he is another one to watch and his return is highly anticipated.
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