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ISL 2020-21: Five Indian youngsters to watch out for

Indian Super League is a proven stage for Indian youngsters who got enormous potential. League provides a perfect environment and conditions to become prominent players of their club. The list features Under-20 players who are bound to become eminent this season. So here’s the list of five Indian youngsters to watch out for in the 2020-21 ISL season.

jeakson singh
Image Source: ESPN India Twitter

#5. Jeakson Singh (Kerala Blasters)

Jeakson Singh Thounaojam made his ISL debut with Kerala Blasters in the 2019-20 season opener and earned high praise from management. He has sparkling fluency and well versed in possession-based tactics. Jeakson made 13 appearances last season replacing Sahal Abdul Samad at the initial stage under Eelco Schattorie. Jeakson rose into fame for the first time when he scored the first-ever Indian goal in FIFA competition during U-17 FIFA WC 2017. Manipuri defensive midfielder idolizes Spanish CDM Sergio Busquets and follows his on-field game as well.

#4. Sumit Rathi (ATK Mohun Bagan)

Sumit had a breakthrough season last year where he tightened ATK defensive line. He helped ATK to clinch the title and became the youngest player to win the ISL Emerging player award. Management recognized his hard work and gave him preference in the lineup over Anas Edathodika and Salam Ranjan Singh. Sumit will face the difficulties to get a place in central defense after the arrivals of star center-backs Sandesh Jhingan and Tiri. Habas likely to play with 3 at back hence Sumit Rathi will face Subhasish Bose as challenger for the left wing-back spot.

#3. Amarjit Singh Kiyam (Jamshedpur FC)

Amarjit is the cousin of the above featured Jeakson Singh and also represented India in FIFA U17 WC as captain. The teenage central midfielder operates as the engine of midfield. He got international debut at the Kings Cup opener against Curacao after an impressive I-League season with Arrows. His potential impressed national team head coach Igor Stimac during the camp. He will be looking forward to the upcoming season after facing injury speed breakers during the last unstoppable run.

#2. Shubham Sarangi (Odisha FC)

The 20-year-old Shubham Sarangi came from the youth ranks of Minerva Punjab Academy and also represented India on youth levels. Sarangi made his debut in the 2018-19 season when the club was known as Delhi Dynamos FC. The club showed trust by retaining him after changing base to Bhubaneshwar. He played 17 out of 18 club’s games last season and immediately became a fan favorite at Odisha. Another successful season will add eminence to his profile and help him to achieve his dream of wearing national colors.

#1. Mohammad Nawaz (FC Goa)

And here’s number one and most popular name of the list Mohammad Nawaz. The Manipuri goalkeeper made his debut in the 2018-19 season at the age of 18 after an impressive season with the reserves side. He made an error and conceded just after the 8th minute of debut although overcame that blunder and became the first choice for Lobera. After breakthrough season, 2019-20 was the season where he cemented his place and was featured in all 20 ISL games.

Nawaz started playing football as a forward after watching his cousin Mohammad Yasir (Hyderabad FC player). He tries to emulate Manuel Neuer and Ederson thus worked really hard on his footwork and believes that goalkeepers play elevating roles in the attack. Error 404! There is no player with this much maturity at this age compared to Mohammad Nawaz. He is a prime contender to become the successor of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on the national team in the future. Nawaz has eyes on ISL Golden Glove and a maiden call-up for the senior national team.

Special mentions- Vikram Pratap Singh, Aman Chetri, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Rohit Danu, etc.

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