Football fans in India have something to cherish. Indian Super League (ISL) returns on October 1, 2016 with its third edition. The football tournament which has created buzz in the country, featuring exciting Indian talents along with some of the legendary European footballers, promises to pack a punch this year as well.
Apart from the foreign players, the ISL teams, like every year, are going to be largely dependent on the local talent to win them the trophy. Hence, the tournament is a chance for some Indian footballers to showcase their talent on the big stage.
Here are few players from India who are likely to make headlines this year:
Kean Lewis (Midfielder)- Delhi Dynamos
Delhi Dynamos announced the signing of Mohun Bagan star Kean Lewis in July. The dynamic midfielder is already being acknowledged as one of the most highly rated domestic talents. With fast pace and fierce strength, Lewis has the ability to go past the defenders and score goals from long range. His good form was visible during the club’s pre-season games in which he mixed well along with midfielder Milan Singh and forward Arjun Tudu to give troubles to the opposition. He was one of the players in the scoring list during the pre-season. Fans will definitely be hoping he gets to play in every single game for the Lions.
Jackichand Singh (Midfielder)- Mumbai City FC
The left-winger from Manipur made was marked for greatness as soon as he was selected for Indian national squad in 2015 against Oman. Jackichand Singh’s raw speed and exciting dribbling skills made him of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in Indian squad. He was named as I-league’s best player in 2014-15 season and Pune City FC paid big bucks to include him in their team last season. This season, the Manipuri will find himself playing for Mumbai CIty FC along with the likes of Diego Forlan and Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri. It will be a chance for him to show his talent and learn alongside from the best.
Sandesh Jhingan (Defender)- Kerala Blasters
Described as the ‘fastest player’ by the Indian national team sports scientist Danny Deigan, Jhingan has made his reputation as one of the most aggressive Indian defenders. Playing at Centre-back position, the 23-old defender is used to getting injuries on the field, but he seems to enjoy the physical aspect of his game. He has already made his mark at international level,appearing for the national team 11 times and already scoring two goals, which is a good record for a central defender. His aggressive defensive skills and ability to get forward will be an asset for Kerala Blasters for another ISL season, just like in the previous two.
Arjun Tudu (Forward)- Delhi Dynamos
Delhi Dynamos announced the signing of Arjun Tudu in July, 2016. The player who has not featured in a single I-league game, is now on the watchlist for this season. the 25-year old Tudu played in domestic league for Services and helped the team in retaining Santosh Trophy in 2016. He got a chance to be included in the national squad when he was scouted by Coach Stephen Constantine in December last year. Now the striker, who has tremendous close control skills that help him in deceiving the defenders and natural goal-scoring ability, is going to play for the Roaring Lions. He has already scored a goal for the club in the pre-season- a powerful header that won Dynamos its game against Swedeish club Assyriska BK. He could be the dark horse for the Lions this season.
Mandar Rao Desai (Midfielder) – Goa FC
Coming to play yet another season for Goa FC, Mandar Rao Desai has already made a name for himself, with his stylish attitude that has earned him the title “Stud of Goa FC”. The 24-year old left-winger scored 3 goals for the club last season in 15 appearances. This year, the popular footballer has another achievement up his sleeves which makes him a lingering threat for the opposition. Desai, recently got a chance to train alongside with one of the top La Liga clubs, Villareal, for two weeks. The Spanish club wanted an Indian player to test the talent from the country, to which Desai agreed. To train alongside with some of the best European footballers is a huge bonus for the player and he would be hoping that he could ensure Goa FC makes it through the finish line this year and lift the trophy.