Sunil Chhetri is probably the biggest name we have heard who represents the Indian national football team. There is no Indian football fan who don’t know about Sunil Chhetri. Sunil Chhetri began his professional career at Mohun Bagan in the year 2002. He has also play for Kansas City in the MLS.
Sunil Chhetri made his debut for the Indian national football team in the year 2005 against Pakistan and started off with a goal on his debut. So far he has appeared 115 times for the Indian national football team and has scored 72 goals so far.
Sunil Chhetri is the only Indian footballer to appear in the list of top 10 footballers with maximum goals in International level football. Since Sunil Chhetri became the ace striker of the Indian national football team, the Indian football fans never had to look for a backup option.
But now that the captain fantastic is ageing and maybe 2 more years of football left in him, so now the question arise, do India have someone who can continue from where Sunil Chhetri will leave ? Today we try to find someone who may in future be the player to continue the legacy that Sunil Chhetri has built.
The first player who may become what Sunil Chhetri is today. The first player in this list is Subho Ghosh from Mohun Bagan. Last season in I-League, Subho Ghosh made his debut for the Mohun Bagan team and played such an amazing football that he has caught eyes of many football experts and they are already predicting that Subho Ghosh is the player whom Indian national football team has been searching for a decade.
In his debut season playing for Mohun Bagan, Subho Ghosh made a total of 8 appearance for the green and maroon brigade and scored 3 goals. He first appeared for the Mohun Bagan team in the 2019 Durand Cup when Mohun Bagan was playing against Indian Navy on 17th of August. He scored his career’s first goal in his I-League debut against Churchill Brothers.
Subho Ghosh could be an option who may in the future replace Sunil Chhetri, if not, let’s move further in the list.
VIKRAM PRATAP SINGH
Next in our list is Indian Arrows forward Vikram Pratap Singh. So, if Subho Ghosh fails then we have got Subho Ghosh who can be the player who will sit in a position where Sunil Chhetri is now. Vikram Pratap Singh was born in Punjab’s Chandigarh. Last season, he played for AIFF’s development team Indian Arrows in the I-League, but for the coming season he is probably going to play an Indian Super League club in 2020-21 season.
As a youth, he started off his career at Minerva Punjab’s youth academy and was signed by Indian Arrows. He has played 2 season for the Indian Arrows team so far. He made his debut in the 2018-19 season for the Arrows. In his first season in the I-League, he made a total of 13 appearance for the club in which he was able to score 1 goal. But coming into the 2019-20 season, he was all focused and fired up. Last season, he made a total of 14 appearance for the club, one better than last season, and scored more goals compare to his last season. He scored a total of 4 goals in his 14 appearance, thus he caught eyes of lots of Indian Super League clubs as he is rumoured to be joining an Indian Super League side for the coming 202-21 season.
Vikram Pratap Singh is just aged 18 years old and making some good contribution for his team, which has made expert think if Vikram Pratap Singh could be the player the India football fans are searching for.
Next up and probably the favourite to sit in the hot seat in which Sunil Chhetri is sitting now, Ishan Pandita. Ishan Pandita currently is a free agent. Since he started playing football, he has been in Spain all the time. Ishan Pandita holds an Indian passport, therefore he is available to be selected by the national team coach.
Ishan Pandita has been playing in Spain for quite some times now in Spain’s Tercera division. He joined Tercera division team Pablo de Mafumet CF for the 2018-19 season. In that season he just made 1 appearance for the club as he was a 2nd choice option of the club. He played the only game of the season towards the end of the season.
He was brought in as an 85-minute substitution and just 5 minutes of football. Frustrated with lack of game time, Ishan Pandita made a move another Tercera division side Lorca FC. He was featured in a total of 18 matches of Lorca FC in the 2019-20 season and scored 5 goals. His performance of last season has caught the eyes of many Spanish 2nd division clubs and is likely to stay in Spain for some more time.
So these are the 3 players who could be the player, the striker that Indian football fans are waiting for and could take charge of attack of Indian national football team.
BONUS: YAN DHANDA
Here’s an additional option. There has been talking going on about allowing Indian origin players to play for the Indian football team. So, if the Indian government allows then this player could also be what Indian football fans are searching for.
Yan Dhanda is a British citizen and he belongs from Indian origin. Yan Dhanda is a former Liverpool youth team player and currently plays for English side Swansea City football club. This season he has played 13 Championship (England 2nd Division League) matches and has scored 3 goals. While he has also featured in 2 Carabao Cup matches but has not scored any goals. The 21-year-old could prove vital for the Indian national team as he would join the Indian football team having been part of Liverpool youth set-up and the experience he has gained by playing in England.
So these are the probable candidate who we could soon see play as the striker of the Indian national football team in place of Sunil Chhetri.