India have got some great young talents in their squad who could be viewed as potential weapons for the Blues in this tournament.
Following a span of eight years, India will be heading to the United Arab Emirates to play the AFC Asian Cup. Succeeding in clearing the preliminary stages, the Blues have been put up in a group which consists of Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
There have been several eyebrows raised when Stephen Constantine listed out the squad sheet for this tournament. One was able to expect spring of surprises, with some player being left out undeservingly.
From the shot-stopper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to the talisman up front Sunil Chhetri, the squad is fully mixed when it comes to the experience at the highest level. It will be interesting to see how India’s manager would line up given so many options in all the areas.
In this piece, we shall look at the top five Under23 players who could prove to be vital for India’s destiny in this tournament.
Anirudh Thapa – Midfielder:
Anirudh Thapa is one of the best emerging talents in recent years. Coming through the AIFF academy, the youngster has been hailed for the immense maturity he has shown at the age of 20.
Even though his club Chennaiyin FC is having a dismal season, Thapa has been trying to pull two strings to revive their form. He has the versatility to play anywhere in the middle of the park.
Club manager John Gregory opts him as a defensive midfielder, whereas, Constantine is using him as an attacking midfielder behind the striker duo Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sunil Chhetri. There is no doubt that Anirudh Thapa would play an integral part in the Asian Cup.
Udanta Singh – Midfielder:
Hailing from Manipur, the speedster has been blossoming for his club Bengaluru FC this term by netting three times this season. Operating through the right wing, Udanta is one of the few attackers who have the breakneck pace to beat the defenders with ease.
Udanta is an integral cog to Stephen Constantine plans who view him as an attacker and a supply to the front two. The Bengaluru FC player possesses an immense threat in the final third as he likes to rack up numbers.
He is in manager’s plans and there is no way that he would be dropped from the starting eleven unless something dramatic happens.
Subhasish Bose – Defender:
There is no real clarity about the position Subhasish Bose is going to take up in this side. Stephen Constantine has opted for four centre-halves including Subhasish Bose in the squad and only one left back.
Since Anas suffered an injury, he has been nothing short of a calamity for his club and country. This may pave way for the versatile Subhasish Bose who has the capability to play through the left side of the defense.
After enjoying a great first part of the season as left back with Mumbai City FC, the 23-year-old is expected to feature in the starting eleven.
Vinit Rai – Midfielder:
Vinit Rai is a product of Tata Football Academy which has produced tons of talents in recent years. The midfielder has been one of the promising players for Delhi Dynamos this term, despite an all-around poor show from the club.
The midfielder has a great skill set and imagination to run the show in the middle of the park. Vinit has shown extraordinary maturity which has been lauded by plenty of fans and pundits.
Since the midfield consists of experienced campaigners, it would tough for Vinit to break into the starting eleven. He is expected to be named among the reserves.
Germanpreet Singh – Midfielder:
Germanpreet Singh is another midfielder which makes our list. The Indian International has been pretty much on the slower side over the last year for his club and country.
John Gregory has been let down by some of the poor performances Germanpreet has put in this season. However, Constantine has decided to trust him and he finds a way to sneak into the squad. The 22-year-old is expected to play second fiddle to the midfielders in the squad.