The first ever Hero Indian Super League (ISL) Player Auction will take place on July 10 in Mumbai. The ten players going into the Auction can be labelled as the most sought-after talent in the country. Their performances for the national team as well as their domestic sides have stamped their authority on the upcoming auction.
As the eight teams prepare to fight it out for the ten stars, we give you an insight into the mastery and capabilities of these talents.
We begin with India’s most popular footballer this decade- Sunil Chhetri. Chhetri is India’s highest goal scorer with 50 goals to his name in just 87 appearances. Regarded as one of the finest talents that has emerged from the country, he has made more than a 100 appearances for eight different Hero I-League outfits. The striker has also played overseas with Kansas City Wizards in 2010 and Sporting CP ‘B’ in 2012. Chettri has won the AIFF Player of the Year on four occasions and is one of the most technically gifted players in Indian football, thus justifying his high base price of Rs. 80 lakh at the Hero ISL 2015 Auction.
Karanjit Singh is the second highest valued player and the only goalkeeper to make it to the Auction. The custodian began his career at JCT under the guidance of former national team coach Sukhwinder Singh. He played there for six seasons before making his move to Salgaocar where he won the Hero I-League in his debut season. Karanjit has been a steady contender for the number one spot in the national team, as his performance in the 2011 SAFF Championship winning side would attest.
Robin Singh, alongside Sunil Chhetri, has been leading India’s frontline for the past few years. He may have scored only one goal in national colours but his ability to hold up play and pressurise defenders makes up for his lack of goals. The striker began his career at the TATA Football Academy before moving to East Bengal in 2010 and finally becoming an integral part of Bengaluru FC in 2013. At 185 centimetres Robin is a great target man for any team.
Arata Izumi an Indian midfielder of Japanese descent. The 32-year old made his debut for India against Palestine in a friendly held in 2013. He has featured in nine matches for India thus far after acquiring his citizenship. He started his career at Albirex Niigata in Singapore. Arata arrived in India after being signed by East Bengal FC as their first foreign recruit. He then joined Mahindra United before being transferred to newly promoted side, Pune FC in 2009 – a move which he called the turning point of his career.
Anas Edathodika is a centre back from Kerala who started his football journey with Malappuram U14s, which is a district in the state of his birth. He joined a second division Mumbai FC side and managed to lead the club to promotion to the first division of the Hero I-league. In 2011, Anas signed for Pune FC where he played his best season yet; starting in all 26 games as he became the first Indian and the first defender to win Pune FC’s Player of the Year Award in 2013-14. He will certainly be a stable addition to any backline.Thoi Singh is a midfielder, well known for his ability to break up play.
Thoi Singh is tenacious in nature and provides extra legs to his team, an attribute which is underrated. He is often seen bullying the opposition’s attackers with his muscular presence. Thoi has represented Mahindra United, Salgaocar, United Sikkim, Mumbai Tigers and currently plays for Bengaluru FC. The 24-year old has already won a couple of Hero I-League titles and is yet to hit his peak. A solid buy at the auction.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh is a central midfielder born in Shillong, Meghalaya. He started his professional career with Rangdajied United in 2006 before moving to Shillong Lajong where he finished as his side’s top scorer in 2011-12. Lyngdoh re-joined Rangdajied after two seasons at Lajong followed by a move to Hero I-League 2013-14 champions Bengaluru FC. Lyngdoh created history by scoring Bengaluru FC’s first ever goal in an AFC Champions League qualifier against Johor Darul Ta’zim. The midfielder was named Bengaluru FC Fans’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, as well as being named the Hero I-League Midfielder of the Season for 2014-15. One of the brightest prospects of Indian football, Lyngdoh has also represented his nation on four occasions.
Jackichand Singh is the latest Indian football sensation. He started from the youth team of Shillong- based club, Royal Wahingdoh, and made his professional debut for the senior team in 2011. Since his breakthrough season, Jackichand has been an important member of the team and helped them in winning promotion to the top division of the Hero I-League. The midfielder has been blessed with blistering pace and ambidexterity which allows him to play on both the flanks proficiently. His exploits were the reason Royal Wahingdoh finished 3rd in Hero I-League 2014-15 despite being less favoured in the League. The 23-year-old winger has already made three appearances for the senior national side, and is one of the liveliest prospects at the Auction.
Seityasen Singh is a young winger who plays for Royal Wahingdoh. He made his professional debut for the club in 2011. Seityasen can play on both, right and left wings which adds to his versatility. The 23-year-old winger netted six times in his 23 appearance in the 2014-15 Hero I-League season. This also included his career’s first hat-trick which came in a home encounter against Salgaocar FC. The midfielder has also won three Man of The Match awards for Royal Wahingdoh. Seityasen Singh also made his breakthrough to the senior national team recently, as he came on from the bench against Oman.
Rino Anto is another product of the TATA Football Academy and has been a reliable right back for club and country, with six caps to his name. Anto made his debut in the Hero I-League in 2008 with Mohun Bagan where he played for two years. Rino then signed for Salgaocar in 2010 and was a part of the Hero I-League winning side in 2011. Anto also spent a year with second division side Quartz in their search for promotion to the Hero I-League. In 2013 he became a part of the newly formed Bengaluru FC, and went on to win the league in his first attempt with the debutant club.
With the age of the players ranging from 23 to 30 and a base price ranging from Rs. 17.5 Lakh to Rs. 80 Lakh, the 2015 ISL Player Auction will keep every Indian football fan on the edge of their seat, as the eight clubs fight it out to secure the services of India’s finest.
– INDIAN SUPER LEAGUE Media