Not very long ago, T.K. Jesin was being paid Rs 7,000 a month for playing sevens football in Malappuram, Kerala football's capital. He had not even played for the district then but when Bino George saw him in one of those tournaments, he was very impressed.

George, then the Kerala United FC coach, quickly signed him.

Now, after his recent Santosh Trophy heroics where he scored five goals in the semifinal against Karnataka after coming on as a substitute around the half-hour mark, offers are pouring in for the 22-year-old forward.

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“Jesin's salary was Rs 7000 when I saw him, now ATK Mohun Bagan is willing to pay Rs 22 lakh to Kerala United for his services,” said George, head coach of the Kerala team, which won the Santosh Trophy in Malappuram the other day, in a chat with Sportstar here on Wednesday.

“He is very talented, he has got good speed.”

And Jesin is on a wonderful high now.

“If there is something more than a dream, then this is it. I didn't think any of these things would happen,” said the son of a former sprinter-cum-pole vaulter Mohammed Nisar, an auto driver, from Nilambur.

“After my 10th [grade], I thought my football life was over because I went to a private school and had to focus on academics for two years. Later, I played for college but not for the university or district team.

“That was when coach Bino asked me whether I was interested in joining Kerala United.”

Many doors open

He grabbed the offer and suddenly, many doors started opening for Bino was the Santosh Trophy coach too.

“I played in second division I-League, Kerala Premier League and Santosh Trophy,” said Jesin.

And his five-goal burst made a huge impact and also broke a few records.

“Every time I scored a goal in that (Santosh Trophy) semifinal, I told myself I'd score one more and put my team in a safe position,” said the youngster, who started playing football in his fourth standard.

“There are many offers now, I want to play for a good club.”

Kolkata, the maidan of choice

A few of his teammates are looking at attractive offers too.

“Four clubs are keen on signing Parappur FC defender Muhammed Shaheef and Golden Threads' Soyal Joshy has already signed for Hyderabad FC,” revealed George.

Shafeef prefers to play in Kolkata.

“If we go to Kolkata, we have better chances of playing in the ISL and the Kolkata League and mature faster as a player and gain more experience playing under pressure,” said Shafeef.