ATK winger Komal Thatal has been called to the India senior national team camp by coach Stephen Constantine ahead of the Blue Tigers' international friendly against Jordan which is scheduled for Saturday in Amman.
This was after Bengaluru FC forward Sunil Chhetri suffered a grade one ankle tear in its 2-1 victory over Kerala Blasters last week.
The 18-year-old, who participated in India's maiden Under-17 World Cup last year, has been impressive for Steve Coppell’s ATK this season in the Indian Super League (ISL).
“Komal is a player. When you look at someone the way he maneuvers, runs with the ball, some look manufactured and some look more natural. He is a player. He just turned 18 years of age. As I saw him in the pre-season games and I wouldn’t be surprised if he figures in most of the games this season. He is very much in my plans,” said Coppell ahead of season five of the ISL.
He did feature extensively for ATK, having accumulated 340 minutes of game time. He also scored his first senior goal when he found the back of the net against India’s number one and Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
"Komal did very well for us. He's got energy and he's got legs. He's very skilful on the ball. He likes having possession," explained Coppell.
Thatal is known for his ability to get the better of a defender in tight situations. His best performance in the Indian junior team was when he scored the equaliser against Brazil in the Under-17 BRICS tournament.