ISL 2020-21: Top under-23 Indian players who impressed last season
Ahead of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21), we take a look at the top-five under-23 Indian players who impressed last season.
Of the seven strikes Lallianzuala Chhangte registered at Chennaiyin FC last season, he scored six in the last eight games.
The Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) will get underway in Goa on November 20 when Kerala Blasters takes on ATK-Mohun Bagan FC at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim.
Ahead of the seventh edition of the ISL, we go back in time to take a look at the top under-23 players who impressed last season.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (Chennaiyin FC)
Chhangte enjoyed the best ISL campaign of his career last year as he netted the most goals (7) in a single season. Prior to his spell at Chennaiyin, the winger scored eight goals in his two seasons at Odisha FC.
Chennaiyin FC's Lallianzuala Chhangte struck seven goals for the club last season, the most by an Indian player from open play.
Of the seven strikes he registered at Chennaiyin, the 23-year-old scored six in the last eight games, with goals in both legs of the playoffs against FC Goa.
Mohammad Nawaz (FC Goa)
At 20, Nawaz has made his mark in Indian football. He started all games for Goa last season and kept five clean sheets - third-best only to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Arindam Bhattacharja, both well-experienced figures between the sticks.
Mohammad Nawaz made a quick transition from FC Goa's development team to the first team.
Nawaz's reflexes, ability to play out from the back and high passing accuracy meant he was one of the impressive domestic youngsters from last season.
Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin FC)
Twenty-two-year-old Thapa, who is no longer touted as the future but the present of Indian football, had yet another fruitful season with Chennaiyin last term.
His fantastic ability to read the game, thread those key passes and top-notch work-rate makes him one of the brightest footballers in the country.
Last year's campaign was a season to remember for Anirudh Thapa as he played a vital role in the side's runner-up finish. | Photo Credit: ISL Media
Setting up six goals and netting one too, Thapa was a vital part of Owen Coyle's unit which almost scripted a fairy tale.
Sumit Rathi (ATK Mohun Bagan)
From playing in the second division of I-League two seasons ago to winning the ISL last year, Rathi has had a remarkable journey.
Sumit Rathi won the 'Emerging Player' of the tournament last season.
Now 19 years of age, the teenager started 14 matches for ATK, playing in a three-man defence.
His gritty performance in the backline earned him the 'Emerging Player' accolade, as he put in yet another solid performance in the final against Chennaiyin, being the youngest player on the field.
Suresh Wangjam (Bengaluru FC)
Wangjam featured in the starting XI in six games out of the 11 he played for Bengaluru, helping the Blues with his energy and pace.
Suresh Wangjam joined Bengaluru FC from AIFF's developmental side Indian Arrows.
The 20-year-old's display on the flanks was impressive and his "versatility at such a young age" as teammate Erik Paartalu had said, had been "outstanding".