6 Highest valued Indian origin players in the world right now
The talk of Indian origin players donning the national colours has been a topic well heard of over the past few years. While a group of football followers in the country oppose the idea, the vast majority believe permitting players of Indian origin to represent the nation will be a boost in the long run.
Though FIFA policies let this category of players eligible for selection, the Indian government has differing rules. The player will have to move to India and apply for an Indian passport after letting go of his foreign passport.
Various players and coaches, including current national team head coach Igor Stimac, have called upon relaxation of policies. However, any alteration looks far from reality and, India will have to be content with the existing roster.
While the nation has kept the doors shut, the Indian-origin players have fared brilliantly elsewhere in the world. Numerous top-flight leagues have players of Indian descent, taking up vital roles for their respective clubs.
Here, we look at the six highest valued players of Indian descent in world football now.
#6 Sarpreet Singh (Bayern Munich) - €1.0M
On December 14, 2019, Sarpreet Singh became the first Indian origin player to play in the Bundesliga when he came off the bench to make his debut for Bayern Munich.
The attacking midfielder was born in New Zealand and signed for Wellington Phoenix, where he spent four years representing the first team and reserve sides. After impressive stints in the A-League, he was bought on board by German legends Bayern Munich in the summer of 2019.
The 21-year-old was on the bench for a few fixtures before registering his debut and has been an integral part of the club's reserve team. Sarpreet had scored seven goals from 20 appearances and was the team's second-highest goal-scorer in the season.
Though he lacked first-team playing time this edition, Sarpreet is indeed a future asset for Bayern. Judging the performances for the reserve team, it is fair to say that the youngster has adapted to the German challenge.
Next season, Sarpreet is expected to receive more first-team chances and, we might witness an Indian descent ruling the show in Germany.
#5 Yan Dhanda (Swansea City) - €1.0M
Yan Dhanda made the headlines in 2015 when he became the first player of Indian origin to sign a professional contract with Premier League club Liverpool. The midfielder, who was then 17 years old entered into a contract until the end of the 2017/18 season.
At Liverpool, he represented the U-18 and U-23 sides but never managed to leave his mark for the senior team. Dhanda then moved to Swansea City before the 2018/19 season and scored on his first-team debut, against Sheffield United.
From the 17 matches for Swansea City, he has scored four goals and provided one assist. Even with a Championship club, he has not been hitting the ground as frequently as he should. Dhanda was an unused substitute in 12 matches this season and started on eight occasions only.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Birmingham-born move to another club in search of more playing time as his contract with The Swans is to expire at the end of this season.
#4 Luciano Narsingh (Feyenoord) - €2.0M
Luciano Narsingh is a Dutch winger of Indian origin, who plays for Feyenoord club in the Eredivisie league. He was part of a few youth academies before making his senior debut for SC Heerenveen in 2008.
Luciano then plied his trade for PSV Eindhoven, for four seasons, scoring 21 goals from 115 appearances. The 29-year-old then had a stint with Swansea City from 2017 to 2019, his only club outside the Netherlands so far.
Returning to the Dutch league in 2019, he signed for Feyenoord and has scored seven goals from 32 matches in all competitions. In 2012, he made his international debut for the Netherlands at the age of 21 and scored four goals from 19 games. However, Luciano has not featured for the national team since 2016.
He was known for his speed and vision before a serious injury in 2013 kept him out of action for more than a year. However, he made a remarkable return, rising to the limelight by scoring a winner for PSV against Machester United in a Champions League group fixture in 2015.
#3 Diego Biseswar (PAOK FC) - €2.5M
Diego Biseswar is yet another Dutch player with Indian origin, who has earned a name for himself in foreign football. Unlike the other players on the list, Diego was not part of Europe's biggest football houses but still managed to build a decent reputation.
The attacking midfielder was part of Ajax Academy in his early days before joining Feyenoord in 2001. Four years later, he made his senior team debut with the club and continued with the Dutch side until 2012. Though he was sent on loan for two seasons, Diego built the pillars of his career at Feyenoord.
In 2012, the Amsterdam-born made a permanent move to Turkish club Kayserispor, where he played 130 matches and made 43 goal contributions. Diego then put pen to paper when PAOK FC, current champions of Super League (Greece), came calling in 2016.
At the club, he has scored 24 goals and provided 30 assists, thereby establishing himself as a vital presence in the system. Despite being 32 years old, Diego has not shown any signs of stopping and surely has a lot of football left in him.
#2 Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) - €3.5M
Neil Taylor is a left-back plying his trade for Aston Villa in the Premier League. The 31-year-old was with the Manchester City youth teams in his formative years and later joined Wrexham in Wales.
In 2010, he signed for Swansea City and spent six seasons at the club, playing 179 games, before moving to Aston Villa. The best years of his career came by during his days at Swansea, in 2016, when he valued at €6.0M.
From 2017, Taylor has featured in 96 games for Aston Villa but is gradually fading away from the starting XI. He started eight matches this season, came in as a substitute in two, and was unused on the bench nine times.
Though the fullback has a lot of time left in his career, the road ahead with Aston Villa doesn't look long. Dean Smith has preferred young Matt Target in his position and, it would be difficult for Taylor to grab his spot back.
Neil Taylor has played 42 matches for Wales national team and was part of the squad for the European Qualifiers last year.
#1 Danny Batth (Stoke City) - €4.0M
Danny Batth, the Stoke City defender, is currently the highest valued Indian origin player in the world. The England-born is a product of the Wolverhampton Wanderers club, nurtured from the nine years with the academy and youth teams, and six years with the senior side in Premier League and Championship.
Later, before the 2018/19 season, he went on loan to Middlesbrough and then made a permanent move to Stoke City in January 2019.
The centre-back was appointed the captain of the Wolves side at a very young age. Batth was known for his leadership skills and commendable presence, the traits that made him a fan-favourite, at the Molineux Stadium.
With Stoke City, he has missed only three games this season and has been a regular starter in Michael O'Neill's plans. Aged only 29, he is sure to remain on the field for more years.
Danny Batth had expressed his interest to represent India at the international level and had even talks with then Indian head coach Stephen Constantine. However, the passport regulations shut down his dreams, and probably a golden chance for India to bring on board an experienced campaigner.