AFC Asian Cup 2019: 5 Players fans would love to see play for India
The Indian National Football Team has been making waves of progress, which has been clearly seen by the rise in FIFA rankings.
After a tediously long qualification process(in which the national team played close to 16 matches in the past two and a half years), the blue tigers qualified for the continental cup, to be held in the UAE in 2019.
In this period, a lot has changed in the team. Around thirty young players were handed their debuts by coach Constantine.
Former mainstays like Balwant Singh made a comeback. The leadership also changed hands with Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Sandhu and Sandesh Jhingan donning the armband.
So as the football fans gossip all about the main players and how important they are to the team's cause, here is a segment about five unsung stars who were excluded from the recently announced squad.
They have made a strong case for themselves in the recently concluded season, and one would love to see them donning the blue jersey in the UAE:
#5 Deependra Singh Negi (Kerala Blasters)
Though all of 19 years, Deependra Negi is a surprise pick in this list. Neither has he played much in the ISL nor is he physically too built.
But prior to his ISL debut, Negi had made a name for himself at the junior levels and had represented India U-16. His noteworthy performances had also earned him a small stint in Europe.
So what is it that is special in him? He had a fantastic ISL debut, where he won the game for the Kerala Blasters. He was lethal in set-piece situations, was freely able to dribble through the heart of the opposition, and had good passing.
His ability to backtrack and play defensively was also encouraging. This type of player can be really useful against the likes of UAE and Bahrain, whose teams have well-built but slightly slow midfielders and defenders.
His pace on the wings and his dribbling skills could prove to be a handful against the West Asian nations. He has a decent height, and could possibly be used as a substitute option to bring pace into a game.