FIFA U17 World Cup: Arsenal, Manchester United scouts present in stadium during India vs Colombia game
The players may be fighting it out for glory on the pitch in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup, which is being currently held in India, there is another, more silent battle going on between several top clubs and sports academies, who are said to have sent a number of scouts to the country.
Sportskeeda can confirm that a few of these scouts were present at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Monday, where two matches took place – Ghana vs USA and India vs Colombia.
Though the North and the South American sides ran away with the victories in the end, the Ghana and India players impressed with their performances on the day.
We had already confirmed yesterday that a scout from Premier League giants Manchester United was present in the stadium during the two matches. However, this was not the only scout who was present in the arena at that time.
As many as three other scouts were talent-hunting at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, on Monday, according to sources close to Sportskeeda. The US Federation, Bundesliga club SC Freiburg, and Premier League giants Arsenal were said to be in the stands.
Both Manchester United and Arsenal are clubs that boast of two of the best academies in England, while the youth academy policy of Germany allows the country to churn out quality young football players in abundance, helping them win the Confederations Cup and the European U21 Championship, both with second string squads.
Meanwhile, USA have a sound sports system in the junior levels, which is conducted through their schools and colleges. The athletes, who are often inducted into the sports (football or soccer in this case) teams of the different colleges, are exposed to a professional setup at an early age, something they benefit from, once they turn pro.
While USA themselves produced a scintillating performance in front of these scouts to inflict a 1-0 defeat on tournament dark horses Ghana, India also impressed one and all, despite losing out 2-1 against Colombia.
One player who has been impressive in the in the two matches India have played so far is goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh. However, the two centrebacks, Anwar Ali and Namit Deshpande, were singled out by Colombia coach Orlando Restrepo, as the standout performers of the match.
The India u17 team players also made sure that they treated the scouts with a historic moment, India’s first ever goal in a FIFA world cup match, as Jeakson Singh nodded in a corner at the near post, momentarily leveling the scores with Colombia.
It would be interesting to see whether any of these player were able to impress one of these scouts.