FIFA U17 World Cup: East Bengal, Mohun Bagan show interest in India U17 players
As many as 12 members of the India's FIFA U17 World Cup squad have signed a deal with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) that will keep them with the U17 national side for a couple of years at least.
Impressed by the performance of these players during the World Cup, the AIFF is said to have already started its future plans for the team and its players, pitting them against the seniors in the I-League, on a regular basis.
Not only that, but a number of these players are set to be picked in the U19 side, as India prepare for the 2018 AFC U19 Asian Cup qualifiers, which begin on November 4th.
However, this does not mean that all the U17 players are compelled to play in the AIFF side. The federation has allowed the players to move to other senior sides, should they get offers from there.
Sportskeeda's sources have confirmed to us that a number of these India U17 starlets have already been approached by a few clubs. Captain and midfielder Amarjit Singh has attracted the interest of Manipur-based football club Neroca FC, Meanwhile, West Bengal-based players like Abhijit Sarkar, Jitendra Singh and Rahim Ali have attracted the interest of Kolkata giants East Bengal and Mohun Began.
Although the 12 players are not yet confirmed, this would come as a huge sigh of relief for players like Abhijit, who was keen on earning money and providing financial stability for his family, be it help from the government or his salary from a professional club.
Then there are also players like India's goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moriangthem, who was the standout player for the Colts in the tournament and also among the top performers overall. All eyes will be on players like Dheeraj, Komal Thatal, Anwar Ali and Boris, who also grabbed the eyeballs of international scouts during the U17 World Cup.
The 12 players that are said to have signed the deal will be tied down by the AIFF. What will happen to the others, though? Will they choose to follow suit like their fellow teammates or will they choose to take the tougher path that will lead them away from India and into top clubs in Europe, where they can hone their skills in a more controlled environment, under a professional setup? Only time will tell.