I-League 2017/18: Indian Arrows sign Lara Sharma as Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem's replacement
Dheeraj has been linked with top European clubs.
What's the story?
The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has announced its decision to replace the heroic India U17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem with newbie Lara Sharma after the former's contract with the Indian Arrows came to an end last month.
The move is thought to have been taken keeping one eye on the future since the Indian Arrows are the developmental side for the AIFF.
In case you didn't know...
Dheeraj Singh was firmly in the spotlight during India's FIFA U17 World Cup appearance last year, where he pulled off some memorable saves and he gained worldwide recognition. With offers streaming in, the future looks bright for the young stopper.
Dheeraj himself has been rumoured to be considering a move abroad with talks ongoing with top European clubs. Though a contract extension of 3 years was offered to Dheeraj by the AIFF, he had rejected the offer and is now looking for trials at foreign clubs.
The heart of the matter
Lara Sharma has been picked to be the able replacement for Dheeraj as revealed by close sources to Sportskeeda. He was a goalkeeper at the Tata Football Academy in 2015 and also received a call-up to the Indian team camp that took place for the SAFF U19 Championship as recently as September of last year.
Lara Sharma himself hails from Punjab and is widely considered to be one of India's next best goalkeepers at a time when the country continues to invest highly in custodians.
The Indian Arrows currently stand eighth in the I-League table and will hope that their fortunes change soon enough as they look to move up the standings.
With rumours of interests filtering in from top clubs around the world, it could just be a matter of time before another Indian player gets an opportunity abroad to show his true class.