I-League 2017: India U17 star Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem reportedly attracts interest from Charlton Athletic
What’s the story?
India’s star U17 goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem may well be on the move in January, as he is said to be courting multiple offers from top foreign clubs, with the transfer window set to open on Monday.
The Indian Arrows custodian is said to have been approached by Charlton Athletic, a club that currently plays in League One, the third tier of English football.
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Dheeraj had impressed one and all with his performances during the FIFA U17 World Cup, and at the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers after that. His heroics between the sticks are said to have attracted the eyeballs of a number of scouts from top clubs in Europe.
Heart of the matter
After the U17 World Cup and the AFC U19 Championship qualifiers, Dheeraj had signed for the Indian Arrows, a pet project of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), where an amalgamation of the most promising players from India’s U17and U19sides will be playing as a team in the I-League, the top tier tournament in the country this season.
However, the teenaged goalkeeper is said to have had his sights firmly set on a foreign move, and reportedly did not sign a long-term contract with the AIFF. According to sources, Dheeraj’s contract comes to an end on Sunday, December 31, with the keeper.
Now, Dheeraj is said to have received an offer for a trial at League One side Charlton Athletic. Charlton is not the only club that is said to be on the Arrows keeper’s radar, as MSL club Toronto FC is also said to be interested in offering him a trial.
With his contract at the Indian Arrows seemingly coming to an end, Dheeraj looks set to leave India for greener pastures abroad. A source close to the teenaged keeper had previously revealed to Sportskeeda that Dheeraj is more inclined to a foreign move. However, laws in the UK could act as a hindrance to the Charlton move, as there are strict rules with regards to foreign signings.
A foreign move for Dheeraj could indeed be a great thing for Indian football. At the moment he looks to be the next rising star for the national team, and could one day go on to replace the likes of Gurpreet Singh Sandu and Subrata Paul in goal for the Blue Tigers.