India U17 star Komal Thatal reportedly attracts interest from Swedish top-flight club Orebro's representatives
While things haven't been going swimmingly for India's youth football star Komal Thatal, his stock hasn't dropped a great deal as sources now inform that the Sikkimese attacker is being tracked by Swedish top-flight outfit Orebro SK.
Representatives from the former Swedish Allsvenskan runners-up were present at the FIFA U17 World Cup matches and Komal's display in India's first match against the USA caught their attention. Apart from Komal, plenty of other players have also been identified by an assortment of clubs from across the world - mainly Europe - and India's goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem was also closely monitored.
A source close to the club who has done deals with them in the past said: "The U17 World Cup gives smaller European clubs a chance to catch the best players of the future before the big clubs come looking. There are plenty of Japanese players who impressed as well as the African contingent, and since it was India's first World Cup, it gave the world a chance to see what kind of players are coming up in the country. He [Komal] is an exciting talent and will be monitored closely in the next few years by a number of clubs, including Orebro."
Despite making a solitary appearance at the FIFA U17 World Cup after being left on the bench for India's final two group matches, Komal's skills on the ball were a sight to watch on India's World Cup bow. India barely played with an attacking intent during the U17 World Cup and Komal was absent in the games against Colombia and Ghana where the Colts shipped six goals, despite scoring one of their own.
Orebro's interest in the 17-year-old points to the fact that the U17 World Cup has put the Indian stars on the global map. Apart from Dheeraj and Komal, a few other players also attracted eyeballs during the World Cup from watching scouts and representatives. Even Manchester United squads attended India's matches at the U17 World Cup but Komal didn't help himself with his lack of appearances.
Komal has been dropped from India's U19 squad that flew to Qatar yesterday for preparations ahead of next month's AFC U19 Championship qualifiers. India will head to Saudi Arabia for the qualifiers to take on Yemen, Turkmenistan and the host country. His omission from the squad that comprises 13 players from India's FIFA U17 World Cup squad has come as big surprise but the interest shown by foreign clubs means that there is certainly something special about this kid.