Top 5 Indian defenders in 2017
An exciting Indian Football Year of 2017 is on the verge of conclusion. Two parallel leagues, a FIFA U17 World Cup, new teams in the I-League and Indian Super League, Aizawl's fairy tale and of course, the men's national team's sojourn of being undefeated.
India's undefeated run in the year has impressed the fans and at the defenders at the back have contributed a lot to the same. Sportskeeda takes a look at the top five Indian defenders in the year 2017.
5) Jerry Lalrinzuala
The 19-year-old has had an impressive 2017 as he was handed a debut by Stephen Constantine for the India senior side. After impressing the fans in the Indian Super League last year, and with impressive performances for DSK Shivajians in the 2016-17 I-League. Jerry Lalrinzuala has 18 appearances to his name for the Reds of Pune in the I-League, thus maintaining a 100% appearance record in India's Premier Football Competition.
Lalrinzuala was a part of the AIFF Elite Academy and Bethlehem Vengthlang of the Mizoram Premier League before signing with Chennaiyin of the Indian Super League. He was signed as one of five young footballers to be sponsored on their training stint with FC Metz in France.
He made his debut for the side in their opening fixture of the season on 8 January 2017 against Mumbai at the Cooperage Ground. He came on as a 62nd-minute substitute for Saša Kolunija as DSK Shivajians fell 1–0. At the end of the I-League season, after playing 18 matches for DSK Shivajians, Lalrinzuala earned the Best Emerging Player of I-League award.
On 19 July 2017, it was announced that Lalrinzuala had been retained by Chennaiyin for the 2017–18 season as a capped under-21 player. He got his first appearance for the 2015 Champions in the 2-3 defeat to FC Goa in the opening match of the season. Despite the loss, he was awarded the 'ISL Emerging Player'. He went on to claim the award again against the very next opponent, NorthEast United. Jerry was awarded the 'Hero of the Match' for his brilliant defensive display in a 0-1 win away from home against FC Pune City.
Jerry Lalrinzuala is slowly becoming an established defensive name in the domestic Circuit and in the good books of national team coach Stephen Constantine as well.