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Why Komal Thatal should leave ATK on loan

olive paul
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 01:23 IST

Komal Thatal has already garnered more accolades than most players could dream of in such age
Komal Thatal has already garnered more accolades than most players could dream of in such age

Komal Thatal became the youngest player to play an ISL match when debuted for ATK aged just 17 years and 132 days. Since then, the highly-rated winger has found himself on the periphery of the senior ranks over the past couple of campaigns. In the last two seasons, Thatal managed to get only 589 minutes of competitive action under his belt and things haven’t changed dramatically for him this term under coach Antonio Habas.

In the ongoing season, he has managed to get only six minutes of game time. The India U20 international has shown glimpses of brilliance but he has struggled to establish himself in the Indian Super League, with more established stars like Jayesh Rane, Michael Soosiraj and Balwant Singh blocking his path to the first team.

After the U17 World Cup, Thatal shocked everyone when he refused to join the Indian Arrows setup. While his former U17 teammates gained valuable regular first-team football in the I-League, Thatal remained a fringe player with ATK.

A player in his formative years, Thatal is still a work in progress and not quite the finished article just yet. Playing cameos off the bench and getting the odd start isn’t going to do him a world of good and a temporary move to an I-League club would certainly aid his development.

Loan spells are a necessity in the development curve for all youngsters. Most youngsters, no matter how talented they are, have to go through loan spells before establishing themselves as regular starters at big clubs. Therefore, ATK should make it a priority to send Komal Thatal out on loan to gain valuable first-team experience. If the ISL outfit are looking at him as a player with a big future, then a loan move is the need of the hour.

A short stint away from ATK could go a long way towards helping Thatal progress in the years to come.

Published 16 Dec 2019, 02:22 IST
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