4 upcoming Indian-origin footballers you've probably never heard of
- From Tottenham Hotspur to Eintracht Frankfurt, several Indian-origin footballers are playing at the highest level.
- These 4 players are not household names, but they are certainly doing very well for themselves.
Many foreign players of Indian origin have fared well in different parts of the world. From the Premier League to the Bundesliga, there has been a distinct presence of Indian talent, albeit indirectly.
While Michael Chopra (who has Indian roots) attracted a lot of attention in England a few years ago, Danny Batth is a respected figure at Stoke City even today. Elsewhere, Sarpreet Singh became the first player of Indian descent to play in the Bundesliga when he did so for Bayen Munich a few months ago.
However, the list of players serving abroad is not limited to the few who grabbed headlines. Several unheralded players with Indian roots have also enjoyed great times in foreign leagues.
Here, we will look at four upcoming Indian origin players you might not have heard of before.
#4 Harpreet Ghotra - Frankfurt U17
If one thought Sarpreet Singh was the only player of Indian descent to play for a German club, one was proved wrong. Harpreet Ghotra, an Indian origin player, born in Germany, plays for Frankfurt's U-17 side in the U-17 Bundesliga.
Harpreet is a midfielder who operates primarily before the defence as the defensive pivot. He has played 1055 minutes in 19 matches this season and has also popped up with one assist.
The teenager was earlier part of the club's academy and got promoted to the U-17 side before the start of the current season. Though the 17-year-old will not be eligible for his current side at a similar time next year, the club would be moving Harpreet to the U-19 category.
If the midfielder can impress through the different age groups, it wouldn't be surprising to see another boy of Indian origin make his Bundesliga debut in a couple of years' time.
#3 Nicholas Prasad - Bischofswerda FV
Nicholas Prasad is a centre-back plying his trade for German club Bischofswerda FV. The player was born in Canada and plays for Fiji at the international level, alongside ATK striker Roy Krishna.
The 24-year-old was part of Canadian academies Whalley SC and Surrey United before making his U-23 debut for the Vancouver Whitecaps. He then moved to American club Seattle Redhawks, where he played 61 matches across four seasons.
Nicholas had short stints with SpVgg Bayreuth in Germany and FC Tulsa in America in 2018 and 2019. Subsequently, the defender joined present club Bischofswerda during the winter transfer window of the 2019/20 season.
Though he has had an unsettling club career, Nicholas Prasad made his international debut for Fiji in March 2019 and has earned eleven caps for his nation. He is a towering presence at the back and has become a valuable asset in defence, especially considering he is more than 6ft tall.
Having said that though, he would be hoping for a better club stint with his current team after numerous short term contracts previously.
#2 Shaan Hundal - Toronto FC II
Shaan Hundal is another Canadian-born player with Indian origins, who might take the footballing landscape by storm in a few years. The striker plays for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Toronto FC's reserve side in the third-tier of US soccer.
Hundal began his youth career with TFC, the club's academy and later joined the reserve side before being loaned out to Ottawa Fury, a Canadian club. He rejoined Toronto FC after a short loan period and was the team's primary centre-forward option for the season which was slated to commence on the 28th of March 2020. .
The 20-year-old has played 84 matches for Toronto FC II in the USL League One and USL Championship and has contributed 17 goals and three assists. He is one of the two centre-forwards in the team and has morphed into a senior player for the side.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Hundal receive the first-team call soon, after having spent four seasons with the club's reserve team. Even if the forward decides to move out of Toronto FC, he is sure to attract interest from numerous clubs, given his vast experience, despite being so young.
#1 Dilan Markanday - Tottenham Hotspur U-23
One name most probable to make a splash on the big stage is Dilan Markanday, who represents the Tottenham Hotspur U-23 team. The 18-year-old plays as a right-winger but has proved to be a good option on the opposite flank and through the centre as well.
He rose through the Tottenham Academy and played with the U-18 side for two seasons and is currently part of their U-23 setup. Dilan, despite not operating as a striker, has been among the goals and has been a constant menace for opposition defences.
In the 2018/19 season, he was the U-18 side's second-highest goalscorer with 11 goals and five assists. In the ongoing season, he has scored three goals and provided four assists from 25 games, even though he has been competing in an age category with physically better players.
In total, the winger has 20 goals and 11 assists to his name from 74 matches for Spurs, across age categories. Thus, if the winger can keep charting his current upward trajectory, it wouldn't be a huge surprise if he turns out for Tottenham in the Premier League in a few years' time.Published 06 Apr 2020, 18:12 IST