These players did not make the list of probables for the upcoming games.

The India U-23 national team will soon be in action, playing in the qualifiers of the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup which will be held in Uzbekistan. The outfit will be contesting the upcoming qualifiers, which are being hosted by the United Arab Emirates. Competition is going to be tough as India have been drawn alongside Oman, Kyrgyz Republic, and hosts UAE in Group E. The matches will be played at the Fujairah Stadium, in Fujairah, UAE from October 25 to October 31.

The list of the probables that will make up the squad came out on Wednesday, 13 October 2021. There are several obvious names which most of the enthusiasts of Indian football predicted to be amongst the probables. However, some notable players are also absent from the list to the shock of many fans.

The following 10 players have been impressive lately and deserved a call-up based on form and talent. Here are the names that were overlooked for India’s squad for the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers:

10. Givson Singh

Givson Singh is a really exciting attacking-midfielder who has previously represented India at the U-17 and U-20 level. He should have been part of the U-23 setup as well, but recently has not enjoyed enough game-time to showcase his talent.

The former Indian Arrows player currently plays for Kerala Blasters in the ISL. He played only 53 minutes in the 2020/21 ISL season and managed 90 minutes once in the recent 2021 Durand Cup campaign. 

9. Sivasakthi Narayanan

He scored against Maziya S&RC in the AFC Cup

Sivasakthi Narayanan is one of the most in-form youngsters currently and is a surprise absentee from the list of probables. The forward plays for Bengaluru FC and recently featured for them in the 2021 Durand Cup and the AFC Cup.

Sivasakthi scored against Maziya S&RC in the AFC Cup group fixture and also added three goals in the Durand Cup campaign.

8. Himanshu Jangra

Himanshu Jangra is one of the many impressive youngsters on Delhi FC’s roster. The 17-year-old is a tall and powerful centre-forward who is becoming a regular starter at the club.

He recently played in the Durand Cup and is representing the club in the I-League Qualifiers. While very young for the U-23 setup, Jangra is a good option in the forward’s role, more like a young Manvir Singh. 

7. Nongdamba Naorem

Nongdamba Naorem is a promising young attacker on FC Goa’s roster. The 21-year-old former Indian Arrows player has 29 I-League appearances under his belt, during which he scored three goals and provided five assists.

He was part of the I-League-winning Mohun Bagan team and has joined the Gaurs ahead of the 2021/22 season. 

6. Ninthoi Meetei

The winger played 13 games for NEUFC in the ISL last term

Ninthoi Meetei has previously played for India U-17 and U-19 teams on the international stage. He was playing for NorthEast United in the ISL until last season.

The winger has signed for Chennaiyin FC and will represent the two-time ISL winners from next season onwards. He played 13 games for NEUFC in the ISL last term and missing out on the U-23 list of probables will hurt his ambitions.

5. Makan Winkle Chothe

Makan Winkle Chothe is one of the brightest upcoming prospects in India, who currently plays for FC Goa. The 21-year-old already has three AFC Champions League appearances under his belt. This sort of experience, playing alongside the toughest Asian teams, sets him apart from other players in the same age bracket.

The forward also played in the FC Goa team that recently won the prestigious Durand Cup. Missing out on representing India in the qualifiers will be disappointing for the former I-League winner.

4. Huidrom Naocha Singh

Huidrom Naocha Singh is one of the most promising upcoming full-backs in the country. He is an I-League and Durand Cup winner with Gokulam Kerala. The right-back has joined reigning Indian Super League champions Mumbai City FC ahead of the 2021/22 season.

The 22-year-old has incredible pace and reading of the game and was an important player during GKFC’s title-winning season. He made 16 appearances for the Malabarians and played over 1440 minutes of football. 

3. Emil Benny

Benny provided two assists in 15 I-League appearances in 2020/21

Emil Benny is another player who made his mark with Gokulam Kerala in their title-winning season. The 21-year-old played with incredible freedom and flair, scoring three goals while providing two assists in 15 I-League appearances in 2020/21.

He also played in the recently-concluded Durand Cup and missing out on the list of probables would be a setback for the winger. 

2. Anwar Ali Jr.

Anwar Ali Jr.’s story is one that inspires everyone. After getting a clearance to play football following a heart defect, Anwar Ali has been impressive for Delhi FC. He was one of the standout players in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup and deserves more chances on the international stage.

He is currently part of the Delhi setup competing in the I-League Qualifiers. A natural leader, he is the skipper of the outfit at the age of 21-years-old.

1. Muhammed Nemil

Muhammed Nemil earned nationwide plaudits recently following his performances at the Durand Cup 2021. The 19-year-old played six games and delivered four goals, in the process helping the Gaurs win the competition.

Armed with a deadly left foot, Nemil can play as an attacking winger or a No.10 behind the striker. He should have been considered for the U-23 list of probables, especially considering recent form.

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