The 18-year-old forward has shown glimpses of his promising talent for the youth sides of the national team.
Khel Now takes an in depth look at one of Indian football’s most prodigious talents – Aman Chetri. The diminutive 18-year-old is currently on loan at Indian Arrows from Chennaiyin FC – who hope that he can fulfill his considerable potential and become a regular in their side.
Aman Chetri has represented India at various youth levels and even made his full I-League debut in the season gone by. While the striker is yet to hit his goalscoring stride in the senior side, his performances for the youth teams have been full of promise.
An ACL injury that struck during a tournament in Russia saw the youngster miss out on an opportunity to take part in the FIFA U-17 World Cup back in 2017.
However, Chetri has since continued his development and will be hoping to make his mark as part of the senior sides of both, club and country, in the coming years.
Date of Birth: 26th July 2001
The son of a former footballer, Aman Chetri had the beautiful game in his blood. The striker stood out right from his school days, which led AIFF scouts in Guwahati to pick him from over 300 candidates to be trained in the AIFF Elite Programme.
Chetri began to turn heads with his performances at the AFC U-16 Asian Championship in 2016, scoring from close range in the 3-3 draw against Saudi Arabia.
The striker continued his goalscoring form under former India U-17 coach, Nicolai Adam, on a number of exposure trips in the build-up to the FIFA U-17 World Cup scoring over a dozen goals. These trips included matches in Spain, Germany, Portugal and Brazil to name a few.
However, it was at the Granatkin Memorial Tournament in Russia that disaster struck for the youngster, when he suffered a nasty ACL injury that ruled him out of action for a considerable length of time. As a precaution, he was kept out of the U-17 World Cup squad.
His road to fitness culminated with him making a return to the squad at the COTIF U-20 Cup in Spain in 2018, where he played against some of the best youth sides in the world. Aman Chetri was even part of the team that famously beat the mighty Argentina U-20s.
The next step in his flourishing career was to sign for two time ISL champions, Chennaiyin FC, where he would soon become a regular in the U-18 and reserve sides. The forward scored seven goals in nine games for the Marina Machans U-18 side – a tally that includes a hat-trick as well as a hat-trick of assists.
Later on, Aman Chetri was loaned out to Indian Arrows in the I-League for the 2019-2020 campaign. If the youngster happens to return to the ISL with Chennaiyin, he could be seen as the long-term replacement for Jeje Lalpekhlua, whose injury troubles have seen him become a peripheral figure at the club.
Aman Chetri has been described as a nippy striker with an eye for goal. The 18-year-old possesses a sharp turn of pace and calmness in front of goal that belies his tender years.
The striker was also hailed as India’s leading man at the U-17 World Cup before his injury. While some may have been phased by the pressure that was being piled on him, Chetri flourished, scoring almost for fun at the exposure tournaments.
A large number of his goals stem from his ability to find space in the middle of the box at exactly the right time, in a fashion that is reminiscent of former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, often finding himself with the goal gaping for him to slot home.
Aspects to Improve
The youngster has yet to prove himself on the big stage. His diminutive stature means that he is often out-muscled by bigger and stronger defenders, rendering him ineffective in some games. At 18, Chetri has more than enough time to grow into his frame, but will be looking to improve on the physical side of the game, if he has hopes of playing against the fully developed players in the ISL.
Aman Chetri’s supreme talent means that he, more than most, has his future largely in his hands. The youngster has already shown the mettle it takes to make it in the world of football through his remarkable recovery from injury in a crucial phase of his young career. Now, the striker must begin to perform on the pitch for the senior sides to take his career to the next level.
The comfort in possession and an eye for goal are attributes that could take Aman Chetri to the very top of the game in the country, should he focus on his development and grow into the role that he certainly has the potential to fulfill.