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Indian U-23 Football Team

Samir Murmu’s inclusion, Abhishek’s reward, and other talking points from India U-23 squad

Published at :March 14, 2024 at 11:31 PM
Modified at :March 16, 2024 at 9:15 PM
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Samannay Sen


Samir Murmu won the best player of the tournament award in Santosh Trophy 2023-24.

As the India U-23 national squad prepares to face Malaysia in a series of upcoming friendlies in Kuala Lumpur, football enthusiasts are abuzz with anticipation, eager to witness a showcase of emerging talent and seasoned performers.

At the helm of the Indian U-23 men’s team stands Naushad Moosa, a former India international presently serving as the assistant coach of NorthEast United FC. Supporting Moosa in his coaching duties are Noel Wilson and Dipankar Choudhury, who will respectively assist and specialize as the goalkeeper coach for the team.

The squad announcement has ignited discussions surrounding the inclusion of standout players like Samir Murmu and Abhishek, alongside other compelling talking points that promise an exciting encounter on the pitch.

Let’s dive deep into the talking points from the squad announcement.

4. Suryavanshi and Vishnu rewarded for their ISL performance

Vishnu Puthiya (Image Source: East Bengal Club)

Abhishek Suryavanshi, the Mohun Bagan Super Giant youth midfielder has made a place in the India U-23 squad after a brilliant ISL season. Suryavanshi was also part of Mohun Bagan’s RFDL and CFL teams and has made a name in Indian football as a notable midfielder. His ability to hold the ball in the midfield zone along with his scoring abilities has earned him a name in the Indian squad.

East Bengal FC attacker Vishnu Puthiya has also been called up for the national squad. Vishnu also had a great ISL season with the Red and Gold brigade army making 16 appearances. His agility and speed make him very hard to catch for the opponent’s defenders. His goal-scoring ability and his sharp runs inside the box will surely boost the Indian team’s attack.

3. Lot of attacking options in the forward line

Parthib Gogoi. (Image Source: ISL)

While in the senior national men’s football team, we have seen very less attacking options, Naushed Moosa will be very happy to see plenty of attacking options in the squad. From speedsters like Sivasakthi, and Samir Murmu to physical players like Gurkirat Singh there stands a lot of variation in the U-23 Blue Tigers.

Another key aspect of the team will be the inclusion of Parthib Gogoi and Isak Vanlalruatfela who are extremely skillful with the ball in their feet and can deliver measured crosses to cause an aerial threat for the opposition defenders.

2. Absence of Som Kumar

In a surprising move, Som Kumar who currently plays a goalkeeper for Slovenian club NK Olimpija Ljubljana did not make a place in the squad. Som had performed well in the SAFF U-20 Championship both in 2022 and 2023. Along with that, he is a regular starter for his current club with his impressive performances.

He also made it to the UEFA European Under-19 Championship squad for his side. After all these performances it is a shock that his name was not included in the 26 probable squad of India U-23. Goalkeepers like Arsh Anwar from Mohun Bagan and Vishal Yadav of Jamshedpur FC have been called up who have hardly played in this current Indian Super League (ISL) season.

1. Only 3 non-ISL players to get into the 26-man squad.

Out of several good names in the Indian football leagues such as the I-League, second division I-League, and Santosh trophy, only three players have been called up for the Indian squad. This decision again brings in a deep question about the value of other leagues.

Samir Murmu from Services, Sanathoi Meetei from Manipur, and Sandip Mandi from Inter Kashi have been rewarded for their exceptional performances in the Santosh Trophy 2023-24 season. While Sandip and Sanathoi had a great Santosh Trophy campaign, Samir won the Best Player of the Tournament award.

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