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Scouting Report: Who is East Bengal's bright talent Sayan Banerjee?

Published at :April 24, 2024 at 8:09 PM
Modified at :April 24, 2024 at 10:35 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar

Sayan Banerjee exhibits top character and has the potential to be a skipper at East Bengal in the next five years.

East Bengal have become a breeding ground for many promising young players in recent years and they maintained their reputation for giving youngsters their opportunities in the 2023-24 season. Despite having a wobbly Indian Super League (ISL) campaign, Carles Cuadrat promoted multiple players from their reserve/youth team setup and helped them earn their spotlight.

Sayan Banerjee, an exciting and fearless winger, was a hidden gem discovered by East Bengal in the 2023-24 season. The 21-year-old has shown all the traits of a promising modern winger with his pace and trickery for East Bengal, and covered well for the likes of Nandhakumar Sekar or Naorem Mahesh Singh when they were unavailable.

In this article, we take a deep dive into Sayan’s career so far and his future potential in Indian football.

Scouting Report

Scouting Report: Who is East Bengal's bright talent Sayan Banerjee? ISL
Scouting report of Sayan Banerjee.

Career and Performances

Sayan Banerjee began his footballing journey in his home town of Asansol, West Bengal. He played at the local level in Asansol while pursuing his education and it was during his heroics in the local level where the winger caught attention of Kalighat Milan Sangha. He joined Kalighat in 2022, moving to Kolkata in the process and started making a name for himself with his performances in the Calcutta Football League.

It was East Bengal official Debabrata Sarkar who actually noticed Sayan’s talent and convinced him to join the Kolkata heavyweight. The 21-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Red & Gold Brigade in 2023 and started his East Bengal career. He initially played for their reserve team at the youth level, before his performances also caught Cuadrat’s attention.

Scouting Report: Who is East Bengal's bright talent Sayan Banerjee? Carles Cuadrat ISL
Sayan Banerjee celebrating his goal with coach Carles Cuadrat. (Courtesy: ISL)

Sayan got the call-up to the first team for the 2024 Super Cup, with Naorem Mahesh Singh unavailable due to his commitment to the Indian football team. He made his debut in the Kolkata derby against Mohun Bagan and made a major impact from the get-go, dazzling fans with his brave dribbling ability and speed. He earned a penalty for East Bengal as they won the game 3-1 and moved on to the knockout rounds.

He would then go on to feature heavily in the Super Cup and the second leg of the 2023-24 ISL league stages. In eight matches, he scored a goal – which was a fantastic effort against Punjab FC – their final one of the current campaign.

Playing Style

Sayan Banerjee is an adventurous left winger who can also roam around to the other wing to cause trouble. He is blessed with the ability to surprise defenders with his sudden bursts of speed and impressive acceleration, which allows him to soar past players with ease.

The 21-year-old knows a lot of trickery, being able to wiggle his way out of tight spaces and rush into the key areas. He can also surprise opponents with a wicked long-range shooting ability, as he proved by scoring a belter against Punjab FC.

Scouting Report: Who is East Bengal's bright talent Sayan Banerjee? Liston Colaco ISL
Sayan in action against Mohun Bagan’s Liston Colaco. (Courtesy: ISL)

But on top of his impressive skills, the 21-year-old is also a perennial hard worker who is willing to run himself to the ground. He always runs the extra distance to provide defensive cover and is not afraid of lunging into challenges to win the ball. Sayan can get a bit too physical with his duels at times, but that fiery attitude has made him a beloved figure among the East Bengal fans.

Future Potential

Sayan Banerjee has a similar playing profile as Naorem Mahesh Singh, in terms of being an unpredictable attacking threat and willing to put in the defensive work. The 21-year-old has admitted to his desire to dream of playing for the Indian national team, but he’ll need to polish his skills more to reach his ultimate potential.

The youngster might be blessed with exquisite dribbling ability, but he needs to be more clever in timing his runs better and knowing when to dribble past players. Moreover, he also needs to improve his final delivery to start gaining more popularity going forward.

Scouting Report: Who is East Bengal's bright talent Sayan Banerjee? Slavko Damjanovic ISL
Sayan Banerjee trying to find a teammate. (Courtesy: ISL)

The 21-year-old often gets into promising positions in and around the final third, but he needs to be perfect with his final passes or shooting attempts. Moreover, he probably needs to be calmer with his defensive work and not be so temperamental in the heat of the games. Sayan, fortunately, has time on his side and Carles Cuadrat has already assured that youngsters like him will get more playing time next season.

He needs to build his physique to sustain himself against physical defenders and hone his final third delivery to become the next big winger to take Indian football by storm.

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