The 18-year-old forward spoke about his journey in Indian football so far and ambitions going forward.

Former Indian Arrows attacker Vikram Partap Singh participated in an Instagram live session with AIFF TV on Thursday. The 18-year-old is touted as one of the bright young talents in the country. He was instrumental in the Blue Colts reaching the quarterfinals of the AFC U-16 Championship 2018 in Malaysia. Furthermore, he scored four goals in 14 matches in I-League 2019-20. “When I play on the ground, the only thing I like to do is to score goals. I am the happiest while doing that. So, every time I go to the ground, I go in with the mentality of scoring goals,” Singh remarked.

The forward’s abilities have attracted praise from all quarters. Some even compare him to Sunil Chhetri. Addressing that, Singh mentioned, “It’s my honour. But, Sunil Chhetri is a brand. I dream to become like him. Because we all know what he has done for the country is incomparable. Every time he plays, he looks like he will surely score a goal. I wish to do the same. I admire the way he takes everyone along with him on the field.”

Vikram Partap Singh appeared in an Instagram live session with AIFF on Thursday

The teenager graduated from the Chandigarh Football Academy. Afterwards, he had a stint with Minerva Punjab (now Punjab FC). Later, he was picked by the Indian Arrows ahead of the 2018-19 season. Over the course of couple years, Vikram Partap Singh represented the Arrows in 27 I-League games. Reflecting on that spell, he recalled, “Indian Arrows have had a huge role in my career. It is the best option for young players. The coaching there is excellent. We used to play against I-League teams with foreign players, but ours was an all-Indian team. Indian Arrows provided me a lot of confidence for the senior level.”

The player has garnered plenty of experience of football at the higher level. He also represents India in junior age-group competitions. Pondering upon the difference between the two experiences, Singh stated, “There is a massive difference between age-group and senior level. In age-group, we can take on a defender anytime. But, the senior level is very physical. So, when I went to the senior level, I focused a lot on passing style, one-two and so on.”

Often, concerns have been raised over the lack of young goalscoring forwards in Indian football. Singh’s overall style of play will be assessed on that front too. India U-16 head coach Bibiano Fernandes helped the 18-year-old develop composure in front of goal. “Bibiano (sir) always stressed on not using power in finishing goals. He asked us to focus on putting the ball at the right target instead. He made us practice a lot on that aspect of the game,” he revealed.

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Vikram Partap Singh has been deployed in different positions across the forward line. He is quick, strong, skillful and a powerful striker of the ball. Due to these traits, the youngster can play out wide on the wings or upfront too. “I had been selected as a defensive midfielder for the first time at the national camp. Bibiano (sir) shifted me to attacking midfield. Then I started playing on the right wing, left wing at times. I believed that I should know to play in different positions as an opportunity could arise to play in any slot in the future. Preferably, I will like to play on the right-wing,” he explained.

Further, the youngster heaped praise on his teammates. He claims to have learnt a lot from Amarjit Singh Kiyam. The duo trained together at the Chandigarh Football Academy. Singh observed that the midfielder played with a lot of maturity. It encouraged him to hone that trait in his own playing style. The winger even said, “Anwar Ali is the best player I have played with so far. I have not seen a talent like him so far. His style of play is very unique. I have not seen a defender like him in India yet.”

Moreover, Vikram Partap Singh has set high personal aims for the coming years. Initially, he was asked if he is ready to play for the senior national team. He affirmatively answered that he believes he can turn out for the Blue Tigers soon. “I want to make my debut for the national team soon. At club level, I always think why a foreigner or Sunil (bhai) finishes as the highest goalscorer. So, I want to finish as the highest goalscorer in the ISL,” he signed off.

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