These players can benefit from a move which would allow them more minutes on the pitch.
The Indian Super League (ISL) provides a good platform for Indian players to showcase their talent. The premier league competition of the country has given the stage to many domestic players to make a name for themselves. However, there are a few who are not being afforded that chance for multiple reasons. These potentially great players need more chances to show their talent, but are unable to do so due to being low in the pecking order. Ideally, they should look for a move to the I-League, which will see them get more regular playing time.
The second-tier of Indian football can be a place where their talent will get a good exposure. It can act as an opportunity to develop their overall game and evolve into better players. Keeping that in mind, here are five players who should move from the ISL to the I-League for game-time:
5. Avilash Paul (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Avilash Paul plays for ATK Mohun Bagan. He has been at the club since 2018 when ATK were a separate entity. The custodian signed with his current employers in the backdrop of a title-winning season with Aizawl FC. He was crucial during their 2016-17 I-League winning campaign, which saw the goalkeeper play 17 games and keep six clean-sheets.
Making the move from the I-League to the ISL has not turned out well for Paul. He did not feature in a single game for ATKMB in the ISL 2020-21 season. Now 26 years old, he must look to sign with an I-League club that could provide him with more game-time.
4. Komal Thatal (ATK Mohun Bagan)
Komal Thatal burst onto the Indian football scene after his displays at the FIFA U-17 World Cup held in India. The winger showed glimpses of good ball-control, exceptional dribbling and electric pace. He has been a part of ATK (now ATK Mohun Bagan) since 2018, but has barely managed to play regular first-team football.
In the season past, Thatal played merely 67 minutes of football. The 20-year-old is desperate for game-time to continue his development. Moving to the I-League could be a breakthrough for the player.
3. Ayush Adhikari (Kerala Blasters)
Ayush Adhikari is one of several young Indian players who should be playing regular football. The 20-year-old plays for Kerala Blasters in the ISL, but has struggled to find any playing time. The attacking midfielder only made one appearance late in the season, featuring for a bare 17 minutes.
The Delhi-born player has exceptional quality on the ball and can shoot from distance as well. He needs to look towards the I-League to continue his development. Several clubs could use someone like Ayush Adhikari in order to further their ambitions and vice-versa.
2. Rohit Danu (Hyderabad FC)
Rohit Danu plays for Hyderabad FC in the ISL. Similar to the other players mentioned in the list, he too has struggled to find regular game-time. The former Indian Arrows player was signed by the Nizams ahead of the 2020-21 season, but they only gave him 30 minutes of game-time. Despite HFC giving a break to several young Indian players, Rohit was left in the lurch for reasons best known to the management.
Having said that, Rohit Danu is part of the crop of young strikers of the next generation. He needs to play regular football and look for opportunities at clubs that will provide him with that. The I-League is a perfect platform for Rohit to make a case for himself.
1. Givson Singh (Kerala Blasters)
Givson Singh is also employed by Kerala Blasters. Like Adhikari, he has also struggled to see first-team football. The former Indian Arrows player has represented India at the U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels. The attacking midfielder was only given a paltry 53 minutes across three small cameos to stamp his authority. Some fans are also of the opinion that Givson is not physically adept to flourish in the ISL.
The midfielder has a lot of potential to be a creative force, but needs regular football to develop his overall game. The I-League could be the perfect hunting ground for the 18-year-old. He has previous experience of playing in the competition with Indian Arrows and should do better with a bigger club in the division. He has two goals and two assists in 16 appearances for the Arrows, which is very promising.