The youngster had been training with the club for some time awaiting a work permit.

Sanjeev Stalin, the 19-year-old defender who represented the Indian U-17 team in the World Cup back in 2017 has signed a two-year deal with Portuguese top flight club C.D. Aves. The youngster will initially join the team’s development squad and must impress with them before a call is taken on extending his stay further.

Stalin is a left-back and is also capable of playing higher up on that flank. He has made 28 I-League appearances for Indian Arrows in his short career so far and has also played thrice in the Super Cup.

Stalin had also turned up 31 times for the Indian U-17 national team and had bagged three goals whilst playing in that age group. Thereafter, he represented the Indian U-20 team on four occasions too. The full-back will now play for Primeira Liga club, C.D. Aves, who are currently placed in the last spot in their league table.

With merely 12 points from 20 matches this season, Aves are most definitely on the brink of relegation. However, they do have chances of a late revival, as they are separated from Pacos Fereira, the club in 16th spot and safety, by merely four points currently.

Official announcement of the transfer by the Portuguese outfit

Stalin played the 2017-18 and the 2018-19 I-League seasons for the Indian Arrows and made a bankable number of appearances for the the AIFF’s development side. He was often marked out as one of the most talented members of the India U-17 squad that had played in the 2017 World Cup. Hence, this move comes as an excellent opportunity for the lad to jump up the ladder and examine his own abilities in a prominent European league.

Stalin initially came into the spotlight when he became a part of the AIFF Elite Academy batch that was preparing for the 2017 U-17 World Cup. India had a disappointing tournament, as they lost all three of their league stage encounters. The only bright moment was Jeakson Singh’s goal against Columbia, which was India’s first-ever goal in the history of any FIFA World Cup.

One of the key facts that underlines Stalin being recognized as one of the top talents from that pool of players is that he was inducted to play in the AIFF-owned Indian Arrows immediately after the event.

With this transfer, Stalin becomes one of the few Indian players who have been handed opportunities to ply their trade in a top European football league.