These players have struggled to get minutes under their belt at their current clubs.
India witnessed Hyderabad FC’s historic run to be crowned the champions of the Indian Super League (ISL) a few weeks ago, as the league wrapped up its eighth edition. After months of action in the beautiful game, the focus now turns to things off the pitch in Indian football.With the summer of 2022 around the corner, clubs have already started their work behind the scenes. All the clubs will be keen to fill up their holes by getting in the surplus resources of other clubs.
There are a lot of top-quality Indian players in the league who haven’t received their fair share of chances. The summer of 2022 could be a chance for them to revitalize their career by getting more game-time.
On that note, let us take a look at the top 10 players who could be on the move in this transfer window.
10. Jestin George
After his heroics and a title-winning season with Gokulam Kerala, Jestin made a move to the top division with NorthEast United. Often considered to be a bright prospect, Jestin couldn’t make much of an impact for Khalid Jamil’s side.
He managed to gather game-time of just 215 minutes across the season. Jestin did not make it to the matchday squad on most occasions and was left on the bench when he did. He has just turned 24 and is approaching his prime. Therefore, a move away from NorthEast in the summer of 2022 is something he needs to get more game-time.
9. Sanjeev Stalin
The former India U-17 international returned to India after a short stint in Portugal and signed for KBFC in 2021. He was expected to be a key player for the Blasters given the kind of experience he had gathered over the years. But, the story was completely opposite.
Stalin played just 445 minutes of football for the Yellow Army in the 2021-22 season. Moreover, the presence of the experienced duo of Jessel Carneiro and Nishu Kumar will make it a lot more difficult for him to get game-time in the upcoming summer of 2022.
8. Givson Singh
Givson has been an exceptional talent in the youth setup of various clubs and the national team. His game reading skills and trickery in the middle of the park are his prime assets. Moreover, Givson’s ability to score goals while operating as a central midfielder gives him an added advantage.
But, the wonder-kid hasn’t received ample amount of opportunities ever since his move to the Kochi-based side. In two seasons, Givson has only managed to play around 150 minutes of football, which is a worrisome sign for him going forward. If an opportunity arises, he should surely look for a way out come the summer of 2022.
7. Deepak Devrani
Devrani chose Chennaiyin FC to be his destination from many offers on the table ahead of the 2021-22 season. But, it seems he might give his choice a second thought in the upcoming window. He was expected to be the then-manager Bozidar Bandovic’s first-choice centre-back for his heroics in the I-League.
But, to everyone’s surprise, Devrani wasn’t one of Bandovic’s trusted players and made just one appearance under him, that too in his final game in charge. He only managed to get game-time of 360 minutes throughout the season and should look to the summer of 2022 as his opportunity to depart.
6. Joby Justin
It’s strange how things have unfolded for a top-quality player like Joby Justin ever since his move to the ISL. Joby has experienced a massive dip in his game-time since his move to the top flight, first with ATK and now with Chennaiyin FC.
He found the back of the net consistently during his I-League days and was envisioned to become a hit in the ISL. But, things have only gone south for him. He played just 315 minutes in his debut ISL season and was sidelined due to an injury in the following campaign.
After being away from the action for around 18 months, Joby was still in-demand. But, he chose Chennaiyin FC who did not show trust in him and gave him game-time of just 144 minutes. Justin, 28, is at the peak of his powers and if he wants to make a big name for himself in Indian football, he needs to play regularly. To fulfill his immense potential, he should target the summer of 2022 to make an about-turn and look for projects where he might get to contribute more in terms of game-time.
5. Hitesh Sharma
Hitesh was one of Manolo Marquez’s most trusted lieutenants in the seventh edition of the Indian top division. He experienced his busiest league campaign, as he played a total of 1,060 minutes in the 2020-21 campaign.
He was a regular figure for the Nizams in the middle of the park and received plaudits from pundits all over the country. His heroics even earned him a national team call-up post the ISL season in 2021.
But, this season, Hitesh was not involved in the thick of things for Hyderabad FC. He played just 678 minutes as they went on to lift the title. Hitesh has a lot of natural talent and can become a regular for any ISL team should he switch sides in the summer of 2022.
4. Bidyashagar Singh
Bidyashagar was a hot property in the transfer market ahead of last season after his magical stint in the I-League. He won the Golden Boot after netting 12 goals and broke all sorts of records. It was indeed a season beyond everyone’s imagination for the youngster as he pulled off the unthinkable. Therefore he became a man in-demand in the market.
He chose Sunil Chhetri-led Bengaluru FC ahead of many other clubs and made a move to the ISL, only to warm the bench. Singh was involved in 17 goal contributions for TRAU FC in the previous season but received bittersweet treatment at BFC.
All he managed was game-time of a mere nine minutes across 20 games in five months. Therefore, he could and should seek a move in the summer of 2022.
3. Ishan Pandita
Another season, same old story for Ishan Pandita. The 23-year-old made a move to Jamshedpur FC from FC Goa to get more game-time but failed to do so. He certainly experienced more minutes at Jamshedpur in comparison to Goa, but he is worthy of more.
This season he played 303 minutes under Owen Coyle because of the quality Jamshedpur possessed upfront. Ishan is expected to face tough competition for a place in the starting XI next season too. So, a move away in the summer of 2022 can do him a world of good.
2. Sumit Rathi
Sumit Rathi has always been considered to be one of the best talents India has produced recently. He proved his worth under Antonio Habas in ATK’s third title triumph in the 2019-20 season. Sumit displayed solid performances at the back and won himself the Emerging Player of the Year award. But, things haven’t been the same for Rathi post that season.
The arrival of Indian internationals Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, and Ashutosh Mehta made Sumit a bench-warmer at ATKMB. The 20-year-old played just 61 minutes in the season past, which is definitely bothersome for the betterment of the youngster. Juan Ferrando must make some guarantees to field the promising youngster, else he should look for greener pastures in the summer of 2022.
1. Amarjit Kiyam
The 21-year-old belongs to India’s golden generation. He led the country in its only appearance at a World Cup at the U-17 FIFA World Cup in 2017. But, things haven’t worked out for him ever since his move to the ISL. He first joined Jamshedpur FC but was mostly out of action due to an injury.
Amarjit then moved to FC Goa in 2021 in search of more opportunities, but couldn’t make much of an impact. He then signed for SC East Bengal ahead of last season but failed to get regular game-time, despite being included in the matchday squad. Kiyam has shown what he can do for India on the international stage and it’s essential for him to play regularly moving forward.