The league has once again thrown up many impressive youngsters who have shown maturity beyond their years.
The fifth edition of the Indian Super League is now well underway; the new hierarchy of teams is now beginning to take form. The ISL was started so as to give the youth of the nation an international platform on which they could perform and work together to improve the quality of Indian football for future generations.
In the early parts of the 2018-2019 season, several youngsters have made their presence felt for their respective sides. We at Khel Now have compiled a list of the top five most impressive youngsters in the first fortnight of the season.
5. Gourav Mukhi- Jamshedpur FC
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Watch: Gourav Mukhi scores against Bengaluru FC
Amidst widespread controversy over his actual age, the alleged 16-year-old, Mukhi, currently holds the record for being the youngest goalscorer in the history of the ISL, following his strike against Bengaluru FC. He has the likes of Tim Cahill at Jamshedpur FC from whom he can draw inspiration as he embarks on his footballing journey.
4. Vinit Rai- Delhi Dynamos
The baby-faced 20-year-old has been the Delhi Dynamos’ go-to man in midfield with his ability to keep a game ticking over with quick but simple passing. Rai came off the bench against FC Pune City, in his side’s 1-1 draw and quickly made an impact. The young man will soon be a regular for the Dynamos and maybe even for his national side.
3. Mohammad Rakip- Kerala Blasters
Rakip has been a revelation under David James
The Manipuri defender plies his trade for Kerala Blasters in the ISL and was a surprise starter for David James’ side this season. The 18-year-old has started both of Kerala’s opening games and has shown maturity far beyond his years in his performances and looks set to keep his place in the side. Rakip can draw on the experience of Sandesh Jinghan, which will help him build his career in the game.
2. Pranjal Bhumij- Mumbai City
Pranjal scored an impressive goal against Kerala Blasters
The 19-year-old has been deployed out on the wing, rather than in his preferred central striking position for his side, Mumbai City this season. Bhumij has scored one goal in his side’s opening two games and has looked a constant threat to opposition defenders. The youngster will be looking to kick on from this here and stake a claim for a consistent starting place in the side.
1. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem- Kerala Blasters
Dheeraj has been a worthy character under the bars for Kerala Blasters
The young goalkeeper has started both of Kerala’s opening games and has impressed on both occasions, keeping a clean sheet in his first outing. The 18-year-old was one of the standout performers in India’s FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign and could soon be challenging for the #1 spot in the Indian national side, on the back of his impressive club performances.