Delhi Dynamos FC had a mixed season in the ISL this time; they started the season extremely poor but then gathered momentum and played well and got more positive results towards the end. Although their 8th placed finish would not be anything to boast about, they still have reasons to be excited about next season and one of those has been the performance of their youngsters. Some of their young Indian players left a really impressive mark and of those, 5 players-, Lallinzuala Chhangte, Vinit Rai, Nandha Kumar, Romeo Fernandes and Sajid Dhot – are currently in Qatar, for a 2-week exposure training at the reputed Aspire Academy. Dynamos have a tie-up with Aspire Academy and already have Shubham Sarangi, the former India U-17 footballer, currently training with the Academy boys.
Let us take a look at how each of the five have fared in the last ISL season.
One of the Dynamos’ standout performers this season, Chhangte finally had a season where he has lived up to his potential. After a disappointing outing with NorthEast United FC & to an extent with DSK Shivajians in the I-League, Chhangte has been a mainstay in the Dynamos’ attack with a total of 1180 minutes played. He scored 3, assisted 3 more and with 16 key passes, total shots taken count of 23 and with 24 take-ons completed, he was among the best Indian attackers in the ISL this season. One of his outstanding figure that most people overlooked was his defensive contribution- Chhangte helped the Dynamos defend from the front with an average of 14.8 challenges per match
The Chennai lad who was signed from Chennai City FC after he had a great season with them in the I-League has been improving in leaps and bounds. Although he featured rarely in the first few matches for the Dynamos, by the end of the season he was among their best attacking outlet. Even though he has just a solitary goal and 4 assists to show, the fact that he had averages of 1.33 key passes per game, 2.4 successful crosses per game and a shot accuracy of 62.5% is really impressive. A part of the India U-23 team already, it is likely that a senior call-up would not be far away
Romeo has been one of the most promising young Indian players but unfortunately hasn’t been able to fulfill his potential so far. This season too, he wasn’t able to create an impact as big as he would have liked. However, there were glimpses of occasional brilliance during his 12 appearances for the Delhi side. The Goan only had an assist to show in terms of his attacking contributions. With a pass accuracy of 58%, a shot accuracy of 40% and only 5 take-ons completed it is safe to say that it was not a really good ISL for him. Hopefully this trip to Qatar should help him improve and come back stronger.
Mohammed Sajid Dhot
The former India youth player drafted by the Delhi side for a mere fee of 10 lakh rupees, did not make an appearance for the Dynamos for their first 11 matches. However, in the remaining 7 matches, he impressed the fans and pundits alike as he formed a formidable center-back partnership with the experienced Gabriel Cichero. The sturdy defender was exceptional in the air with an average of 4.7 aerial duels per 90 minutes. He also had 17 clearances, 11 successful tackles, 8 blocks and 5 interceptions to his name in his 531 minutes of game time.
Another player, who has put away the disappointment of a poor previous season with his performances for the Dynamos, is Vinit Rai. The 20 year old who last played for Blasters in the ISL and for Minerva Punjab in the I-League was a regular presence in the Delhi side’s central midfield area alongside Paulinho Dias. A fine passer of the ball, he had an outstanding passing accuracy of 85% and an average of 64.76 touches per match, kept their midfield ticking
Having your young players perform at such a high level is something a club at any level would want to achieve. Their performance in the previous ISL season and the faith of the club in them paints a bright and positive picture for Delhi Dynamos FC in the coming seasons.
This article written by our Football Analyst – Mishal M Thanveer