As the Indian football seasons comes to a premature halt due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has invited votes for the country’s player of the year from the head coaches of all Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League clubs.
In the last eight years, Sunil Chhetri has won the award five times. The national team captain has been one of the most consistent performers over the last few years and this season has been no exception.
Although Chhetri fell short of living up to the high standards that he has set for himself, the Bengaluru FC man did score nine goals in 17 matches and is one of the favourites to win the Player of the Year. However, a few other Indians have also impressed this season, some maybe more than Chhetri.
Here we take a look at five players who could pip Chhetri:
#5 Anirudh Thapa
Nominated in the Emerging Player Category, Chennaiyin FC midfielder Anirudh Thapa might just go on to win the Player of the Year award due to his assuring performances through the season.
After a poor start to the season, once Owen Coyle came onboard, the Marina Machans turned around their fortune and Thapa was pretty much at the heart of it. Acting as the linchpin in midfield, he controlled the games.
His best, though, came in the semifinal first leg clash against league toppers FC Goa. In all, the 22-year-old scored once and assisted five times, thereby showing just how much he has matured since coming to fore.