Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


ISL: Who were the Emerging players of the previous seasons?

Before the eighth Indian Super League kickstarts, let's look back at the emerging players of the previous seasons.

ISL: Who were the Emerging players of the previous seasons?

The Emerging Players of the previous editions of the Indian Super League.


Sattyik Sarkar

Published: 6 Oct 2021 6:37 AM GMT

The Emerging Player of the League award is given to the best young Indian footballer of that edition of the Indian Super League. The award has been presented annually and players from 4 different clubs have bagged it till now. Some of the one's who have previously won the award have proved themselves on the international platform for the country. It is astonishing to see that most of the emerging footballers belong to Kerala Blasters FC; a club which has built its team this time with young talents. A negative aspect that could be added is that hardly any footballers have won it from the Northern or Western part of the country and even from Kolkata, which is known as the mecca of football. Hence it can be said, the ISL has produced lads capable of representing the country, but the day at least two or three footballers make the judges sweat out before providing a judgment, Indian football will be benefitted. Here are the 7 footballers who have won the prestigious award in the previous editions.

1) 2014 - Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters FC)

A youngster back in 2014, Sandesh Jhingan has played a total of 78 matches for Kerala Blasters FC and has also scored 4 goals. In the very first edition of the Indian Super League, Jhingan was awarded the Emerging Player of the League. In that season, the then 21-year-old played 14 matches for the Kerala outfit and made 42 tackles and 85 clearances. A stout figure and an out-and-out leader in defence, Sandesh Jhingan is currently playing for HNK Sibenik in Croatia after leading the backline for ATK Mohun Bagan last season.

Sandesh Jhingan (Image Source: ISL Media)

2) 2015 - Jeje Lalpekhlua (Chennaiyin FC)

The Mizo sniper, as he is known nowadays, went on to score 6 goals for Chennaiyin FC in 11 matches in 2015. The former Indian national team striker took 21 shots and also provided 3 assists to his teammates. This record, as well as his performance in the second edition of the Indian Super League made Lalpekhlua win the Emerging Player of the League award. Though he was expected to fill in the boots of Indian captain Sunil Chettri in the national team, the second highest Indian goal-scorer of the ISL with 23 goals suffered a lengthy injury and thus, lost his spot in the squad. The current scenario hardly shows any hope of Jeje making a comeback, but as the saying goes, "Never say never again in..." (change the word "transfer market" with football).

Jeje Lalpekhlua (Image Source: mykhel.com)

3) 2016 - Jerry Lalrinzuala (Chennaiyin FC)

Back in 2016, Jerry Lalrinzuala stood out as the youngest footballer ever to be reckoned as the Emerging Player of the League. He was only 18-years-old when he won this prestigious award. In 2016, the defender played 13 matches for Chennaiyin FC and went on to make 21 tackles, 30 blocks and 31 clearances. He also scored a goal and provided 2 assists to his teammates. Last season, Chennaiyin FC extended Jerry's stay at the club and he is expected to take the club to a higher pedestal. Jerry Lalrinzuala made his international debut for the country against Nepal in June 2017.

Jerry Lalrinzuala (Image Source: ISL Media)

4) 2017/18 - Lalruatthara (Kerala Blasters FC)

In 2017/18, a 23-year-old Lalruatthara went on to become the Emerging Player of the season. The left-back played 17 matches for Kerala Blasters FC in that season and made 85 tackles, 14 interceptions, 22 blocks and 59 clearances. He just played 272 minutes in 5 matches for the Kerala outfit in the previous season and has signed for Odisha FC ahead of the eighth edition of the Indian Super League.

Lalruatthara (Image Source: ISL Media)

5) 2018/19 - Sahal Abdul Samad (Kerala Blasters FC)

Sahal Abdul Samad was just 20-years-old when he was awarded the Emerging Player of the League. Currently a fan-favourite, Sahal made 17 appearances for Kerala Blasters FC and scored 1 goal in the fifth edition of the Indian Super League. In those 17 matches, he made 565 passes and had a passing accuracy of 69.55%. The UAE born Indian footballer made his international debut on 5th June, 2019. A skilful trickster at the middle of the park, Sahal Abdul Samad is a regular at the Kerala outfit and is expected to stay here till May, 2025.

Sahal Abdul Samad (Image Source: ISL Media)

6) 2019/20 - Sumit Rathi (ATK FC)

The 2019/20 season of the Indian Super League witnessed the promising performance of an 18-year-old Sumit Rathi. He played 14 matches for ATK FC and made 27 tackles, 18 blocks, 19 interceptions and 115 clearances, as a result of which he was awarded with the Emerging Player of the League award. In 2020, the young defender signed a five-year contract with ATK Mohun Bagan. The number 2 for the Kolkata giants played just 6 matches last season but is expected to get more game-time this season as the club's reliable custodian Sandesh Jhingan has left the club a few months back and joined HNK Sibenik in Croatia.

Sumit Rathi (Image Source: ISL Media)

7) 2020/21 - Lalengmawia Ralte (NorthEast United FC)

Lalengmawia Ralte, also known as Apuia, became the youngest ever captain in the Indian Super League when he led the NorthEast United FC contingent on to the field in the seventh edition of the tournament. In the 22 matches which he played last season, he made 93 tackles and 46 interceptions. He made 811 passes and enjoyed a passing accuracy of 74.47%. His overwhelming performance won him the Emerging Player of the League award last season and attracted many clubs. Just 12 days after the completion of the ISL, Apuia got a chance to showcase his talent for the national team against Oman on the 25th of March, 2021. This season, the midfielder has signed for last season's champions, Mumbai City FC, for a record transfer fee and is expected to improve himself and help the club defend it's title.

Lalengmawia Ralte 'Apuia' (Image Source: NorthEast United FC Media)

Whom do you think will turn out to be the Emerging player this season?

Next Story