Name: Anirudh Thapa
Club: Chennaiyin FC
Position: Central Midfielder
National Team caps: 10
A product of the St. Stephen’s Football Academy in Chandigarh, Thapa is one of the most impressive young midfielders in the country currently. The 20-year-old can keep things ticking nicely in midfield with his quick passing and movement. He also possesses an excellent right foot and his set-piece abilities on corners and free-kicks can be a big asset for India in the AFC Asian Cup.
Not one of the most physically imposing midfielders with his diminutive stature, Thapa can be easy to shrug off the ball at times. When it comes to his defensive responsibilities, the youngster can be found wanting plenty of times with his tackling abilities not really up to the mark.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCE FOR INDIA
Thapa has been given plenty of opportunities by Stephen Constantine over the course of the last year to stake his claim in midfield. The young midfielder caught the eye with his performances for India in the Intercontinental Cup triumph and put in an excellent shift in the middle in the national team’s goal-less stalemate against a formidable China.
Thapa impressed one and all with his performances for eventual Indian Super League (ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC in 2017-18 but has failed to repeat his heroics in the current season.
His poor displays in midfield have coincided with Chennaiyin’s evident struggles with the youngster unable to stamp his authority. There have been signs of Thapa’s form improving in the recent matches but the youngster has just one assist to show far so far from his 12 appearances.