Name: Pritam Kotal
Position: Right back, Left back
National Team caps: 20
Kotal’s attacking forays from right back are his main assets with the 25-year-old capable of bombing up and down the flanks at will. Possessing good stamina and a never-say-die attitude, the Dynamos defender’s overlapping runs can be handy for India in the Asian Cup.
The West Bengal-born player and former Tata Football Academy (TFA) graduate also has a good cross on him and can also play on the left side of the defence when needed
Having had started his career as a central midfielder, defending has not come naturally to Kotal. It was only at the India U19 level that he made the switch to defence and his inexperience in the role shows at times.
An attack-minded fullback, Kotal is also guilty of times at leaving too much space behind. India will need to be wary of counter-attacks down his flank when he makes his surging runs forward.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCE FOR INDIA
At the international level, Kotal has been a steady performer for India and Stephen Constantine ever since he made his debut in a friendly against Nepal in March, 2015.
One of Kotal’s most impressive performance in an India shirt came in the team’s recent friendly away to China. The right-back was part of a back four which walked away with a commendable clean sheet in the historic friendly.
Signed by Delhi Dynamos for a whopping sum of ₹75 lakhs in the 2017-18 Indian Super League (ISL) player draft, Kotal has failed to set the ground running for his club this season. The right-back looked good at the start of the current season with decent performances against ATK and Kerala Blasters but his form quickly went downhill after that.
He was abject in Delhi’s 2-4 defeat at home to Mumbai City and was promptly dropped from the starting line up in the next clash against Jamshedpur FC. Overall, Kotal has made 10 appearances in the 12 matches the Dynamos so far with one assist to his name along with a goal which came in the loss to ATK.