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AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 NXGN Power Ranking: Pratama Arhan beats Witan Sulaeman to trophy

12:15 AM MYT 02/01/2022
Suzuki Cup NxGn Power Ranking
Every major tournament produces oustanding talents and new breakout stars and it will be no different when the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup comes around in Singapore this December

Who will be the next Chanatip Songkrasin, Safiq Rahim or Noh Alam Shah?

Football is a game that keeps getting younger and younger, with coaches around the region ready to put their faith in the next generation of talents.

From Luqman Hakim to Sieng Chanthea to Egy Maulana, there are plenty of exciting talents to come out in Southeast Asia, with the AFF Championship being the platform for them to shine and become the next national heroes for their respective nations.

Throughout the tournament, GOAL ranked these players according their performances, before eventually rewarding the best Under-21 with the first-ever Suzuki Cup NXGN trophy.

  • Elkan Baggott

    #10 Elkan Baggott

    Another one with ties to English football, this Indonesian talent is on the books at EFL club Ipswich Town, though he’s currently on loan at National League side King’s Lynn Town until the end of the 2020/21 season.

    At 1.94m, Baggott is a towering presence in the heart of the defence and there won’t be many in the region who could stand up eye-to-eye with him. Having joined up with Indonesia for the very first time to prepare for the AFF Championship, Baggott got his debut in November against Afghanistan.

    Played a crucial part in the win against Malaysia, not only in shoring up Indonesia's defence, also came up with the towering headed goal to cap a fine performance.

  • AFF NxGn Mukhairi

    #9 Mukhairi Ajmal

    This 20-year-old central midfielder has had an outstanding season in 2021, where he established himself as an integral part of Selangor first team, made his senior national team bow against Jordan and captained the Malaysia Under-23 side to qualify for the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup.

    A midfielder in the mould of Frank Lampard, Ajmal is a box-to-box player but definitely excels when he enters the final third of the pitch, timing his runs to perfection to not only be a creator but capable of finishing as well.

    A commendable substitute performance against Cambodia earned Mukhairi a starting spot against Laos and Vietnam but was unused in the game against Indonesia.

  • AFF NxGn Sieng Chanthea

    #8 Sieng Chanthea

    Capped for the first time when he was just 16, Chanthea made his international debut for Cambodia against Pakistan in a 2022 World Cup qualifier back in 2019 in which he was impressive and also managed to get on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win. 

    Currently plays his club football with Boeung Ket in the Cambodian League and Chanthea most recently featured for the Cambodia Under-23 side in the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifier, notching a brace against Hong Kong.

    Played in all four games for Cambodia, receiving the highest of nod from Keisuke Honda. Despite finishing only fourth in the group, Chanthea did manage to get a goal against Laos.

  • AFF NxGN Luqman

    #7 Luqman Hakim

    Still only a teenager, Luqman is already a household name in Malaysia. He burst onto the scene with the Malaysia Under-16 squad and is regarded as one of the major successes of the National Football Development Programme.

    Making his senior bow during the failed second-round joint World Cup/Asian Cup qualification campaign in the United Arab Emirates, Luqman shone where some of his more senior compatriots were a let-down. Pacy and brave, Luqman possesses deadly finishing qualities, too.

    Got the nod up front versus Laos and looked lively, even if he was unable to find the net. But the spark faded quickly as Luqman looked rather anonymous against Vietnam before sitting out of the Indonesia game.

  • Ramai Rumakiek Suzuki Cup NXGN

    #6 Ramai Rumakiek

    A winger by trade, Rumakiek is among the best young wide attackers in the region who creates a buzz every time he's on the ball, looking to beat his markers on the run.

    One of those who made his senior international bow last October during the Asian Cup qualification match against Chinese Taipei, Rumakiek also managed to notch his first senior goal in that match.

    Came off the bench for Indonesia in their thrilling win over Cambodia and scored a stunning goal to introduce himself to the world. Continued to feature heavily as Indonesia powered their way into the final.

  • Arif Aiman, Malaysia

    #5 Arif Aiman

    Only a late inclusion to the Malaysian squad because of an injury to Mohamadou Sumareh, but Arif Aiman's name is the one every fan in Malaysia is looking forward to see in this tournament after what was an outstanding year for Johor Darul Ta'zim.

    Mesmerising on the ball with the ability to dribble past players, Arif adds to that deliveries from wide positions that are a striker's dream. All that plus having a knack of scoring goals makes Arif one of the most dangerous wide attackers in the region.

    Superb against Laos with two assists, Arif intermittently showed his dribbling capabilities against Vietnam and Indonesia but found the going tough in those two matches.

  • AFF NxGN Thanawat

    #4 Thanawat Suengchitthawon

    Born in Thailand but growing up in France, Suengchitthawon is now contracted to former Premier League champions Leicester City, having previously been a youth player at Nancy.

    He had previously turned out for France Under-17, before deciding to take up the chance to play for the Thailand national team.

    This attacking midfielder is yet to feature for the Leicester first team, but has already played three times for the War Elephants as well as turning out for the Under-23 side in the recent qualifier in Mongolia.

    Started slowly but grew into his own with every passing match, Thanawat made himself a first choice in Alexandre Polking's team with some enterprising display as part of the War Elephants' midfield.

  • Alfeandra Dewangga, Vietnam vs Indonesia, 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup

    #3 Alfeandra Dewangga

    Another from the long list of players given their opportunity with the senior national team by Shin Tae-yong, Alfreanda is taking the chance with both hands.

    The PSIS Semarang defender made his international bow in a friendly match against Myanmar back in October as part of Indonesia's preparation for the AFF Championship and secured his place among the first names on the team sheet for Shin.

    Played every single game of Indonesia's campaign and was an absolute rock at the back, particularly in crucial games against Vietnam and Indonesia. Also got an assist for Evan Dimas' goal against Laos.

  • AFF NxGN Witan

    #2 Witan Sulaeman

    An exciting winger who is looking to make his mark in the competition, Sulaeman is one of the many young players in the Indonesian side that coach Shin Tae-yong has decided to give a chance, with the 20-year-old already off the mark in terms of goals for his country.

    Having moved to Lechia Gdansk in the Polish League only in September, Sulaeman will undoubtedly bring to the fray the experience gained from Europe including time spent since June 2020 with Serbian side Radnik Surdulica.

    Started the campaign with an assist for Ezra Walian in the Laos game, Witan proceeded to grab a goal of his own in the same game and subsequently helped created Indonesia's equaliser against Malaysia. Continued to shine in the semi-finals against Singapore, before ending his tournament on a personal high with two assists in the second leg of the final versus Thailand.

  • AFF NxGn Arhan

    #1 Pratama Arhan

    This PSIS Semarang player is only 19 years old, but is widely seen as one of the best defensive prospects to emerge from Indonesia. Arhan is one of those modern full backs who looks extremely exciting going forward.

    Rising through the ranks from Under-19 to U-23 before turning up for the senior team in their recent friendly against Afghanistan, he seems to have impressed Shin to be included in the squad.

    Two assists and two goals in the competition, Pratama was outstanding in the game against Malaysia, consistently bombing forward and creating havoc to Harimau Malaya's defence. His long-range missile goal at the start of the second half helped kill Malaysia's hopes of a comeback.

    Then went on to play a key role in Indonesia's dramatic semi-final win over Singapore to cap what was an outstanding tournament.