Shubham Sarangi, Anirudh Thapa, Sumit Rathi among nominees for AIFF Emerging Player of the Year

Anirudh Thapa v Mumbai City FC

The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has invited the head coaches of all Indian Super League (ISL) and I-League clubs to choose Indian football's Player of the Year and vote for the Emerging Player of the Year award. 

Each coach will be expected to suggest a name for the Player of the Year award. For the Men's Emerging Player of the Year award, the coaches will cast their vote from a list of nominees which includes six footballers - Anirudh Thapa (Chennaiyin), Lalengmawia (NorthEast United), Sumit Rathi (ATK), Shubham Sarangi (Odisha), Vikram Pratap Singh (Indian Arrows) and Sheikh Sahil (Mohun Bagan). 


Thapa has been one of the standout performers for Chennaiyin FC this season. The 22-year-old midfielder was consistent throughout the season as the Marina Machans reached the final and even scored a memorable goal in the first leg of their play-off tie against FC Goa.

NorthEast United's Lalengmawia was one of the bright spots in what was ultimately a disappointing season for NorthEast United. The central midfielder impressed Robert Jarni and nailed a first team spot, putting in composed performances that belied his tender age of 19.

Shubham Sarangi , who played as a striker for the India U17 team, was turned into a full-back by Josep Gombau and the youngster was one of the impressive players for Odisha FC. Known for his pace and physical strength, Sarangi made massive strides as a player this season.

Amongst the Indian Arrows players, Vikram Pratap Singh stood out with four goals to his name. The impressive striker has caught the attention of several clubs in the country with his impressive running with the ball and physical prowess. The 18-year-old has seen his stock rise this season having excelled under the tutelage of Shanmugham Venkatesh who has helped improve his decision making in the final third.

Sumit Rathi 's inclusion in the list is no surprise given that the 20-year-old won the ISL Emerging Player of the Year. He was a constant presence in the ATK defence that played a major role in their title win. The youngster has improved leaps and bounds this season under Antonio Habas and looks a genuine prospect.

Sk Sahil , the 19-year old midfielder, is a product of the Mohun Bagan academy who sprung to prominence under the tutelage of Kibu Vicuna. The Spanish coach made the most of his ability to break down opposition attacks in midfield and handed him 16 starts in I-League.

Bengaluru FC striker Sunil Chhetri won the Player of the Year award in the last two seasons and has won it the most times (6). The 2019-20 season of Indian football several impressive performances by Indian players and we could be looking at a new recipient for the award this time around. Ashalata Devi won the Women's Player of the Year award last season. 

Kerala Blasters midfielder Sahal Abdul Sahad picked up the Emerging Player award for his efforts in the 2018-19 ISL season. Dangmei Grace was adjudged as the Women's Emerging Player of the Year.