This article is a part of IFTWC’s Indian Player of the Season (IPS) series, where we talk about the best Indian player from each club.
Who’s the next Sunil Chhetri? Maybe this is the question every Indian Football Football fan has been asking for quite a while now. As of now, we haven’t seen that spark in any of the national team players yet, but there’s one player in the junior national team who’s capable enough to fill his boots on two fronts: as a player and also as a leader. The young player is none other than Vikram Pratap Singh. IM Vijayan passed on the baton to Bhaichung Bhutia; the latter passed that on to Sunil Chhetri, and if Vikram keeps doing what he does best, then he’s going to be the one who’s going to take the baton from the captain, leader, legend very soon.
The 18-year-old striker played for Indian Arrows in the recent season, and he enticed a lot of Indian football fans after his cutting edge performances for the young side. Vikram had a brilliant season with the Indian Arrows where managed to add four goals to his name in 14 appearances. He did make a lot of difference for his side against some physically tough teams in the recent I-League. There were many players from Indian Arrows who stood out because of their performances. Still, Vikram not only stood out because of his exceptional performance but also because of his leadership quality at such a young age.
Vikram doesn’t seem entirely real. At times he can seem like an adult playing against the under-14s. He’s quicker than many others in his team and also the one’s playing against him. He can dribble past players quickly, has a lovely turn of pace, and has a solid right foot, which makes him a total beast on the pitch. Arguably, he’s one of the best passers, dribblers, finishers and also a great leader in making.
Vikram also led India under 16 team in the AFC under 16 championship where they lost against South Korea in the quarter-finals. Since then, Vikram has been on the radar of many ISL and I-league teams. The role the young lad has played for Indian Arrows in the last two seasons cannot be ignored or stretched up anymore by anyone.
Vikram also gives a lot of credits to his coach, Venkatesh Shanmugam. He thinks Venkatesh has helped him grow a player, and he’s one of the main reasons behind Vikram’s heroic performance in the recent season.
“Venkatesh sir is a firm believer in teamwork, and a lot of the work we did was on growing as a team. In training, we would have drills such as ‘situation games,’ where you have to play with each other’s support. Off the pitch, too, he made sure that we stayed as a group at all times and stood by each other. We developed a powerful bond in the team,” said Vikram in a recent interview.
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Nobody knows if he’s going to continue with Indian Arrows or not. Still, for sure that Indian Arrows have helped this young lad to become a superstar at such a young and with the kind of quality he has got, he can surely take the baton from Sunil Chhetri in the coming days.