ISL – Chennaiyin FC have reached an agreement with Roundglass Punjab FC to sign Bikash Yumnam


Two-time former ISL Champions Chennaiyin FC have reached an agreement with I-League side Roundglass Punjab FC for signing young defender Bikash Yumnam, IFTWC can confirm.

Born in Manipur, Bikash Yumnam moved away from home at a young age to join the erstwhile Minerva football academy in Mohali, Punjab, to chase his footballing dreams. The youngster rose up the ranks quickly at Minerva Punjab FC (now Roundglass Punjab FC).

He was loaned to Indian Arrows, the AIFF’s development side, for the 2019-20 I-League. After 16 games, the Indians Arrows who are protected from relegation were at the bottom of the 11-team standings. He played nine games in the I-League top tier before it was halted due to Covid-19.

Later on, Bikash established himself as a mainstay of the Indian youth setup by impressing everyone with the steady performances he made in his senior breakthrough in the I-League 2020 whilst on loan ahead of returning back to his parent club.

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Bikash holding the SAFF U-20 Championship Trophy after beating Bangladesh in the final

Bikash Yumnam won the 2017 SAFF U-15 Championship and went on to play an integral role in the U-16 Indian football team which reached the quarter-finals of the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship in Malaysia. India made the quarter-finals, losing 0-1 to South Korea.

It was the only goal India conceded in the competition after consecutive goalless draws against Iran and Indonesia. The quarter-final loss against South Korea meant that India was only one win from qualifying for the 2019 under-17 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The 17-year-old has also played for the Indian National U-19s and U20s teams. He also won the 2022 SAFF U-20 Championship and was also part of the India U20 National team which took part in the 2023 AFC U-20 Asian Cup Qualifiers held in Kuwait later that year.

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Bikash working on during the training sessions

Yumnam might be just 19 but the central defender has the world at his feet. The Indian youngster has blossomed into one of the most exciting talents in world football and an honorable mention in the famed Guardian’s ‘Next Generation’ list is a testament to the same.

For the unversed, the Roundglass Punjab FC defender became the first ever Indian player to feature in The Guardian‘s ‘Next Generation’ list of 2020. The list released by the British newspaper comprises 60 promising U-18 football players across the world.

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Bikash having a laughter during the training session

Bikash was only 17 years old when he joined the exclusive list that featured the likes of Marcus Rashford (in 2014), Dayot Upamecano, Martin Odegaard and Federico Valverde (2015), Jadon Sancho, Matthijs de Ligt, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Kai Havertz (2016), Vinicius Junior, Alphonso Davies, Erling Haaland (2017), Mason Greenwood and Rodrygo (2018), Ansu Fati and Eduardo Camavinga (2019), and many other world-class footballers of the highest level.

The best traits of Bikash are that he is composed on the ball and a great reader of the game. He is also capable of excellent, fast, and long throw-ins. The teenager has already been earmarked for a quick progression to the full international side of the Indian senior national team.

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Bikash during an AFC U-20 Asian Cup qualifiers match against Kuwait

If everything goes to plan, then Chennaiyin FC is on course to sign one of the hottest prospects in Indian Football at the moment. Having someone like Bikash Yumnam on the team will not just improve Chennaiyin FC’s defense for many years, but it will also give them a chance to find a player who can also lead the club to greater heights in the years to come.

On the other hand, Bikash will also be benefitted from this move as he will be getting regular game time in the top-tier league to improve himself against quality opposition players. It will also make it easier for him to get a call-up to the senior Indian National Team since performing well will attract the eyes of the national team selection committee and coach Igor Stimac.

Follow our website for all the latest updates on Indian Football.

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Liven Bose
A die-hard Mohun Bagan supporter and Indian Football fan from Kolkata who dreams of seeing glorious and successful days ahead.

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