Indian Football

Indian Football: Sunil Chhetri Hails Suresh Wangjam; Calls Youngster a 'Special Talent'

Arjun Singh Devgan
Sunil Chhetri and Suresh Wangjam are team-mates for both India and Bengaluru FC
Sunil Chhetri and Suresh Wangjam are team-mates for both India and Bengaluru FC / DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/Getty Images

India national team and Bengaluru FC icon, Sunil Chhetri has hailed fellow team-mate, Suresh Singh Wangjam, revealing that he finds the youngster extremely hard-working and that his qualities bodes well for the player and for the country.

Wangjam, who joined Bengaluru from Indian Arrows in 2019 is widely considered to be one of the best young players in the country and was also named the Emerging Player of the Month for December in the 2020-21 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL).

The 20-year-old who was given his senior India debut by manager, Igor Stimac earlier in the year has been a permanent fixture of the side since then, playing in all of the Blue Tigers' 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

"The desire to learn and improve [in Wangjam strikes him]. It’s not a coincidence that he has played in all five games for India [earlier this year, two in Dubai and three in Doha]. That is something I haven’t seen in last 17 years that I have been playing for my country. When a young kid comes, he has to wait for his chances a long, long time. His mentor Gurpreet Singh Sandhu [a light-hearted reference] jokingly says that he had to wait six years to get his first XI jersey," Chhetri said when asked about the youngster.

Chhetri and Wangjam will both next be seen in action when Bengaluru face Maldivian side, Club Eagles in their AFC Cup play-off fixture. If the Blues can beat them, they will join 2020-21 Hero ISL finalists ATK Mohun Bagan, Maldives’ Maziya Sports & Recreation and Bangladesh’s Bashundhara Kings in Group D (South Zone).