Potential players to replace Sunil Chhetri in Indian Football Team

Sunil Chhetri, Indian Football Team

The Indian men’s national football team is gearing up for a pivotal 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash against Qatar scheduled for June 11, 2024. The stakes are extremely high, as their win would not only secure them the second-place position in Group A but also ensure their qualification for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup to be held in Saudi Arabia. Having said that, Qatar is not an easy team to beat- that is quite evident from the fact that they haven’t lost a single match in the qualifiers! As the fixture against Qatar is on the horizon, here is a look at the top three players that can potentially replace Sunil Chhetri against the Maroons. 

Also Read: Kylian Mbappe’s Journey from a Modest Beginning to a Football Superstar

Rahin Ali 

In the post-match interview following India’s encounter against Kuwait, the Indian national team head coach, Igor Stimac, first mentioned Rahim Ali as a potential successor to Captain Fantastic, Sunil Chhetri. If Rahim Ali receives the go-ahead, he will have to demonstrate exceptional football intelligence in the final third, as India might not get a lot of goalscoring opportunities against the formidable opposition of Qatar.

Ali, a versatile scorer who occasionally plays as a centre-forward for his club, relies heavily on his physical prowess as his biggest asset. While he has frequently been called upon to replace Sunil Chhetri as a substitute, he has often squandered goalscoring opportunities. However, under the guidance of manager Owen Coyle, Ali’s finishing has shown great signs of improvement, a development that could potentially enhance his value as a viable option in the team’s attacking lineup moving forward. 

Manvir Singh

Manvir Singh is possibly the safest choice in the list of players who could be possible placements for Chhetri. Skilled at shielding the ball with his body coupled with pace, makes him a clear prospective no.9. Despite being a little patchy with his finishing, he is an extremely hard-working player and his ability to disrupt the defenders high up on the pitch, can certainly prove to be useful for the Indian team, especially in the upcoming match against Qatar. 

Vikram Pratap Singh

Taking Mumbai City FC on the path of victory this season, Vikram Singh scored 8 goals and provided 4 assists, playing from the left-wing position. The most endearing thing about him has to be his work ethic, as applauded by Igor Stimac. With his tireless work rate and ability to apply constant pressure on the opposition’s defense, Singh has caught the eye of many fans. Exhibiting immense potential at the tender age of 22, his quick decision-making skills can prove to be a potent weapon in the arsenal of the Indian national team.