U-17 star Dheeraj Singh catches the eye of international scouts
If there was one good thing that came out of the U-17 World Cup for India, it was Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem. The 17-year-old goalkeeper from Manipur has been touted as India's "find of the tournament" by veteran footballer Baichung Bhutia. With his performances, Dheeraj caught the attention of international scouts representing clubs in Europe and around the world, according to India's goal-keeping coach Paolo Grilo.
Amidst talk of attention from international scouts, Dheeraj was in discussion with AIFF officials which involved his future plans. A decision could be reached next week to see if there are any "genuine interested parties". As its academy product, AIFF is a significant party in his future discussion. The goalie is close to signing a two-year contract with federation to play in the I-League.
Goal-keeping coach Grilo had this to say of Dheeraj, "I had 27 training sessions with him. But if I had this kid for an year, he would have been able to fight for a place in any team with any goalkeeper in his age group." Grilo warned against training in India saying, "If he returns to Indian training methods, he will not make it."
Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem was born on 4th July, 2000 and hails from Moirang, Manipur. He took to football at the age of 11 and quickly rose from local academy level to state level to playing at national stage. He has represented India at U-16 and U-17 levels in 45 matches and was part of SAFF U-16 tournament, 2013 and AFC U-16 championship, 2016.
Dheeraj is fan of Bengaluru FC goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and at international level idolizes former Chelsea legend and current Arsenal player Petr Cech.