Venkatesh Shanmugam: ‘India should hunt for next Jhingan’

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Venkatesh Shanmugam, the assistant coach of Indian Senior Football National Team says that Sandesh Jhingan should play outside India in International clubs. Shanmugam believes its perfect moment for the 27-year old center-back.

Venkatesh on Jhingan ‘s move abroad (in conversation with AIFF TV):

“I strongly feel this is the right time for him to go and play outside India. It’s a big surprise that he is still playing in India. Whatever Sandesh has achieved so far is entirely because of his hard work. Sandesh is a committed player and wants to play every game. He is a fighter and is up for everything. He is a leader and very patient. We need characters like him in the team,” Venkatesh stated.

“There are many players with great potential. When people ask how we can make the Indian team better — I would say that more players should play for clubs outside India. And for Sandesh, I think this the right time,” – the assistant coach mentioned.

“Not only Sandesh, but also Anirudh Thapa has the potential to play outside India. They are good enough. By mentioning outside India, I am not always hinting at European leagues. I only hope 8-9 players go out and play – maybe in the J-League, the league in the UAE, the K-League, or elsewhere.” – Venkatesh added.

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Venkatesh on the Indian defender receiving offers from Asian Leagues:

“Mahesh Gawli, Jules Alberto, myself – we all received offers to play outside. I had an offer from a J-League 2nd division league. But somehow, I didn’t take the plunge. We lacked adequate knowledge. But you need to look at Gurpreet and the manner he has improved after playing in Europe. The knowledge a player gets playing outside is immense,” – the former midfielder felt.

“I always encourage players to commit mistakes. Sometimes, they stay shy of playing freely. But it doesn’t help them grow. Unless you commit mistakes, you won’t learn. Everyone wants to see how we can improve. If these boys go out, they’ll learn and that’ll, in turn, help the National Team improve.” – Venkatesh said.

He also moved to the level of suggesting it’s time to hunt for a substitute for a defender like Sandesh.

Sandesh Jhingan won the AIFF emerging player of the year award in 2014 and debuted for the national side in 2015. Currently, he holds the record for the greatest number of appearances for Kerala Blasters. The Chandigarh native has been crucial part of the Kerala Blasters who finished as runner-ups twice in 2014 and 2016. However, Jhingan has turned 27, and India needs another player like him mentions Venkatesh.

“Everyone talks about who will be the next Sunil. But after 4-5 years we need to make sure that we have the next Sandesh as well because he is an integral part of Indian Football. We need to monitor the young players from now so that they put in an effort and reach that level of success.”

Also read: Nishu Kumar: ‘Everyone wants to play for Kerala Blasters’

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