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Who Can Replace Sunil Chhetri In The Indian Football Team?

The striker position in the Indian football team is one that has remain untouched ever since 2005 when a 20-year-old Sunil Chhetri made his way into the team which is why the all-important question arises, who will take up the mantle after Chhetri's final game? The Indian footballing scene has grown so accustomed to having the country's leading top scorer up front that there are no out and out strikers left. A majority of the teams in the ISL have foreign center forwards to make up for the lack of goal scorers in the country.

"I think it's time for our country to see the next number 9. It is time we build on it. Already we are a little bit handicapped because a lot of players and a lot of my national team boys do not play as number nine for their clubs and that's a different topic we can talk about. At Least now, when I am not going to be there, I am pretty sure a lot of them are going to step up and they will need time," said Sunil Chhetri in his announcement.

The first two names that come to mind when thinking about India's hunt for the next number nine are the Mumbai City FC duo, Lallianzuala Chhangte and young breakout star Vikram Partap Singh. The two combined for three goals in stoppage time in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Indian Super League to come back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against FC Goa.

Following Chhetri's departure, Indian football urgently needs to figure out where the goals will come from and 26-year-old Chhangte might be the short-term answer. He has been lighting up the wing with his pace, skills and technical ability. He scored 10 goals and provided six assists in this edition of the Indian Super League. A false nine situation may be better suited to his abilities.

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