Bhaichung Bhutia feels that India would run out of strikers once Sunil Chhetri hangs up his boots, which is a big worry for Indian football. But the ex-skipper also added that the duo of Jeje Lalpehklua and Balwant Singh has done a good job even though they've been affected by serious injuries.
Even though there have been quite a few quality players cropping up in the domestic scene, India have been short of decent goal scorers. That has made identifying a possible successor to Sunil Chhetri a tough job with it Indian football’s biggest problem at the moment. However, Blue Tigers legend Bhaichung Bhutia has admitted that India would run out of strikers in the post-Sunil Chhetri era, however he feels that the duo of Jeje Lalpekhlua and Balwant Singh have done a decent job despite injuries affecting their careers.
"It is a big worry because after Chhetri there is nobody else. It is very difficult to answer why they (strikers in Indian football) are losing their way. Consistency, I think, is very important. Jeje suffered lots of injuries and now his age (29) is also not in his favour. However, Jeje has done a good job. I think it's an injury that is the main reason. Balwant also suffered because of injuries," said Bhaichung Bhutia, to IANS.
According to Bhutia, focusing on strikers from the grassroots level can be an option to fill the void, which should go along with a special training program for strong attacking techniques.
"Definitely, I think. Lack of strikers is a problem. It depends on the clubs because everyone is facing this problem. Yes, there will be (a dearth post-Chhetri). It is a big worry because after Chhetri there is nobody else. We need to focus more on the strikers from the grassroot level. Special training program for strong attacking technique from the grassroot," added the former footballer.