INDIAN INTERNATIONAL SAHAL ABDUL SAMAD is staying at Kerala Blasters for the next 5 years.
The club made the announcement earlier this evening, marking a major show of faith on the 23 year old attacking midfielder.
A youth product out of the Al-Ethihad Football Academy in Al Ain, UAE, Sahal turned heads with his performance for the Kerala state team in Santosh Trophy. In 2017, he was signed by Kerala Blasters, and played in the ISL franchise's reserve side for a season. Next year, he made it to the first team.
He had immediate impact with his performance in the ISL and in 2019 he debuted for the India U-23 side. Months later in May he was signed by the club till 2022, after he became the ISL Emerging Player of the Season and AIFF Emerging Player of the Year. The same year in June, he got his senior national team debut at the King's Cup in Thailand.
So far he has made 38 appearances for the KBFC first team and scored one goal against Chennaiyin FC, apart from notching up several assists. At young age, Sahal has become a fan favourite both with the supporters of Kerala Blasters and Indian national team. This latest contract extension, which is a 3 year period added onto his existing contract till 2022, reflects his importance to the team as well as the fans.
Regarded as one of the top emerging talents in the country, many have pegged Sahal as a long term national team prospect; and him settling down with his club is likely to give him a stable ground as he prepares to reach his footballing prime.