Kolkata, Nov 6 (IANS) Irish world cupper and former Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane, who has signed for Indian Super League (ISL) club ATK this season, on Monday said he was impressed with Indian midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh and young talent Hitesh Sharma during the football teams pre-season tune up.
The 37-year-old Keane, a celebrated striker and the only one of six players with 100 or more caps for Ireland, profusely praised Lyngdoh for his “European style of play”.
“Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who plays for the Indian team, is a fantastic player,” Keane told the media here.
He particularly lauded Eugeneson’s control of the ball.
“His cameo on the ball, the way he uses both feet, he is a very European kind of player. I am very impressed with him,” said Keane.
He rated the 19-year-old midfielder Hitesh as “good”.
Keane, who struck 68 goals for Ireland over an 18-year international career, making him the all-time record Irish scorer, also had some nice words for the other Indian players in the ATK squad.
“It is a good mixture between some experienced players and some young players. Hitesh and Eugeneson are only two. There are a lot of players in the squad who are doing very well, and I am very impressed,” he said.
Head coach Teddy Sheringham saluted ATK’s Indian players for the way they were performing and “adapting to what we have been telling them”.
“They have been very, very good. They have been on board for everything we want”, said Sheringham, who earned 51 caps for England, turned out in the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, as also the 1996 UEFA European Championship, scoring 11 goals.
“I have been very impressed with the way our (Indian) footballers wanted to learn. That’s the first thing for a young footballer. Players who want to learn and listen and get better. My players have certainly come on board and done that.”
Sheringham, however, admitted his perception of Indian football was limited to what he has seen over the past three or four weeks with ATK.
The coach said the European and Indian footballers in the ATK have “integrated nicely”.
“We are trying to integrate the Indian and European players. Seems we have got such a great group of European and Indian players. They have integrated nicely. We have a very harmonious squad at the moment.
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