Aitor Monroy: Young Indian talents need more minutes to keep improving
Spanish midfielder Aitor Monroy was an ever-present in the heart of midfield for Jamshedpur FC during the 2019-20 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) season. He played every minute of league football for Jamshedpur last campaign and scored a goal as well as provided an assist. The 32-year-old midfielder recently praised the young Indian talents in the Hero ISL and called for more minutes for the youngsters to improve.
“India has some very good, talented, young players but they need to play a lot more minutes to compete. There are some good coaches in the league as well. They teach a lot, and this is important as well to improve the young talents. For example, in our club we have some very good talents who will play for the national team in two-three seasons. We need to improve with them. We need to try and help them. It’s very important to play and compete,” Aitor said during the latest episode of Let’s Football Live with host Anant Tyagi.
Aitor played with several youngsters at Jamshedpur FC last season and spoke about the importance of guiding as well as supporting such talents. “They are working very hard. It is very important to always want to improve. I know it is very difficult because it was the first season for many of the players in the Hero ISL. Right now, it is important to support them and to try to give them good advice, to try to help them reach the levels they are capable of.”
“There are so many talents in Jamshedpur itself, like Narender (Gahlot) in defence, Amarjit (Singh) in the middle, both very good players. Aniket (Jadhav) is an amazing player as well, very fast and can shoot with the left and the right (foot). (Farukh Choudhary) has a lot of potential. Also, he worked a lot to be 100% fit. I think he was improving a lot playing up front,” he later added.
The Spaniard also explained how such young players can continue their development and urged them to ‘live in the present’. “They have very good qualities and the most important thing is that they have to continue their development. They have to live in the present and they have to give their 100% everyday instead of thinking about the future. They have time to rest later.”
When asked about his favourite youngsters in the Hero ISL, the midfielder pointed at NorthEast United’s Lalengmawia and Chennaiyin FC’s Anirudh Thapa, “One of the best (young) players will be the midfielder of NorthEast United, Lalengmawia. I saw a lot of his games because he was playing in my position. He has a lot of qualities and a lot of determination as well. Thapa is very good as well.”
A reliable midfield general himself, Aitor averaged 62.72 passes a game and made 114 tackle last season. While discussing the qualities required to play in his position, Aitor said: “I think the most important thing is to know your qualities and how to use them. When you are playing on the pitch you need to see the whole pitch and you need to try to be very smart. That is the most important (thing). To be smart and play simple. Do not take too many risks.”