Making each second count: U-23 stars who played the most number of minutes in Hero ISL 2021-22 season

The Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season witnessed the rise of young players who stepped up and rose to the occasion. Despite their age, they could produce the desired quality on the pitch and were major contributors in their team's success.

Performing throughout the season, these youngsters have made a name for themselves and made every minute count for their respective team. Let us have a look at the most minutes played by players under the age of 23 in the Hero ISL 2021-22 season.

  1. Akash Mishra (Hyderabad FC) - 2026 mins

The flying full-back featured in each and every game for his side, averaging 88 mins per match. Forming a deadly duo on the flanks with full-back Asish Rai, Mishra flourished under head coach Manuel Marquez and adapted to the demands of a modern full-back, bombarding forward and proving to be a nightmare for the opposition. Netting twice and providing three assists, the defender also put up incredible numbers at the back, making 97 tackles, 62 clearances, 57 interceptions, and 36 blocks. In a title-winning campaign for Hyderabad FC, the 20-year-old was one the most important players.

Also Read: Flying full-backs: Akash Mishra, Asish Rai’s cohesive combination fuels Hyderabad FC’s rise to the top

  1. Lalengmawia (Mumbai City FC) - 1770 mins

Guarding the midfield and cutting down the opposition’s play, Apuia took the field on all occasions, averaging 88.5 mins per match. Establishing himself as a starter in the last season for his side, Apuia maintained the level of his game and was undroppable. Paired with Ahmed Jahouh in the midfield, the 21-year-old strung an average of 49 passes per game besides making 100 tackles, 44 blocks, 36 interceptions, and 16 clearances.

  1. Prabhsukhan Singh Gill (Kerala Blasters FC) - 1754 mins

Initially a second choice keeper to Albino Gomes, Gill went the extra mile to cement his place as the guardian in goal for Kerala Blasters FC. The injured Gomes was replaced by Gill in the fourth game of the season and was on duty for the remainder, playing 20 games, averaging 87.7 mins per game. His seven clean sheets resulting in him being awarded the Golden Glove this season is testament to his goalkeeping skills. The 21-year-old let in just 21 goals out of the 68 shots he faced on target. An emerging talent, he will be one to watch out for in the Indian men’s national team.

Also Read: Man with the golden gloves, Prabhsukhan Gill is a star in the making in Indian football

  1. Jeakson Singh (Kerala Blasters FC) - 1596 mins

Another youngster who let his performances do the talking. Playing his third Hero ISL season with the Blasters, Singh enhanced his game and became a starter under head coach Ivan Vukomanovic, taking the field on nineteen occasions, averaging a handsome 84 mins per match. Taking a deeper role in the midfield, the 20-year-old guarded the fortress and was phenomenal in the defensive unit, making 84 tackles, 38 interceptions, 32 blocks, and 20 clearances besides chipping in the attack with three goal contributions consisting of one goal and two assists.

  1. Jitendra Singh (Jamshedpur FC) - 1546 mins

having developed under head coach Owen Coyle who brought him to light in the 2019-20 season, Singh played 19 matches out of a possible 22, averaging 81 mins per match. Contributing to the role of a holding midfielder, Singh clearly showed his attributes on the pitch, proving why he starts each game for his side. The midfielder made 67 tackles, 23 blocks, 19 interceptions, and 10 clearances.

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