Kerala Blasters announced the final squad for the preseason in UAE and an interesting name that featured in the list was that of Abneet Bharati. Born in Kathmandu to Indian parents, Abneet holds an Indian passport and spent his youth playing for Shastri FC and Geylang International FC in India and Singapore, respectively.
In 2014, Abneet was signed by Spanish side Real Valladolid and went on to be a part of their U19 squad. Though he was offered a contract by a Polish first division club, Abneet chose to continue in Spain. In 2017, he signed for Sport Uniao Sinestre, a third division Portuguese club. He played 13 games for Sinestre after making his debut against Sporting Lisbon B under the guidance of Portuguese international Luis Boa Morte.
Luis Boa has described Abneet as a fast, athletic and powerful defender. Abneet, who prefers to play as a center back has the versatility to play in the right flank because of his speed. A ligament injury kept Abneet out of the game last year and he will now be rearing to get back on the field and prove a point. Last year, he was a part of the best U21 Asian XI published by calciomercato.com. Surprisingly, he was the only Indian to feature in that list. With the Indian team looking for a new generation to guard the back four, Abneet under the guidance of Sandesh Jinghan will benefit a lot and hopefully be a valuable addition to both the club and the country.
– Ashwin R Chandran