By Rohan Puri
New Delhi: Adil Nabi was one of the four high profile signings for the Delhi Dynamos. In fact, when the Dynamos signed him on loan from West Bromwich Albion, the news sent tongues wagging back in England. After all, he was the first player to be directly loaned from the Premier League to the Indian Super League.
Shortly after the announcement, there were reports that there was a commercial motive behind the move. Albion have been trying to build their brand in India for some time now by undertaking community and grassroots work across the country. Some suggested the club had only loaned Nabi to Delhi to boost its profile in India. However, all such rumours were quashed by the club.
Others said it was an opportunity for the 21-year old, who was Albion’s young player of the year last season, to gain some first team experience, something he was denied with the West Brom senior team. Asked about the same and Nabi says, “My coaches at West Brom told me to enjoy myself. They told me to adapt myself to a different style, different country and different football. Hopefully when I go back, I can play in the Premier League.”
The promising youngster, who joined the club when he was eight years old, has scored 26 goals for Albion Under-21s, but is yet to get on the pitch in a competitive game for the first team. The closest he came was on January 12, 2013, when he was named on the bench for Albion’s 3-2 defeat away at Reading. He was also included in the squad that faced Manchester City and West Ham United last year in the Premier League. West Bromwich Albion’s head coach Tony Pulis then included him in his first team.
His stint with the Delhi Dynamos did not exactly start on a positive note. Before Friday’s game, the promising West Brom youngster was struggling to make it to the first team. He just got only 31 minutes of on field action and was an unused substitute for five of the seven matches. “That was something between me and Roberto. I was just adapting to the time zone. Now I am fully fit. Flying from city to city was hectic but now that I have adjusted I am good to go,” he says.