Young Albion star joins ISL club on loan
ADIL Nabi is off for the adventure – and opportunity - of a lifetime after agreeing to join Delhi Dynamos for the looming Indian Super League season.
The 21-year-old Albion striker has signed a three-month loan to take part in the second season of ISL action which will see Nabi playing against some of football’s biggest names in front of huge crowds.
The Dynamos will be coached this year by the Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos and have also recruited former internationals and Premier League stars John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda.
It adds another “first” to Albion’s long history of cultural breakthroughs as Nabi will become the first footballer contracted to a Premier League club to take up a loan to the ISL.
And it all added up to an opportunity too good to miss for Nabi - who joined the Baggies as an eight-year-old - as he explained before joining Delhi’s pre-season tour of Sweden next week.
“I didn’t really have to think about it for too long,” he says. “The idea appealed to me the moment it was proposed. I spoke to my parents and to people at the club and everyone thought it was an exciting idea.
“I can’t wait. It is going to be an amazing experience. Some of the players who are now going to India are the biggest names in world football and working under a legend like Roberto Carlos is a chance not to be missed.
“I have spoken to the gaffer (Tony Pulis) and he agrees that it can be a great development opportunity for me. To go out, away from all my home comforts, and experience life and different football.
“I will be back at the end of the year when I hope I will have learned as a person and a footballer. My ambition is to still break into the Albion first team and this experience can help me do that.”
Head Coach Tony Pulis said: “It’s a great opportunity for Adil and we will follow his progress closely.
“I’m a big supporter of a young man stepping out of his comfort zone and experiencing another part of the world.
“I think he will come out of it a better, more mature person and as a result a better footballer.”
The ISL has established itself as one of the emerging “boom” leagues of world football and Nabi can expect to ply his trade in some huge stadia watched by attendances in excess of 60,000 at times.
In its debut season, the ISL drew an average of 26,505 attendances – a figure topped only by Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and the Premier League.
The move strengthens Albion’s growing ties with Indian football which began with a series of grassroots initiatives two years ago and most recently saw the Club host an acclaimed reception on behalf of the Premier League for India’s top ISL top executives.
Adil will make his ISL debut on October 4 when Delhi open their campaign in Goa. The season runs until December 20.