India striker Sunil Chhetri is all set to join the national team on loan from his club Kansas City Wizards, it was announced on Saturday.
The diminutive striker will remain with the Indian team — currently training under chief coach Bob Houghton in Portugal — till the Asian Cup in January 2011 and re-join the Wizards after the tournament.
Frustrated at not being able to make his MLS debut despite spending four months with the Wizards, Chhetri said he will be glad to join his national teammates. “I’m excited to join the national team,” Chhetri said. “But I’ll miss Kansas City. Everything was falling in place here, including the big win we recorded over Manchester United.”
Chhetri’s agent Yogesh Joshee said the All India Football Federation (AIFF) and Wizards agreed to the loan deal since the striker was not getting enough time on the pitch with the club.
“The AIFF will pay the club because Chhetri is leaving midway through the contract. But that’s how it is being done for all other players who are in the national camp as well,” Joshee said.
Chhetri will return to India by Sunday and then dash to Portugal to join the national team by Wednesday. “This will allow Sunil to play full-time on a regular basis,” the Wizards said in a release. “This will not only be good for him, but good for us in the future.”