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Brit-Bangladeshi Hamza rises on the big stage

  • Published at 05:23 pm April 29th, 2019
Leicester's Hamza Choudhury in action AFP

With spectacular showings in recent times, the 21-year-old starlet is already attracting interest from European giants Real Madrid and Barcelona and other top English clubs in the shape of Manchester United and Chelsea.  

The English Premier League has arguably become the most competitive league in football which has managed to attract impressive talent from all corners of the world. Despite having a Muslim population of about 3 million, English football is not known for featuring too many British Muslims or for that matter, players with Sub-continental roots.

However, young midfielder Hamza Choudhury had other plans as he became the first player of Bangladeshi origin to have played in the English top-flight on September 19, 2017 when he came on for Leicester City during the 82nd minute in their EFL cup third round win against Liverpool.

The British-Bangladeshi made his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspurs on November 28 of the same year in front of twelve proud family members in the stands, while his first start came on April 14, 2018 in a 2-1 away defeat to Burnley.      

Born on October 1, 1997, Choudhury belongs to mixed heritage with a Grenadian father and a mother who is of Bangladeshi descent. The player made his debut for the England national under-21 football team in the 2018 Toulon Tournament on May 26, 2018 when he came on as a substitute in a 2-1 win against China while he started for the side in their next match – a goalless draw against Mexico. With six caps for the U-21 side under his belt, Choudhury is being reckoned as a great future prospect for the national side.

A Leicester City academy graduate, Choudhury was reportedly monitored by different European clubs when he joined the academy at the age of 16 and flourished as a captain in the age-level competitions. He was loaned out to League One leaders Burton Albion for a brief while, making his debut on February 27, 2016 as a substitute against Walsall.

On August 6 of the same year, Choudhury signed another loan deal for Burton Albion and on the very same day, he was featured in the club’s first ever Championship game where he claimed an assist in a narrow 4-3 defeat against Nottingham Forest.

However, Choudhury’s odyssey to strive in the top-flight has come to the fore as the player garnered widespread praise after his impressive performance in Leicester City’s 3-0 drubbing of Arsenal on Sunday. The youngster, who was limited to a solitary appearance since Brendan Rodgers took charge, replaced Demarai Gray to start for his side against the Gunners. The decision to include the academy graduate was welcomed by Leicester fans.

This season, Choudhury has appeared seven times for the Foxes, among which his team emerged as winners in five occasions and lost only once. The box-to-box midfielder is yet to score his first top-flight goal.

But with spectacular showings in recent times, the 21-year-old starlet is already attracting interest from European giants Real Madrid and Barcelona and other top English clubs in the shape of Manchester United and Chelsea.   

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