Rohan Luthra is set to leave Crystal Palace after more than a decade at the club.
The 6ft 5in Punjabi stopper joined Palace as an eight-year-old and made his debut for the U18s aged just 15. He signed his first professional contract in football with the Eagles ahead of last season.
A multi-talented sportsman, Luthra earned a double-scholarship to attend Croydon’s famous Whitgift School, whose former pupils include England batsman Jason Roy and rugby union players Elliot Daly, Danny Cipriani and Marland Yarde.
The 19-year-old became an English County Schools champion with Whitgift and spent two years playing in the same team as Chelsea and England winger Callum Hudson-Odoi.
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The pair won back-to-back national Independent Schools Football Association Cups together, with Luthra keeping a clean sheet and Hudson-Odoi scoring a hat-trick in a 3-0 win in the 2014 final.
Luthra’s imminent departure from Palace will leave just three professionally contracted British South Asian footballers in the Premier League – Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury, Tottenham attacking midfielder Dilan Markanday and Manchester United youngster Zidane Iqbal.
Leicester midfielder Choudhury is the only one of the three with senior experience.
Wales full-back Neil Taylor, whose mother was born and brought up in the Indian city of Kolkata, left Aston Villa last Friday following the expiry of his contract.
Taylor, who made more than 100 Villa appearances, helping the club earn promotion to the Premier League in 2019, has been linked with a move to Turkey.
“It has been a privilege to play for this football club,” Taylor said in a farewell message to Villa supporters.
Neil Taylor has a message for you, Villans. 👌 pic.twitter.com/XT5E43963u
“At the beginning of that time the club was in a precarious position in a league where it didn’t belong. Four-and-a-half years later the club is in a wonderful place, with owners who plan to take it back to the very top echelons of football!
“However small a part, I’m proud to have been part of that process. Fans and members of staff that have served the club for so long now have a smile on their face and are full of optimism! On behalf of me and my family, thank you. UTV (Up the Villa).”
Taylor’s departure came just four days after Punjabi youngster Arjan Raikhy played a starring role in Aston Villa’s FA Youth Cup final win against Liverpool at Villa Park.
Raikhy made his fourth assist in five FA Youth Cup matches with a pinpoint cutback for Ben Chrisene to open the scoring in a 2-1 win for Villa as they lifted the trophy for the fourth time in their history.
The 18-year-old midfielder was named Man of the Match as he became the first British South Asian to win the competition since Anwar Uddin captained West Ham to FA Youth Cup glory in 1999.
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