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Indian-origin footballer signs contract with EPL giants Liverpool FC

December 19, 2015 21:40 IST

Yan Dhanda (right) with Steven Gerrard

IMAGE: Yan Dhanda (right) with Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard. Photograph: Yan Dhanda/Twitter

Yan Dhanda has become the first player of Indian heritage to sign a professional contract with an English Premier League club.

The 17-year-old Dhanda joined Liverpool FC's academy in July 2013 from West Brom, and has now signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Anfield-based club.

The Birmingham-born playmaker is the second British Asian with a professional deal in the top league, with Swansea's Neil Taylor being the other.

Dhanda has also played for England at Under-16 and Under-17 level.

The attacking midfielder also won recognition at the Asian Football Awards in 2013 in the up-and-coming player category.

"We don't take a player because he is Asian and we don't not take a player because he is Asian," Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre had told BBC Sport at the awards ceremony at Wembley in 2013.

"It's about finding the best talent regardless of where they come from. You are only going to choose someone and put them in your squad if they can genuinely compete for a place in your first team.

"Yan has a fantastic opportunity at Liverpool. He is a very talented young man and we hope he will achieve the best he can do."

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