Adil Nabi: West Bromwich Albion loan striker to Delhi Dynamos

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The Aston Expressway to Delhi

West Bromwich Albion striker Adil Nabi has become the latest European-based footballer to make the move to the Indian Super League.

Albion academy product Nabi, 21, is to join Delhi Dynamos on loan.

Aston-born Nabi will play for a side managed by Brazil legend Roberto Carlos and alongside two former Champions League winners - John Arne Riise and Florent Malouda.

"Cricket's the main sport there but football's growing," he told BBC Sport.

"I got a call from my agent asking if I was keen and, over the next few years, hopefully I can help attract a lot more Asian lads to the game."

In 2014, there were only seven players from Asian backgrounds operating in English football's top four divisions.

English players with South Asian heritage
Michael Chopra (ex-Newcastle & Cardiff), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Kashif Siddiqi (Northampton Town), Danny Batth (Wolves), Adil Nabi (West Bromwich Albion), Mal Benning (Walsall), Josh Shama (Oxford United).

And Nabi, whose family roots are in Pakistan, hopes to change that when the new ISL season kicks off on 3 October.

"There haven't been many role models in the past. Hopefully I can help change that," added Nabi, Albion's young player of the year last season.

"Delhi have got a manager who's a football icon. With guys like Nicolas Anelka, Florent Malouda and John Arne Riise over there, they're starting to make a louder noise."

Nabi's chances at The Hawthorns were hindered by the cruciate ligament injury he suffered which ruled him out for almost the whole of the 2013-14 season, just after he had signed a two-year contract.

But, having extended his stay in June, Nabi hopes three months playing the second season of the ISL can help him break into Albion's first team.

"I'm a big supporter of a young man stepping out of his comfort zone and experiencing another part of the world," said Albion head coach Tony Pulis. "I think he will come out of it a better, more mature person."

Make-up of the Indian Super League

Luis Garcia
Ex-Liverpool player Luis Garcia helped Atletico de Kolkata to the inaugural ISL title

Luis García, Alessandro Del Piero, Robert Pires, David James, Freddie Ljungberg and David Trezeguet all played in the inaugural ISL in 2014.

Eight teams will to compete in this year's competition, which will run from 3 October to 20 December.

Last year's maiden victors Atletico de Kolkata, who play in West Bengal, will be coached by Spaniard Antonio Lopez Habas, while two former Brazil stars Roberto Carlos and Zico take charge of Delhi Dynamos and Goa respectively.

Former England captain David Platt is boss of Pune City, while fellow former England international Peter Taylor is coach at Kerala Blasters.

Ex-Arsenal, Chelsea and France striker Nicolas Anelka is at the helm of Mumbai City, whose boss last season was former England midfielder Peter Reid.

Marco Materazzi, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, is in charge at Chennaiyin and Venezuelan Cesar Farias is the coach of NorthEast United, who are based in Assam.

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