At just 22-years-old, Nishu Kumar had already won all the major trophies in Indian football. He won the I-League, Federation Cup and the Indian Super League (ISL) playing for Bengaluru FC and recently made the decision to move on.
Naturally, a section of the football fanbase in India questioned the move, especially because he was moving from a successful club to a team that has been meddling with mediocrity in the last few years. But Nishu wanted to challenge himself, to show the world that he can be a crucial part of an ambitious new project at Kerala Blasters.
"It was a very difficult decision for me. I have won four trophies (including the Super Cup) with Bengaluru and have so many memories with them. But sometimes you have to step up and challenge yourself," Nishu explained to Goal.
"I feel so lucky that I have won four trophies in five years of my professional career. Winning the ISL and playing in the AFC Cup are the highlights so far."
In the digital era, what makes transfers seem more controversial are the trolls thrown at footballers from the social media world. When the transfer is borne out of a bumper deal, such as the one Nishu was offered by Blasters, there is even more scrutiny. Even though there are sly digs aimed at the player here and there, there has been nothing that has been concerning for the young full-back.
He said, "Everyone knows about the fan rivalry (between Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC). But the Bengaluru fans wished me well. I did not get any negative reaction from them. They respect my decision."
It was a choice between staying at a successful club and jumping on board a completely new project. And Blasters made sure that they made an offer Nishu simply couldn't refuse. What could minimise the time taken for the full-back to settle down is the similarity with respect to the football philosophy he is set to come across at the Kochi-based club.
The Yellow Army has chosen I-League champion Kibu Vicuna as Eelco Schattori's successor and the Spanish head coach will bring with him a new style of play.
"In my five years of professional career, four seasons were under Spanish coaches. I love their style, they love to play with the ball. I feel Kibu (Vicuna) has the same style of play.
"Every week, we have meetings. It will not be that difficult to play in his style. From the meetings, it looks like his style of play (philosophy) is similar to what I am used to."
The youngster from Uttar Pradesh has chosen to tread a different path and he is set to face a whole new set of challenges, in yellow from now on.