When names like Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry, Zinedine Zidane or Kun Aguero pop up, all we call to mind is the amazing skill-set they offer on field, presence of mind and the impossible goals scored but one thing that is common between them and all the greats of football is, is that they all started young.
Here is a list of the ten best prodigies in the making or the future stars to look out for and catching a glimpse of them while they are still young. It includes players in their teens or early twenties who have made an impact for their country and clubs and behold a bright future. The main criterion being the skill, mindset and the potential these players have to offer. To all the fifa junkies, this list might provide you with some players to scout for.
- Paulo Dybala
Age: 22 (15th Nov. 1993)
Club: Juventus #21
With the veteran Argentinean striker Carlos Tevez leaving Juventus an ideal replacement was required, in came another argentine to fill his boots, Paulo Dybala. Juventus bought the youngster from the southern rivals Palemro at the start of the season and he has not taken any time to settle. Once he got rolling, it was hard to slow him down, whenever it looked like he might be cooling off just a little bit, he would go on to score another goal or two just to make all of those worries go flying out the window. At the age of 22 the potential Dybala boasts could make him the cornerstone of the club’s future.
- Kingsley Coman
Age: 19 (13 Jun. 1996)
Club: Bayern Munchen #29 (on loan from Juventus)
Kingsley Coman is a young player gifted with speed, he can outpace defenders with ease thus, provides a very tough job for the wing-backs as they have to keep a constant eye behind their neck to look for his run. He moved to Juventus from PSG and is now on loan to the German giants Bayern with contract expiring at the end of next season. Coman has been performing well for Bayern Munich with the attacking set up that has been provided to him by Pep Guardiola and, with players like Muller, Robben, Lewandowski, Costa surrounding him on the pitch the growth potential is huge.
- Alex Oxlade Chamberlain
Age: 22 (15th Aug. 1993)
Club: Arsenal #15
Alex Oxlade Chamberlain is a ferocious attacking midfielder with a lot of pace in his armory, he can get on the back of the defenders very quickly with his pace and acceleration. Sadly for him he has not been getting a lot of first team football in his present club. The talent of the gunner has not gone unnoticed though; clubs like Southampton, Liverpool and Manchester City have shown interest in signing the speedster at the end of the season and have been rumored to pay high for the winger. The 22 year old is a bucket full of talent to work with once he gets more minutes on the pitch.
- Hakan Calhanoglu
Age: 22 (8th Feb. 1994)
Club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen #10
Hakan Calhanoglu has scored eight goals in 39 matches this season so far with five assists for Bayer Leverkusen, he is an instinctive attacking no.10, a creative playmaker and can jog back to the defensive duties as well once in a while. Calhanoglu can also be linked to the Arsenal star Mesut Özil with respect to his style of play. The midfielder has an exceptional skill set when it comes to scoring free kicks, and is no doubt the finest set-piece taker in the present time. He is certainly a bright future.
- Riyad Mahrez
Age: 25 (21st Feb. 1991)
Club: Leicester City #26
The Algerian is a skillful midfielder who is very creative and can dribble off a defender or two with ease. He has empecable ball control and is a fine reader of the game. Mahrez has had a dream season at Leicester this year, he scored a whopping 16 goals and made 11 assists so far. He is a nominee for the Player of the Season award this time around and is a strong contender, as his efforts have been pivotal in the success of Leicester’s season so far. It won’t be a surprise if the big money clubs like Manchester United and Barcelona go in the market chasing the young midfielder in the summer transfer window.
- Hecter Bellerin
Age: 21 (19th Mar. 1995)
Club: Arsenal #39
Hecter is a young and quick defender, he is the fastest player to have ever played for Arsenal; his runs are electric, having a faster acceleration than that of Usain Bolt! Usain Bolt broke the 100m world record in 2009, it took him 4.64 seconds to run the first 40m, Hector Bellerin ran the same distance in 4.41 seconds, that’s an impressive head start past the opposition defenders. He has been very impactful at Arsenal this season, a dependable defender and can also chip in with a few attacks through the back channels with his speed in the opposition half.
- Bamidele Alli
Age: 20 (11th Apr. 1996)
Club: Tottenham Hotspur #20
Alli was named the Football League’s, Young Player of the Year having scored 16 goals in a stellar campaign at MK Dons in the last season. Unsurprisingly, in the following transfer window Spurs signed the youngster and got him at white hart lane. The 20-year-old has not looked back; he’s been a key figure in Tottenham’s premier league title charge this season netting 10 goals and 9 assists so far. There is not a lot the talented midfielder cannot do; he’s got terrific ball control, he can take a venomous shot from distance and pick a run inside the box too. A real find for Tottenham this season.
- Christian Pulisic
Age: 17 (18th Sep. 1998)
Club: Borussia Dortmund #22
Country: United States of America
A terrific find for Bor. Dortmund, he’s not just fast and comfortable on the ball; the teenager also boasts impressive quickness and change of direction, because of which, Pulisic manages to avoid being pushed around despite being just 5’8”. He’s also a heads-up dribbler, has an eye for the killer pass and finishes well. What’s more, he has all the requisite intangible attributes to succeed: ambition, confidence and diligence in training. It would not be a surprise to see him mature and succeed in a club like Dortmund, beholding all his professional career in front of him at the slight age of 17.
- Gerard Deulofeu
Age: 22 (13th Mar. 1994)
Club: Everton #19
Deulofeu is an attacking winger who moves the ball around well and can cross from wings to perfection. He offers skill, audacity, pace, a brilliant final ball and brings certain unpredictability to the game. He started his career at Barcelona playing for the junior team and was loaned to Sevilla where he won the europa league last season. His talent was soon scouted by Everton who bought the young attacker into the english premier league and has proven to be a real catalyst in the attack.
- Max Meyer
Age: 20 (18th Sep. 1995)
Club: Schalke 04 #07
Meyer is one of the best creative players in the Bundesliga right now. His close control and ability when dribbling is exceptional, and with excellent balance he spends more time on the ball than most are able to. Confident with both feet, the 20-year-old takes up positions behind the striker and uses his creativity to carve out chances for himself and others on a regular basis. The baby faced midfielder ironically, has a frightening quick pace, his exceptional first touch and a low centre of gravity which allows him to navigate past defenders. He is undoubtedly one for the future.
About The Author
I’m a law student, studying in UILS, Panjab University, currently in my second year. A football lover, enjoy watching the game and an ardent Arsenal FC fan