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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Güler, Mainoo, Sesko lead Euro 2024 breakout U21 stars

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Euro 2024 is nearly upon us and the 24 groups concerned have a number of proficient gamers, a lot of whom have their entire careers forward of them.

With so many extremely rated kids sharing the identical stage, it is robust to know who to look out for. So, ESPN’s resident scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen picked out among the high gamers aged 21 or youthful who may make their mark on the event.

Johan Bakayoko, 21, FW, Belgium

The PSV Eindhoven winger has emerged as probably the most sought-after skills after his 14 targets and 14 assists in 48 video games reportedly attracted the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal. Whereas breaking right into a Belgium facet that options Jérémy Doku, Leandro Trossard and Yannick Carrasco isn’t any imply feat, Bakayoko’s flip of tempo, superb dribbling abilities and highly effective left-footed shot from distance make him an important choice for coach Domenico Tedesco.

Bradley Barcola, 21, FW, France

Having moved from Lyon to hitch Paris Saint-Germain for €45 million in 2023, Barcola was restricted to life as an influence substitute earlier than he gained extra taking part in time because the season progressed. With nice tempo, a want to tackle opponents and an fringe of unpredictability, it is little marvel that France coach Didier Deschamps handed the ahead his worldwide debut in June. Barcola might be a gamechanger off the bench towards the latter levels of matches at Euro 2024.

Maximilian Beier, 21, ST, Germany

Beier is a comparatively late bloomer who initially made his mark taking part in for Hannover 96 on mortgage within the 2. Bundesliga between 2021 and 2023 and has little expertise of top-flight soccer. Capped by Germany for the primary time in June’s pre-tournament pleasant vs. Ukraine, he was a late inclusion within the Euros squad following a productive marketing campaign again at father or mother membership TSG Hoffenheim the place he was the highest scorer with 16 targets. He’s unlikely to start out up entrance for coach Julian Nagelsmann, however his tempo, motion and normal vivacity make the in-form striker an excellent influence substitute to enliven the assault.

Francisco Conceição, 21, FW, Portugal

One thing of a shock inclusion within the closing squad, the son of ex-Portugal winger Sergio Conceicao made a major influence for FC Porto throughout the second a part of the season with 5 targets and 4 assists from 27 league matches. Certainly, he accomplished a staggering 63% of his one-vs.-one duels (11 per 90 minutes) and received greater than half of his attacking duels. Whereas he faces competitors from Wolves’ Pedro Neto as a left-footed choice on the wing for Portugal, he ought to see some recreation time.

Arda Güler, 19, AM, Turkey

Following his €25m transfer to Actual Madrid from Fenerbahce final summer time, Güler missed most of LaLiga‘s season resulting from damage. Nonetheless, upon returning to full health he confirmed off his expertise by scoring 5 targets in as many video games to assist Madrid seal the title. Güler has solely a few years of soccer behind him however made a huge effect at Fenerbahce due his great contact on the ball, unpredictable dribbling abilities and beautiful left foot. Madrid are sure they’ve a star of the longer term and he’ll begin for Turkey on the Euros, taking part in behind the striker or on the suitable wing.

Milos Kerkez, 20, LB, Hungary

Arriving on the Euros off the again of a superb Premier League marketing campaign for AFC Bournemouth, the left-back has reportedly attracted curiosity from a number of large English golf equipment, together with Chelsea and Manchester United. Kerkez balances his alert defending (9.5 profitable defensive actions per 90 minutes) with being a relentless choice going ahead for his teammates.

Semih Kiliçsoy, 18, FW, Turkey

The breakout star of the Turkish league this season (11 league targets from 20 begins for Besiktas), Kilicsoy is a speedy winger blessed with great dribbling talents, utilizing both foot, and talent to beat markers from a standing place. He was handed his first Turkey cap forward of the event, so he will not be first alternative, however is usually a nice choice off the bench.

Fermín López, 21, CM, Spain

Comparatively unknown earlier than the beginning of the season, Lopez bought his probability within the first XI amid Barcelona’s damage disaster in midfield and took it. The truth is, he did so effectively that he was arguably probably the most impactful gamers in LaLiga after the flip of the yr, scoring eight targets. Sensible on the ball, Lopez picks intelligent positions, pushes into the attacking field and has a strong shot as effectively. Spain’s midfield is stacked with the likes of Rodri, Pedri and Fabián Ruiz, however Lopez will achieve a number of expertise by being a part of the setup.

Kobbie Mainoo, 19, CM, England

Within the absence of a transparent choice to accomplice Declan Rice as a starter within the England midfield, the Manchester United teenager may get the nod despite the fact that he has performed solely 25 occasions within the Premier League. All the time on the transfer, Mainoo is a superb passer, covers a number of floor and sometimes pushes into the ultimate third, whereas he has showcased his goal-scoring skill on multiple event for United.

João Neves, 19, CM, Portugal

Some of the coveted youngsters in world soccer, the Benfica midfielder — half No. 6, half No. 8 — is very rated for his multidimensional, dedicated interpretation of the position. Manchester United are rumoured to be concerned with signing him this summer time, however his €120m launch clause is a sticking level for any switch. That mentioned, Neves was given his first full 90 minutes for Portugal in a pleasant towards Finland in early June and a few spectacular performances in Germany may persuade golf equipment to make a transfer.

Cole Palmer, 21, AM, England

Although there is not any doubting Palmer’s Premier League credentials — an astounding 22 league targets and 11 assists this season — the Chelsea midfielder remains to be awaiting his England breakthrough. With Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Manchester Metropolis’s Phil Foden his most evident rivals for a beginning spot, Palmer faces a large problem to get into the facet. England boss Gareth Southgate might be happy to name upon his versatility, as he can slot in as a No. 10 or huge on the suitable, and regardless of not being a starter Palmer is definite to play a key position. He’s additionally a composed penalty taker, which may turn out to be useful.

Leopold Querfeld, 20, CB, Austria

The Fast Vienna defender solely lately gained his second senior cap, however an injury-hit Austria facet may rely on him sooner than anticipated. Querfeld has been in excellent type for his membership over the previous yr and combines a peaceful taking part in type with wonderful one-vs.-one defending and athleticism. He’s absolutely primed for a summer time transfer to an even bigger league.

Petar Ratkov, 20, ST, Serbia

One more to emerge from the FC Salzburg youth ranks, Ratkov may discover it arduous to make his mark at Euro 2024 as he fights for a spot in a Serbia squad that already consists of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dusan Vlahovic and Luka Jovic — particularly as it is a facet that normally options just one striker. But with the 6-foot-4 frontman having extra tempo and penetrative energy than his rivals, he might be thrown on as an influence sub.

Benjamin Sesko, 21, ST, Slovenia

Talking of gamers who got here by means of the Salzburg ranks, Sesko has proven the pathway and his current type for RB Leipzig this season — seven targets in as many matches — has positioned him firmly on the radar of Europe’s high golf equipment, together with Arsenal and Manchester United. A No. 9. striker with a whole talent set, Sesko stands 6-5, is powerfully constructed and deceptively fast, whereas he hardly ever wants greater than two touches to complete.

Heorhiy Sudakov, 21, AM, Ukraine

The technically good 21-year-old is anticipated to start out for Ukraine this summer time and will seal a €70m transfer to the Premier League if he impresses. The Shakhtar Donetsk star possesses all of the qualities of the trendy attacking midfielder — excessive degree one-vs.-one abilities, superb passing and tactical understanding — and usually prospers in a central No. 10 position. Inventive and agile, Sudakov can spot gaps between the strains and might be a key supply of Ukraine’s targets and assists.

Kenan Yildiz, 19, FW, Turkey

Having moved from Bayern Munich in 2022, the German-born prodigy was promoted from the Juventus academy final season and made a direct mark on the primary workforce. Catching the attention for his excellent aptitude, ball-carrying talents and creativity, he does not shun defensive obligations both. Yildiz scored on his first begin for Turkey in a 3-2 pleasant win towards Germany in November and is prone to be fielded as an inverted left winger and even as a “false No. 9” striker by Turkey coach Vincenzo Montella.

Arthur Vermeeren, 19, DM, Belgium

Whereas his membership profession hasn’t but bought going after his €18m transfer to Atlético Madrid in January, the midfield strategist remains to be not far off a beginning position for Belgium and is a viable choice to interchange Amadou Onana deep in midfield ought to Tedesco need extra playmaking from deep. Vermeeren is a fluid, imaginative passer of the ball, but in addition possesses precocious management abilities and isn’t shy of taking cost on the pitch.

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