Clubs are always looking for fresh young talent to harbour and develop into world class players. The 2012/13 season saw some of the finest young players break out into Europe and also in this years Confed cup held by and won by Brazil. There are players such as Mario Gotze and and Oscar who I haven’t included in the shortlist but this is only my opinion, comment your opinion on young players to look out for the season ahead.
Neymar Da Silva Santos Jr
Now how could I make a list like this without including the newest young player to take the footballing world by storm, Brazilian star Neymar? Finally the wonder boy is playing in Europe and after a hugely impressive Confed Cup campaign, scoring 4 goals and getting three assists as well as being awarded with the Golden Ball which is given to the best player of the tournament. Following his £49m move from Santos to Spanish giants Barca, this was the perfect opportunity to prove his worth and show the world exactly why the Catalan club paid near enough Torres money for the Winger and boy did he perform.
Neymar can play as a striker but his preferred position is out wide as a winger. He is very CR7 like in the way that he cuts in on the inside and shoots, leaving the marking defender for dead. As well as being very skilful on the ball, he is strong with his left foot as well as his right foot effectively being a ‘complete forward’. The Brazilian is yet to score a league goal for the league champions but has already scored in the SSC (Spanish Super Cup) to equalize against Atletico Madrid after David Villa scored against his former club after joining Atletico for a mere £5.5m. Neymar was also used as a substitute in the first league match for Barca’s title defence against Levante which they won 7-0. Neymar has a lot of potential and having already played against the greatest footballers around through playing for Brazil, he’s ready to take over Europe and maybe even steal a Ballon D’or something that has only really been contested between CR7 and Leo Messi.
Lucas Moura more commonly known as just Lucas is also another Brazilian winger who has broken into the European scene after joining PSG from Sâo Paulo for a then club record fee of £37m in the winter transfer window. Moura also got the attention of Manchester United and Inter Milan before signing for French club PSG, who have more money then sense it seems at times. Lucas is very fast and skilful and has been compared to the likes of Neymar and AC Milan Star Robinho. Although Lucas has not scored for PSG, he has had a handful of assists and the 21 year old created chances for the team when PSG were playing Barcelona in the semi finals of the Champions League last season. Lucas did not get as much playing time as he would have liked in the Confed Cup as Felipe Scolari chose a 4-3-3 formation and little choice with the selection of wingers. Neymar was the main talking point of the whole confed cup as it followed his big money move to Barca so he had to play most matches to the full 90 mins and the right winger, Hulk was one of the more experienced players in the relatively young squad which is needed to keep the team grounded and focused on the game, leaving Lucas a sub for every match. Despite this Lucas still showed glimpses of what he brings to a game and could push out and showcase his talent even more in the Champions League this year.
Paul Pogba. The man who got away. Last season Paul Pogba showed every doubter why he’s regarded as one of the hottest young talents around in world. Having no real impact on the United team, Italian champions quickly snatched up the France U21 superstar on a free transfer. Pogba had a pretty good debut season, scoring 5 goals whilst being played mainly as a central defensive midfielder although still 2nd choice as holding midfielder to Vidal and Pirlo. Below are Pogba’s key stats from last season’s Serie A.
Pogba is also a key player for the France U21 team and and been called up for the 1st team twice. The Italian press is calling Pogba the next big thing and is regarded one of the stand out player for Juventus and a key part of their title winning season. Paul Pogba looks very promising and if he carries on playing like he did last season, we maybe looking at one of the best midfielders in Europe in the next 5 years.
Stephan El Shaarawy
El Shaarawy really came into the limelight after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva left AC Milan for newly owned PSG, who were bought by Nasser Al-Khelaifi who injected a huge amount of money into club. After the departure of Ibra, AC Milan looked sure of losing that Champions League spot until a certain 19 year old winger came up and all most single handedly carried Milan into the top half of the table. After Mario Ballotelli joined Milan from Man City, some pressure was lifted from the teenager’s shoulders and he carried on having the best season of his career. El Shaarawy is fast, a profound skiller, a good dribbler of the ball and knows where the back of the net is. Often compared to Neymar and Christiano Ronaldo in the way he attacks down the wing. Through his performances for Milan, El Shaarawy is a regular call-up for Italy dispite being eligible for the U21 team for the next 2 years or so. Being used as a sub in the Confed cup much like Lucas for Brazil, El Shaarawy wasn’t able to show his talent on the pitch for long. With his father Egyptian and mother Italian, Stephan was given the choice of being a Egypt international or an Italy international and he chose Italy and he said that he had been with Italy since being in the U15 team so it only seemed logical to stick with Italy.
These 4 players will shine and improve their game whilst showing the world the future of world football and what it holds.