Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Hakan Calhanoglu are just some of the young gems that are featuring this summer. We give you a break up of players that could take the EURO’s by storm.
1. Samuel Umtiti (France)
At 22 the Lyon centre back still has a long way to go and this summer’s tournament could be the start of greater things. Umititi has been an integral part at Lyon over the past year making 34 appearances in all competitions. His 3.2 aerial duels won in Ligue1 is no mean feat and his fine showings have led to Barcelona knocking at Lyon’s doors. With Koscienly and Umtiti, France have a strong defensive unit supplementing the wealth of talent present in their midfield.
2. Hector Bellerin (Spain)
The young Spaniard took Arsenal by storm last season. His raw pace and crossing ability make him a real threat for opponents. Dani Carvajal’s injury versus Athletico in the UCL final has given him a chance at the EUROs. However, with Juanfran still the first choice full back for Del Bosque, Bellerin will have to make the most of what he gets. Spain could rely on his running and deliveries into the box to provide to the likes of Adruiz and Nolito.
3. Marcus Rashford (England)
This guy is literally taking giant strides in professional football. Throwback to 24th February, he hadn’t even made his United debut, now he is on his way to France following a breakthrough season that has also led to a contract extension at United till 2020. With an eye for goal and the ability to pop up to score at the right moments, he could play a pivotal role in England’s strike force that include Premier League golden boot winner Harry Kane and runner-up Jamie Vardy.
4. Leroy Sane (Germany)
The young German is considered one of football’s hottest young properties and a strong showing at this summer’s tournament will only bolster his reputation. Following the exclusion of Marco Reus from Joachim Loews squad due to injury, Sane may get a chance to impress. Though he falls behind Thomas Mueller, Julian Draxler and Andre Schurrle as Loews chief winger, he could get opportunities of the bench to make his mark on the big stage.
5. Arkadiusz Milik (Poland)
One of the lesser known talents at this summer’s tournament, the Ajax centre forward has an eye for goal and is coming off the back of a successful domestic campaign scoring 21 goals and racking up 7 assists as Ajax finished second in the Eredevisie. With Poland manager, Adam Nawalka preferring a two man strike force of Milik and Lewandowski, the 22 year old will have ample opportunities to showcase his talent.
6. Renato Sanches (Portugal)
With a price tag of 28 million Euros, Bayern weren’t messing around when they signed him and it seems clear as to what they see in the ex-Benfica defensive midfielder. Traditionally a box-to-box midfielder who isn’t scared to shoot from far, Sanches was pivotal in Benfica’s title challenge. He plays with self assurance, demanding the ball and leading his team up the pitch in attack. If he can replicate his form over the past season, the 18 year old is sure to have some heads turning as Portugal progress in the tournament.
7. Breel Embolo (Switzerland)
The Swiss international is a highly sought after name amongst Europe. His raw pace and clinical finishing has seen him linked with Tottenham, Arsenal and Wolfsburg. He has helped FC Basel win the league thrice over the past three years since his arrival. With 12 goals in 35 appearances for the Swiss champions last season, he has shown that he could go on to be amongst the best strikers of the world. With Seferovic in poor form, the main goal scoring responsibilities fall on the back of the 19 year old.
8. Dele Alli (England)
Probably one of the most consistent newcomers in the league, Alli had a stellar first season at White Hart Lane. His transition from League 1 to the Premier league has been phenomenal and is a vital player for England in France. He possesses great quality going forward and his partnership with Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane helped Tottenham push for an unlikely title challenge. If England are to go further than their recent exploits at international events, Alli will be key.
9. Anthony Martial
Everyone was skeptical of him when Manchester United signed him for a massive amount on deadline day last season, but he went out to justify his price by showing insane skill to score in his first match, against arch rivals Liverpool. He has been an integral part of the Manchester United starting 11 this season and has been chosen to play for France. Given a chance, he is likely to spin some more of his magic on the field and light up the Euros with his brilliance.