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Every year, football throws up new names, bright young exciting talents who have nothing to lose and everything to gain from the game. Let’s have a look at some of the brightest on offer right now.
The Brazilian youngster is being touted as the next big thing from Brazil, after Neymar has set the stage alight in the last couple of years. He plays for Sao Paulo, is very versatile and can play across the entire midfield, be it as an attacking midfielder, a winger, or even a holding midfielder. Blessed with great technique and dribbling abilities, Lucas has already won many admirers, latest among them the Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who was scouting him recently. Chelsea have already had a mega bid rejected for the wonder-kid. Watch out for him in the coming days.
Gotze had burst out on the scene last season with BVB Dortmund, but has been plagued with injuries in 2011-12, and has been overshadowed by the meteoric rise of Shinji Kagawa this term. He plays second fiddle to Mesut Ozil in the German national team, but his vision and technique is second to none and is sure to create ripples in the footballing world, handling more responsibilities, with Kagawa leaving now.
Muniain is another one of the exceptionally talented Spanish youngsters, following the likes of Juan Mata, Thiago Alcantara, Sergio Canales etc. He plays for Athletic Bilbao, is a winger by trade and has lighting feet, not to mention great vision and a footballing brain, something that people like Theo Walcott never had. He has put in some great performances in the last term for Marcelo Bielsa’s team. Of the top of the head, he tormented Manchester United defenders in the Europa league, not to mention running circles around Real Madrid defenders in the league game.
You may have seen him play for Denmark in the Euro cup, and may be forgiven for thinking he is just another kid in football. But, you couldn’t be more wrong, for this Ajax playmaker is as gifted as they come. He has terrific ball control, great vision and can dictate the pace of the game. And, although Ajax is still a European powerhouse, watch out for this Dane should he choose to move to greener pastures in the future.
The French born Rennes midfielder M’Vila is a defensive midfielder by trade, and has won many admirers with his performance in the last season. Arsenal have been touted as potential suitors, though rest assured he won’t come on the cheap. Watch out for this man in the centre of midfield in the upcoming games of France. With a steely presence, he has great tackling technique, not to mention a great passing range.
Another Frenchman, Varane plies his trade with Real Madrid, and has been a great buy for Jose Mourinho’s team. Ricardo Carvalho’s injury problems and Pepe and Ramos’ indisciplined behaviour has meant that Varane has often been thrown into the first eleven, and has put in some rock-solid performances. His aerial presence is of the highest level and he also has terrific ball control for a defender. His calm behaviour is something very rare in defenders, watch out for him this term.
Nicknamed “The Ox”, Chamberlain has won many admirers with his performances for the Gunners, after Arsene Wenger had to throw him into the mix following many injuries to key players. He has won himself a ticket to the Euros with Hodgson’s England and put in a decent shift against France. He has great pace, trickery and will be expected to be more involved in the first eleven in the coming season for Arsenal.
After making an expensive move to Manchester United last term, De Gea, who was relatively unknown at the time, came under some heavy criticism for his handling of aerial balls, but slowly he grew in stature and put in some world-class performances to ensure United’s late fightback for the title. His reflexes are second to none, and although he still has to work on his physique and dealing with crosses, there is no doubt De Gea will come into his own this season.
Chelsea fans know everything there is to know about Eden Hazard. The Belgian winger, who can play in the hole just behind the striker, has great pace, wonderful dribbling qualities and can shoot with both feet. Also has great tricks up his sleeve, and he will be expected to light up the Premier League this season. Although it is still to be seen how he copes up with the expensive transfer price tag as well as the physicality of the Premier League, there is no doubt about his talent. To the uninitiated, he was Ligue 1′s answer to La Liga’s duo of Messi and Ronaldo, he is that highly rated!
Till last year, Martinez was a nobody. But, now after a stellar season with Bilbao, he has many top European clubs vying for his signature, Man-U, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich all in the picture. A holding midfielder by profession, Martinez has great versatility and can play in central defence, or as a playmaker upfront. He has great strength and stamina, and is a wonderful asset to have in a team.
Stephan El Sharaawy, Ryan Bertrand, Kyle Walker, Isaac Cuenca, Ibrahim Afellay, Marko Marin, Jordi Alba, Shinji Kagawa, Marco Reus, Sofianne Feghoulli, Nuri Sahin.