EURO 2020: Top young talents to watch out for
The EURO 2020 is here. The European Championships is set to kick-off on Saturday after a year's delay amid COVID-19. The superstars of the game like, Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane, Antoine Griezmann, Luka Modric, Manuel Neuer and more will be in the spotlight as the tournament begins but there are some exciting young talents to watch out too this year.
There are a number of young players like, Kylian Mbappe, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Merih Demiral, Kai Havertz, Jadon Sancho, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Ryan Gravenberch, Pedri Gonzalez, Federico Chiesa and more who have impressed many at an early stage of their club careers. We take a look at the top young talents to watch out for in EURO 2020 championships.
Ryan Gravenberch (Netherlands)
Not many must be aware of this talent but if you ask any supporter of the Netherlands, he will surely tell you about Gravenberch. Just as Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Donny van de Beek, Ajax has produced Ryan Gravenberch. The Dutch midfielder now is destined to achieve stardom.
He is all set to don the Orange jersey for Netherlands national team in the coming EURO. Even though having made only four appearances till date, the versatile player will play key role for his side. He has the most minutes (2616) in the senior club campaign under his belt of U19 players this season.
It’s defensible that the likes of Frenkie De Jong, Gini Wijnaldum and Dony Van De Beek will be the top priorities for the squad, but the Dutch fans will be eager to see this young lad play in one of the world’s biggest tournaments. Hence, Gravenberch deserves a mention at first position on our list of young players to watch out for at EURO 2020.
Phil Foden (England)
The Three Lions’ rising star, Phil Foden. He was the player of the tournament when England won the Under-17 World Cup in India in 2017. Now, four years later, the 21-year-old is now set to be unleashed on a full international competition for the first time. Foden, who likes to spend his free time fishing with his father, made his full England debut last September.
The young sensation is coming off a stellar season at Manchester City in which he starred in Pep Guardiola's Premier League title-winning side, regularly cutting in from the left wing and contributing 16 goals in all competitions. Foden was born at few kms away from City's home stadium and came through stiff competition in the club's youth level to stake his place in the first team. Now after impressing his club, he will be taking responsibility of England in the EUROs. No doubt, Foden clearly is an outstanding prospect.
Joao Felix (Portugal)
His idol is Cristiano Ronaldo. Every Portuguese player who’s kicked a ball since the late 2000s will tell you same. The Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix has sometimes seemed to be weighed down by expectations since moving from Benfica for 126 million euros ($153 million) in 2019. Injuries disrupted his rhythm this season, but Felix possess a serious threat for opponents when he is in form.
With his vivid imagination, great array of skills and clever mobility, the 21-year-old Felix is one to watch. He has seemed at home in the Portugal lineup ever since he was trusted to make his debut in a Nations League semi-final match in 2019. Still, he may be a bit-part player at Euro with coach Fernando Santos favouring a front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Diogo Jota and Bernardo Silva.
Kai Havertz (Germany)
Don’t you remember his goal against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the final of UEFA Champions League? England’s club Chelsea spent big last year by signing the 21-year-old Havertz for a reported 70 million pounds ($99 million) from Bayer Leverkusen. With that boost of confidence and his ability to read games and to make the right decisions, the young gun will be a key player for Germany in the offensive line-up. With his ability to score and providing assists, he is very important for Joachim Low’s side.
Havertz recently impressed as Germany ended their EURO 2020 warm-up with a 7-1 rout of Latvia. He has played 12 games for the Die Mannschaft and his pairing with Timo Werner for the national side will be exhilarating to watch.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy)
Why should strikers have all the fun? At just a young age Gianluigi Donnarumma has become a captivating shot-stopper for the Italian national team and the club. He is being called Buffon’s successor, as he has played 251 matches for AC Milan.
To conquer Donnarumma will be an arduous task for the opponents and Italy will be in safe hands with him between the sticks. His displays have been key to Italy’s recent success and so far he has played 25 matches in Blue jersey and kept 14 clean sheets. In World Cup qualifiers Italy conceded only four goals, second only to Belgium in terms of defensive record. Though he is 22-year-old, the goalie has already matured into a leader for the Azzurri and will play a vital role as Italy look to end their trophy drought. With several big clubs around the world linked to Donnarumma's signature this month, Italy manager Roberto Mancini will have to ensure that his phenomenal shot-stopper is focussed on the task at hand.