EUROPE’S HOTTEST PROSPECT’S: 11-15

Youri Tielemans

19

Anderlecht

CM

cc. foxsports: Tielemans has lit up the Belgian Pro League

Tielemans has been with his boyhood club, Anderlecht since he was five years old working his way up to become arguably the teams go-to guy!

However, you’d be right in thinking he has been a household name for a while now, especially in Belgium. The midfielder actually made his league debut four years ago, in July 2013 as a fresh-faced 16 year old.

Since then, Tielemans has swept up a Belgian league title as well as two Belgian Super Cups and won the league’s young player of the year in both 2013-14 and 2014-15.

One area of his game that might see the teenager reach new heights is his goalscoring. 27 goals in 161 appearances show’s there is room for improvement. However with the player naturally confident in both the deep-lying role as well as an attacking one it won’t be long before Tielemans is a household name.

Kaspar Dolberg

19

Ajax

ST

The Silkeborg born teenager has burst onto the European scene this season with eleven goals in 27 games for Ajax.

Dolberg has 11 goals so far this season

However Danish football aficionado’s may have seen the lesser-spotted youngster turn out for his home-town club in 2015 attracting the admiring eye of Ajax scout John Steen Olsen. Olsen who brought through the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jesper Gronkjaer and Christian Eriksen at a similar age would go on to admit, Dolberg was an ‘extraordinary talent’ and not many can argue right now.

Dolberg had an incredible 2016

The 19 year old notched on his debut for the Dutch giants in their Champions League qualifier against PAOK in August 2016 but it was his hat-trick last November that got the attention of the Premier League.

A move to England is probably a bit premature this month but if his stock continues to rise don’t be shocked to see Dolberg on your TV screens more often.

Alban Lafont

17

Toulouse

GK

cc.90min.com: Lafont is the latest French wonderkid

The only reason this kid is not getting the plaudits he deserves outside of France is because of Gianluigi Donnarumma, but at 17 Lafont is making huge strides in Ligue 1 and is fast becoming French football’s brightest star.

Toulouse coach, at the time, Dominique Arribage confessed it was a bold move to put the teen in, but it was the wake up call the team needed. Since that moment Lafont hasn’t looked back establishing himself as the club’s number one.

The youngster will be looking to follow in the footsteps of another TFC graduate Fabien Barthez who went on to win titles with Marseille and AS Monaco and backed it up with silverware with Manchester United and the French national team.

There is still a long way to go for Lafont, but the signs are good and he could be at the top of the game before too long.

Kieran Tierney

19

Celtic

LB

Although the production line of academy talent has slowed in recent times, Tierney is the latest to step up from a Bhoy to a man.

cc dailyrecord: Izaguirre and Tierney: The passing of the torch.

The youngster made his debut during the 2014-15 season replacing Emilio Izaguirre but would have to wait until the following season to usurp the Honduran. Since then the young defender hasn’t looked back fully establishing himself in the Celtic starting eleven and earning two full senior Scotland caps.

Tierney is full-blooded in the tackle, positionally sound but has the offensive capabilities that all modern full backs need in this day and age.

Arsenal have already voiced their interest and if the 19 year old continues to develop at the rate he is then there is no limit to what he can achieve in the game.

Mahmoud Dahoud

21

Borussia Mochengladbach

CM

The Syrian-born German national would make his ‘Gladbach debut in 2014 after previously turning out for SC Germania Reusrath and Fortuna Dusseldorf.

However an injury curtailed his debut season and would have to wait to show the fans what he could do.

Dahoud has come to the fore in Germany

Last season Dahoud would have to try and force his way into a team full of confidence after a third place finish. But this didn’t seem to phase the youngster as he went on to make 41 appearances and firmly establish himself as the perfect foil for captain Granit Xhaka.

This led to a host of admirers of which included Liverpool who under the leadership of ex-Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp took a shine to Dahoud. Nonetheless the sale of Xhaka to Arsenal in the summer of 2016 put a halt to any move away.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl categorically dismissed any chance of Dahoud leaving but any bid in the region of £25 to £30 million could be too hard to turn down.

A senior international cap shouldn’t be far away

One thing is for sure, Dahoud has a big future ahead of him and England might not be as far away as he thinks.

 

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