One the most exciting things of a major international tournaments is when a relatively unknown youngster bursts onto the scene. From nowhere to superstar in just a few moments. We’ve seen it lots over the past few tournaments. One that always comes to mind is when Divock Origi shone for Belgium.
This year will has loads of youngsters preparing to put their names in lights. Here are ten that I’ve picked out for you to key an eye on.
Giacomo Raspadori | Italy | Striker
Italy have an exciting squad, they should be scene as a real threat in the tournament. Their front line includes the likes of Ciro Immobile, Andrea Belotti, and Lorenzo Insigne, but they’re also taking their 21-year-old attacker Giacomo Raspadori.
Despite having only one competitive cap for Gli Azzurri, the striker has had a breakthrough season with Serie A’s surprise package Sassuolo. The youngster bagged six goals across the campaign, but his inclusion is very much down the ‘wildcard’ route.
Standing at 5’8, he poses a different kind of striker tactic than the move physical Immobile and Belotti. He’s diminutive, but he’s pacy and skilful with a keen eye for direct football. He’s stronger than he looks and it wouldn’t surprise me if Roberto Mancini finds a way to get him into the XI for at least one game.
Jeremy Doku | Belgium | Attacker
Jeremy Doku is one of the most explosive talents in Ligue 1, and Belgium may well need the spark from a relatively unknown youngster.
He has made some headlines of late though, as a move to Liverpool shows potential, but Doku’s real talent is still yet to be truly discovered. The Rennes forward is an impressive youngster who can play centrally – either up top or behind the striker – or on either wing.
At 5’7 he shows a slight frame but he uses a low centre of gravity to his benefit, alongside a burst of pace and trickery that is dynamic and impressive.
The Red Devils’ forward line is jam-packed wit huge names and top quality stars, but Jeremy might well be the hottest name of all come the end of July.
Elif Elmas | North Macedonia | Central Midfielder
A squad of very little well-known names, except for Goran Pandev obviously, North Macedonia may well have a top midfielder on their hands.
The former Fenerbahce star currently plies his trade in Napoli’s midfield under Rennaro Gattuso (although he’s just left… Gattuso that is). Elif Elmas should be N.M’s star man for many years to come, at just 21 years old he’s already made 27 competitive appearances and scored seven goals from the midfield. He’s been important since his debut in 2017.
At 6’0, he’s capable of bringing a little bit of everything to midfield. He’s typically a holding midfielder that can break the lines with a brilliant passing range and technique ability. He’s an all-rounder.
Neco Williams | Wales | Right-Back
The Welsh right-back should be a relatively known name in the United Kingdom. He’s featured a handful of times for Liverpool across the last few years.
At 20 years old, he’s already won 11 caps for Wales which is an impressive tally. It shows two things. Neco’s natural ability to perform to a high-level at full-back, but also how lacking Wales are in that position.
He’s a key player for the national team. Whether it’s overlapping the right winger or whipping crosses in from deep, the youngster has got a big part to play for Wales.
Marcus Forss | Finland | Striker
With Teemu Pukki smashing the goals home for Finland during the qualifiers, the need for another striker is fairly low down their list, but in Marcus Forss, they’ve got a young talent that is taking the EFL by storm.
The Brentford striker did well on loan at AFC Wimbledon, and then went on to score the key winner to beat AFC Bournemouth in the play-off semi finals.
At 21 years old, he’s already netted for the national team. His one goal in five games shows a decent return for a young poacher. He’s 6’0, so can be a physical presence up-top, but has a slighter frame than Pukki.
He’s certainly a youngster to watch off the bench.
Pedri | Spain | Attacker
The Barcelona has taken La Liga by storm this season as the Spanish powerhouse start their rebuilding process.
Pedri is only 18 years old, so when Spain called him up to their Euro2020 squad it was a slight surprise. He has got four caps for the national team though. At 5’9, he’s a slight player with a frame thats suited to electric dribbling and explosive pace and trickery.
That said, his football brain is smart too. He’s not just some dancing feet. Definitely keep an eye out for Pedri
Billy Gilmour | Scotland | Midfielder
Young Billy has been a starlet to watch out for at Chelsea for some time, but for Scotland, he offers fresh hope.
The Scottish national team have somewhat of a golden generation. The likes of Scott McTominay, Andrew Roberton, Kieran Tierney and John McGinn show a strong core, but its the rest of the squad which could become a weakness. With Billy Gilmour though, they’ve got an up and coming youngster with a point to prove.
The 19 year old has made 2 appearances for Scotland but he should be an integral part of their future. An explosive box-to-box midfielder with a classy set of passing abilities is exactly what every midfield needs.
Dejan Kulusevski | Sweden | Attacker
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic missing out on the tournament due to injury, Swedish hopes rest at the feet of two young attackers. Alexander Isak has been lashing them in for Real Sociedad this season, whilst this unknown attacker, Dejan Kulusevski has been showcasing his skills in Italy.
The Juventus wide-man has featured for both, The Old Lady, and on-loan at Parma this season and has impressed at both places.
He’s a 6’1 wide attacker, primarily on the right wing. But his height allows him to be successful central striker too. With 13 caps already under his belt, he could be an important part of the Swedes progression.
Adam Hlozek | Czech Republic | Winger
The 20 year old winger has performed very well Sparta Prague this season, having scored 15 goals in 19 games. He’s tall and powerful, yet skilful and unique. Not only is he one of Czech Republic’s most creative players but he’ll also certainly be a threat to England during the group stage.
He’s featured twice for the mens first team already, but expect a couple more appearances this summer.
Jamal Musiala | Germany | Attacker
Possibly saving best till last here, Jamal Musiala is an incredible talent. Born in Germany, but to a British-Nigerian father, Musiala chose to represent his birthplace – and his mothers homeland. Despite having play for England at youth level.
Bayern Munich’s young starlet has the world at his feet, and Hansi Flick (who is representing Lowe as national team manager after this tournament), will want to build around him in the future.
For now though, he has no pressure on him at all. With the German squad looking still very much capable of winning the tournament, Jamal will be on hand to add a little spice if and when he’s called upon.
He’s an attacker that can play anywhere across the attacking line, including as a Thomas-Mueller-style second striker. He could be very special.
Looking forward to watching these lads strut their stuff? Who do you think will be best? Let us know!