World Football: 10 Most Exciting Young Strikers Making a Name for Themselves

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 2, 2012

World Football: 10 Most Exciting Young Strikers Making a Name for Themselves

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    Any time you get to read about the amazing young talents in world football, it is something to keep an eye on especially if you are a fan of a big club who will chase the signature of that young player.

    These 10 young strikers are making a name for themselves on the pitch and making the media and fans alike pay attention to them.

    You may be familiar with some of these names already and some may be new to you but will be on the radar of your favorite club very soon.

Danny Welbeck

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    Danny Welbeck has gone from loanee at Sunderland trying to make a name for himself to a regular in the first team at Manchester United.

    Welbeck had been loaned out twice since joining the senior team at United in 2008 and has finally found his footing at Old Trafford.

    At 21, Welbeck is now a part of the conversation of joining the England team at Euro 2012 with Wayne Rooney out two games and Darren Bent out for the whole tournament.

    With Dimitar Berbatov sure to exit United in the summer, Welbeck will most likely be the second-choice striker behind Rooney for the time to come.

Mario Balotelli

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    Mario Balotelli may be making a name for himself in all the wrong ways but we still know about the 21-year-old Manchester City striker.

    Balotelli's actions could only possibly be compared to the off-field antics of former basketball player Dennis Rodman.

    Every week or two, it seems like the Italian is in the news for something he is doing off the pitch.

    However, on the pitch, Balotelli is a very talented forward who has 13 goals in the Premier League this season.

David Hoilett

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    Quick, name the last great Canadian forward to play in the Premier League.

    I could not think of one either, that is why David Hoilett fits the billing as Canada's best player right now.

    The Blackburn Rovers forward has been one of the bright spots on a squad close to relegation all season.

    Although he has only scored seven goals this season for the club, Hoilett's name has been mentioned in transfer rumors for months now and he is bound to leave Ewood Park to make a name for himself at a bigger club next season.

Robert Lewandowski

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    After bouncing around from team to team in Poland, Robert Lewandowski has found a home at Borussia Dortmund and a spot in the Polish national team.

    This season has been a breakout year for the 23 year old as he has netted 25 goals in all competitions for the Bundesliga champions.

    The Polish international has already earned 40 caps for his country and will be one of the key players at Euro 2012 for the co-hosts and he will get a ton of press going into the tournament as one of Poland's best players.

Olivier Giroud

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    At the age of 25, Olivier Giroud is not as young as the other players on this list but he still has a full career ahead of him.

    Giroud has burst out on to the scene of French football in the past two seasons with Montpellier.

    This season, along with leading his club to the top of the Ligue 1 table, Giroud is currently the leading scorer in the French top flight with 21 goals.

    It will be interesting to see if Giroud follows the precedent set by Eden Hazard and stay with his club for a year of Champions League before looking for a big money transfer.

Jozy Altidore

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    Jozy Altidore has finally made his mark on European football this season.

    Altidore found a home with AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie after spending the past few seasons on loan from Villarreal at places like Hull City and Bursaspor.

    The 22-year-old American has been one of the best players for AZ this season with 19 goals in all competitions.

    Altidore has also developed into a strong attacking option for the United States national team under new manager Jurgen Klinsmann.

Thomas Muller

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    Thomas Muller was the breakout star of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for Germany as he won the Golden Boot and Best Young Player in South Africa, but he has not been in the press too much since then.

    Muller is still with Bayern Munich and has been a regular in the squad, but is now used as a provider all around the pitch instead of the primary goal scorer, as Mario Gomez has taken care of that for club and country.

    Muller is poised for another breakout performance on the world stage in Ukraine and Poland at Euro 2012 and maybe we will see his goal scoring prowess excel yet again.

Marco Reus

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    While I am on the topic of top German players, it is time to mention Marco Reus who could Euro 2012's version of Thomas Muller for the German national team.

    Reus has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season for Borussia Monchengladbach and has already earned a transfer back to his hometown club, Borussia Dortmund, for next season.

    With a new contract already set in stone, the 22 year old could play with the freedom up front that he needs with Mario Gomez getting all the attention at the moment.

    Reus is yet another piece of the young German generation that will dominate the world football scene for years to come.

Luc Castaignos

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    You may not have heard of Luc Castaignos yet because he is stuck on the bench at Inter Milan but many see him as one of the top young Dutch playmakers.

    With the current generation of Dutch stars in their late 20s and early 30s, the Netherlands needs to start developing young stars to continue the legacy of the Oranje.

    Castaignos' development hit a snag this season with Inter after he signed from Feyenoord in the summer and a loan move or a full move out of the San Siro may be necessary and there are clubs out there that want him.

    And although he will not be at Euro 2012, he could be one of the players we talk about heading into the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.


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    It would not do a slideshow like this justice if Neymar was not included.

    Neymar is the most talked about young striker out there right now and he is only 20.

    Still with Santos in Brazil, the highly touted forward will eventually make his way overseas but we do not know when that will be.

    For now, we have to wait to see his talents on YouTube clips of Santos games and whenever he takes the pitch for the Brazilian national team.

    The London Olympics will be the stage that Neymar will get to showcase his talents on, which will come after the Euro 2012 tournament.