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If we were to compile this same list under the same circumstances in two decades' time, which current players would you include? Please comment below with your list.
Here’s my top 20.
1. Lucas Moura: Unless he’s as productive as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Lucas will be Denílson 2.0.
2. Freddy Adu: He was one of the MLS’ highest paid players before reaching the age of majority. Has yet to stay at a club for five seasons or more. Perfect example of an early bloomer.
3. Yann M'Vila: His holier-than-thou approach has left his career in limbo. Could find himself behind bars if his reckless behaviour continues.
4. Breno: A man-child of a defender but mental instability derailed his professional career.
5. Jorge Valdívia: 10/10 for technique, creativity and flair. Refusal to push himself to play in Europe will always leave us wondering of what could have been.
6. Bojan Krkić: Showed so much potential at Barcelona and then it was all over.
7. Ricardo Quaresma: Flopped at Barça, Inter Milan and Chelsea. Never changed his "big fish in a small pond" mentality.
8. Mario Balotelli: No one is bigger than the team. José Mourinho was right in branding Super Mario as uncoachable. Limitless ability but plays like a limited forward.
9. Lulinha: 15 goals in 10 games for the Brazilian U-17s. Was hyped up like Neymar but didn’t have the killer instinct that the Santos forward possesses.
10. Matías Fernández: His highlights at Colo-Colo were spectacular but he couldn’t replicate those plays in Europe.
11. Alberto Bueno: Didn’t cope well with rejection from Real Madrid after being told left, right and centre that he was the future of Spanish football.
12. Giovani dos Santos: Has the tangibles but lacks the intangibles.
13. Dominic Adiyiah: Did he fluke his way to winning the FIFA U-20 Golden Ball and Shoe?
14. Javier Portillo: Prolific for Real Madrid’s cantera but didn’t make the step up.
15. Kerlon: His seal dribble drew the ire of opposing players and consequently, led to various assaults on the field, which crippled his body.
16. Thomas Broich: Once included in the same sentence as Philipp Lahm, Lukas Podolski and Bastian Schweinsteiger. A combination of falling out of love with the game and the inability to consistently produce at the top level are reasons why Broich is making a living in Australia.
17. Danijel Aleksić: Head and shoulders above everyone at youth level. The players he dominated at that level overtook him in the pros.
18. Ravel Morrison: One of the most precocious players to come out of Moss Lane. Was such a liability off-the-field that Manchester United let him go.
19. Johnnier Montaño: Was already a Colombian international at just 16. Sucked in by the temptations.
20. Bruno Cheyrou: The new Zinedine Zidane? No way, no how.
Espanyol Scouting Report for Inter Loanee Samuele Longo
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com
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