FIFA Under-20 World Cup: 10 Players to Watch
The U-21 European Championships have finished, but luckily for youth football buffs and scouts, the U-20 FIFA World Cup is just around the corner.
Here, B/R takes a look at 10 of the top talents set to take the stage in Turkey, including the likes of Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu and Sevilla's Geoffrey Kondogbia.
Read on and enjoy the slideshow!
Bryan Rabello, Chile
Bryan Rabello has been hailed as a potential future king of Chilean football by IBWM's Joel Sked.
Stationed out on the left for much of his career in his nation's youth teams, Rabello has proven adept at taking the ball under pressure, interlinking with his full-back and drifting inside to cause havoc.
The guy is tiny—around 5'4" to be precise—but sheds challenges with ease thanks to his quick feet and football intelligence.
Jherson Vergara, Colombia
Jherson Vergara, who is wearing No. 2 in the video, will join AC Milan this summer after agreeing to a deal earlier in the season.
Physically, he's a marvel; Possessing immense size, speed and skill on the ball, he combines it all with a wonderful positional sense and can match forwards in any arena.
These sorts of players are rare.
Ramy Rabia, Egypt
B/R's Karl Matchett caught up with Egypt's U-20 side at their warm up tournament in Spain this month, and relayed to me via private conversation his thoughts on the impressive Ramy Rabia.
The youngster plays a solid holding midfielder, controls the space well and appears composed at all times.
As happy moving forward with the ball as he is sticking a foot in, the captain always puts in a commanding performance and fancies himself as a bit of a scoring threat too.
Eric Dier, England
Eric Dier is a little-known English defensive prospect who plays in Portugal for Sporting Lisbon.
The Cheltenham-born youngster is formidable in the air, surprisingly comfortable on the ball and happy to play out from the back.
He made his first-team debut last season with the capital club and went on to secure 14 more starts in the senior side. Should he impress, the English Football Association will likely have to fend off advances from their Portuguese counterparts regarding declared nationality once more.
Geoffrey Kondogbia, France
Geoffrey Kondogbia represents a giant headache to any manager who comes up against him.
It's rare for someone so young to be so physically dominant, and Kondogbia's frame reminds many of Yaya Toure's machine-like, lanky body.
He puts in a strong challenge and is always happy to run; He has remarkably quick feet for someone his size and dribbles into space effortlessly.
Bruma is one of Portugal's much-hyped attacking options for the upcoming tournament, even drawing comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to his playing style.
Athletically gifted, he boasts immense speed over long distances, comfort on the ball in tight situations and an adeptness at drifting inside to find and utilize space.
He's set to line up on either winger for Edgar Borges' side.
Andre Gomes, Portugal
Despite being a little raw, Andre Gomes has already clocked a full UEFA Champions League game against Barcelona in his short career so far.
The 19-year-old midfielder is technically sound and can score from long distance. He's strong for his age and is not easily flustered in possession. Many will look for him to lead by example in this tournament.
Gerard Deulofeu, Spain
Barcelona's most prized la Masia asset, Gerard Deulofeu, is set to star on the wing for yet another impressive Spanish age group.
He's electric with the ball at his feet, beats opponents with ease and has a tremendous eye for goals. Starting wide, he can hug the line or drift inside to find space.
Cules would like to see Deulofeu given a run in the first team at Camp Nou, and that speaks volumes of how accomplished he is already.
Guillermo Varela, Uruguay
Millions of eyes will descend upon Guillermo Varela's eye move during Uruguay's outings—oh, the pressure of being Manchester United's latest signing.
The right-back is unknown to the vast majority of fans and they will watch the U-20 World Cup to catch a good glimpse of him.
What can we expect from David Moyes' first pickup as United manager?
James Ward-Prowse, England
James Ward-Prowse has been dominating the competition for England at every level he's been called up to, scoring screamers and dictating play with ease.
The U-20 World Cup will be his hardest test yet, and should he succeed, Mauricio Pochettino will feel he has another option at central midfield for the upcoming season.
A future midfield of JWP and Jack Wilshere on paper looks great for England.