Soccer: The Top 10 Young Footballers To Watch Out for This Season
As football becomes more global, the football clubs are willing to spend more money on scouting networks which extend to every continent in this planet to unearth new young talents. It wouldn't be long before Scouts are given the same importance and salary of a manager.
While the scouts are busy doing their work let us have a look at the Top 10 young players who have made heads turn or who are expected to make heads turn in their direction this season.
1. Bojan Krkić, 19, Barcelona.
On 16 September 2007 (aged 17 years and 19 days at that time), Bojan made his official debut for Barcelona against Osasuna, breaking Lionel Messi's record of the youngest Barcelona player to feature in a La Liga match. He has already established himself as an exciting new talent in the Barcelona first team. Has exceptional talent and could become as influential as Lionel Messi.
2. Lorenzo De Silvestri, 21, Lazio.
Is a product of the highly successful Lazio youth system. During the 2007–08 season, De Silvestri established himself as a regular in the Lazio side with several impressive performances as an attacking right back. He made 24 league appearances, as well as six in the UEFA Champions League. Is widely regarded as one of the best young talents in Italy.
3. Mario Balotelli, 19, F.C Internazionale.
On 16 December 2007 Balotelli made his first team debut in a 2-0 Serie A win against Cagliari. On 30 January 2008 Balotelli gained national attention after he scored two goals against Juventus in the return leg of the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, being instrumental in a 3–2 away win for the Nerazzurri.
Balotelli's role in the 2009–10 season is expected to be much more prominent than the previous season, owing to the loss of several key strikers over the prior few months, leaving Balotelli as the third choice, behind new summer signings Samuel Eto'o and Diego Milito
4. Breno, 20, F.C Bayern Munich.
In December 2007, Breno officially signed for Bayern Munich having refused to sign with Real Madrid who wanted a bone analysis to prove his young age. Has captained the Brazilian U23’s and is widely regarded to fill up the void left by compatriot Lucio’s departure.
5. Stevan Jovetic, 19, Fiorentina.
On 10 May 2008, Serie A club Fiorentina signed him for a reported fee of £7.3 million. Jovetić was a founding member of the Montenegro national team who played their first game against Hungary in March. Famously scored both goals in a 2–0 victory over European giants Liverpool in the Champions League this season. Despite interest from various clubs, looks set to stay with the Viola.
6. Adem Ljajic, 18, Partizan.
Attacking midfielder dubbed “little Kaka” which to be honest is high praise indeed. Even though he has only a handful of first team appearances behind him, he was rated highly enough to catch the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson. He is set to join England's Manchester United in January 2010.
7. Davide Santon, 18, F.C Internazionale.
Santon is a product of the Internazionale youth system. He is an attacking right back, with the ability to play also on the left side. Recently, he has also become subject of praise from Italy head coach Marcello Lippi, who defined Santon "A predestined that reminds of a young Paolo Maldini."
He also played in Inter's home draw with Manchester United, playing directly against FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo and showing great performances against the Portuguese winger.
Ronaldo himself said about Santon: "I was impressed by Santon; he is a really interesting lad and a great footballer." Already drawing comparisons with Italian legend Paulo Maldini, looks set to become one of the world's finest fullback despite having very few first team opportunities.
8. Alexandre Pato, 20, AC Milan.
Milan officially confirmed the signing of Pato on 2 August 2007. Pato is a highly rated forward who is a key piece in the Milan rebuilding process. Despite a pretty dull start to the season, he is capable of turning Milan's season around along with compatriot Ronaldinho.
9. Aaron Ramsey, 18, Arsenal.
On 10 June 2008 it was confirmed that after meeting officials from Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton, Ramsey had decided to join Arsenal, who paid Cardiff City a total of £4.8 million for the player. Wenger described Ramsey as "a player with a fantastic engine, good build, good technique and good vision.
Ramsey is named amongst host of young players poised to shine in 2009 by Fifa.com. Despite his young age, looks certain to be a star and is already a key figure for Wales.
10. Ivan Rakitic, 21, Schalke 04.
Born in Switzerland Rakitic won the Swiss young player of the year award. However he has preferred to play for Croatia. He can be deployed in both attacking and defensive midfield roles. Has been rumoured to have a whole lot of top European clubs on his trail after impressive performances for Schalke 04.
Anyway, that’s the best I could get out of my crystal ball. What does yours predict?
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