Which of the following midfielders will step up to the next level in 2010 and become the one of the superstars of the world game. All of these players are aged 21 or under and have the talent to reach the top.
Here we'll take a look at five possible candidates for that crown.
This is a start of a series I will run, also looking at goalkeepers, defenders, and strikers.
Please take a look at my selections, and see what you think.
Have any different views? Please leave you selections on the comment board.
Athletic Bilbao have a knack of unearthing gems from the Basque country, and Javi Martinez is no exception. The 21-ear-old centre midfielder has already made over 100 appearances for the club both at home and abroad.
Signed from Osasuna as a 17-year-old in 2006, Martinez has been earning rave reviews in his homeland. A clever midfielder who oozes class, he will soon be leaving Bilbao for pastures new and much, much greener.
He was linked with Liverpool in the summer of 2009 as a possible replacement for Madrid-bound Xabi Alonso. Although the deal never materialised, Rafa Benitez though is still a known admirer.
Being Spanish Martinez has some competition in regards to the national team, so he may need a move to a major club to try and break down that particular barrier.
Over the next 12 months, there is a good chance that Martinez will move onto a bigger club—maybe Liverpool—and have the chance to showcase his talents on a bigger stage.
David Moyes must be rubbing his hands as he has the chance to work with yet another highly talented youth product. Jack Rodwell is only 18-years-old and has already been linked with a big money move to Manchester United.
Being likened to Rio Ferdinand in the way he plays, Rodwell has a massive future ahead of him. Widely tipped to step back and play centre back later in his career, Rodwell at the moment is honing his skills as a defensive midfielder.
Strong in the tackle and cool under pressure, he has a maturity beyond his years. Already an England Under 21 international, a full cap will surely follow in the coming years.
The youngest player to represent his boyhood club in Europe, Rodwell made an appearance against AZ at the age of 16 years and 284 days. Since then, he has played 39 games, and it is only a matter of time before he becomes a regular for "The Toffees."
The main issue surrounding Rodwell in regards to his development is simple. The longer he can stay at Goodison Park under the tutelage of Moyes, the faster he will improve.
So in the next 12 months, he will become a starter for his club, and the rumour mill will generate pace with every game played.
It wouldn't be a true reflection on the world game if there wasn't a Brazilian among the ranks. So here we have Douglas Costa. Costa has been talked about as a superstar ever since making his debut for Gremio back in 2008.
The silky left footer has all the tricks that you would expect for someone who has been dubbed "The new Ronaldinho." Add to this his electric pace and the ability to step past an opponent like they are not there, and you begin to see what all the fuss is about.
Built more like Robinho in stature, Costa has followed the money. testing the waters of Eastern Europe and Shakhtar Donetsk before making his way west and to the big leagues.
This is an ever-increasing route that Brazilians seem to take when leaving for Europe. But in the case of Costa, it maybe a sound one. With the opportunity for regular football and being surrounded by his fellow countymen, the 19-year-old could have made a much worse a choice.
Yet to receive full international recognition, Costa can take solace in the fact that current coach Dunga does look that far east on the map when selecting the national team.
So after being constantly linked with Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona, he decided to go with Donetsk. But don't be fooled by a season of solid performances in the rough and tumble of the Ukraine; the big boys will be back, and they will have a much better prospect than the Douglas Costa straight out of Brazil.
This Argentine midfielder has the ability to make a huge impact on the game in the coming years. Signed by Palermo in the summer of 2009 from Huracan, the 20-year-old has some career ahead of him.
With a style that seems to suit the Italian game, he has settled into Seire A with minimum effort. The classy midfielder is more at home in the attacking third of the pitch and has been turning heads in his debut season.
Milan are known admirers of the youngster, and a move there in the near future seem a possibility. Could either be seen as replacement for either Kaka, or in coming years, molded into the new Andrea Pirlo.
Deigo Maradona has seen the talent as well calling him up for the unofficial friendly with Catalonia in December. This World Cup will come too soon for Pastore, but he will be a vital part of the Argentinian squad in years to come.
Raw and sometimes showing his inexperience, Pastore sometimes shows his age on the field. But being a teenager this will soon pass with the more games he plays.
After a solid debut season in Italy, expect the next 12 months to be a lot more exciting. With every game played, he may be edging closer to Milan where he will show the world that he is the next Argentine "playmaker."
Toni Kroos is a name that has been around for a number of years, which is strange when you think that he has only just turned 20. But there is good reason for this: He is a very good footballer.
Making his name at the Under 17 World Cup in 2007, where he would pick up The Golden Shoe awarded to the best player of the tournament, Kroos seemed destined to be a superstar from the off.
He had a whirlwind start to his Bayern Career; he provided two assists and played a major part in helping them progress in the Uefa Cup, providing another assist and scoring the winner against Red Star Belgrade. He looked to have cemented his tag as on of the hottest young properties on the planet.
But for one reason or another—possibly being so young—it didn't work out at Bayern. So in January 2009, he signed a long term loan deal with Bayer Leverkusen.
At Leverkusen, he has steardily improved over the last 12 months, benefiting from regular first team action and playing in a winning side. We have seen the true quality of the young German playmaker.
His performances have impressed national team coach Joachim Loew too. Kroos has been called into the squad for the upcoming friendly against Argentina. Kroos is also being tipped by many to also make the squad for the World Cup squad in South Africa.
Due back at Bayern for the start of next season, Kroos can be sure that he will have a better run in the side this time round. Coach Louis van Gaal has proven this season that he will play the younger players if he believes they are good enough, and Kroos is certainly good enough.
With the possibility of World Cup experience to boot, something tells you we will be seeing a lot more of Toni Kroos in the near future.