Top 25 Youngsters Who Could Be the Next Mario Goetze

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IDecember 19, 2011

Top 25 Youngsters Who Could Be the Next Mario Goetze

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    Most clubs in the world invest quite a lot in their own youth set-up and academy for one reason: it helps when a youth player is groomed for the first team and can integrate smoothly. There is a need to have big squads in modern-day club football because of the various competitions and demands. Youngsters get a chance to prove themselves at the highest level. One such player who has proved his caliber at such a level is Mario Goetze.

    Despite being just 19 years of age, Goetze has already established himself as one of Borussia Dortmund's best players. He played a major role in helping them clinch the Bundesliga title the previous season. Though the German midfielder is a superb player, his moves in the future will also determine the trajectory of his career. Bad transfer moves often deteriorate a player's confidence.

    Goetze will attract the attentions of some of the biggest clubs in the world, but he has to make the right decision for his future. Continue reading to discover 25 other youngsters who could become the next big breakout star.

     

    Note: Since the article title is regarding Goetze, all defensive players have been excluded from this article though strikers are also included.

Ryo Miyaichi

1 of 25

    Country: Japan

    Age: 19

    Club: Arsenal

    Position: Winger

    Ryo Miyaichi was signed by Arsenal in January. The young Japanese teenager was a huge success at Feyenoord where he was on loan for the second half of the previous season. The Arsenal winger is rated as one of the best prospects in the future for the Gunners and he has the potential to be an excellent player in the future.

    He has yet to play in the Premiership but he is under the guidance of Arsene Wenger, who has developed several young players into world-class athletes. With plenty of pace and an array of tricks, he is very difficult to handle for the full backs and though still raw, he could be a superb player in the future.

Ross Barkley

2 of 25

    Country: England

    Age: 18

    Club: Everton

    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    Everton has produced some excellent talents in the past. David Moyes is a manager who can bring out the best from the youngsters. Wayne Rooney and Jack Rodwell are examples of young players making the grade at Everton, and young Ross Barkley is the next player who is likely to attract the attentions of the big clubs.

    Barkley is an exciting talent who plays as an attacking midfielder and the club does have high hopes for the youngster. However, if Everton does not bring in a new owner who can pump in the finances, it is rather inevitable that Barkley will leave Everton after some years at the club because he is a superb talent.

Erik Lamela

3 of 25

    Country: Argentina

    Age: 19

    Club: Roma

    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    There are a number of South American footballers in Europe and for some, it does take time to settle in. Erik Lamela was signed from River Plate from Roma and though he has not yet shown his maximum potential in Italy, there is no doubt that he is a very talented player.

    With Luis Enrique rotating a lot in his team and Roma not being consistent, it has been tough for Lamela to some extent. He is a player with a lot of talent and, with time, he could be one of the most-sought-after players in Europe if he keeps his motivation and focus.

Luc Castaignos

4 of 25

    Country: Netherlands

    Age: 19

    Club: Inter Milan

    Position: Striker

    Though Luc Castaignos plays in a position different to that of Mario Goetze, it has to be said that Castaignos is one of the best young strikers in the world and has the ability to be a top player in the future. He was given a run of games at Feyenoord but did leave the club at an early age to join Inter Milan, who are in a tough period of transition. However, Castaignos has the ability to prove his ability in a stronger league and can prove to be a very astute signing for the Milan-based club.

Lucas Piazon

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    Country: Brazil

    Age: 17

    Club: Sao Paulo

    Position: Attacking Midfielder / Second Striker

    Lucas Piazon is yet another exciting talent to emerge from South America, and the Brazilian midfielder is regarded to be a highly talented player by his club. However, Chelsea have sealed the deal to sign the youngster, who will arrive at the club when he turns 18 in January 2012. It could be an excellent move from the Blues, but they will need to encourage him as he makes the transition. It will be a challenge for the talented Brazilian and he will hope Chelsea will provide the stability required for him to be a top player.

Mateo Kovacic

6 of 25

    Country: Croatia

    Age: 17

    Club: Dinamo Zagreb

    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    Mateo Kovacic is one of the best prospects in the world and it will not be a surprise if he attracts the attention of some of the big clubs in the world.

    Kovacic is one of the biggest talents at Dinamo Zagreb and the manager will be reluctant to lose him. He has already made a number of appearances for the club and he is capable of playing at the highest level.

    He has attracted the attentions of several clubs in the world and could be at a big club in the future if he continues to progress.

James Rodriguez

7 of 25

    Country: Colombia

    Age: 20

    Club: FC Porto

    Position: Attacking Midfielder / Forward

    James Rodriguez was signed by Porto in the summer of 2010 when Porto were managed by current Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. Villas-Boas' team was excellent throughout the season and though Rodriguez is talented, he did not manage to make many appearances under Villas-Boas.

    However, he is a very talented individual and will hopefully continue to impress at Porto like he did in the U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

Philippe Coutinho

8 of 25

    Country: Brazil

    Age: 19

    Club: Inter Milan

    Position: Attacking Midfielder / Winger

    Inter Milan signed the youngster at a young age from Brazilian club Vasco da Gama and it could be one of the best moves for the future because he is a superb player for the future.

    Inter Milan are going through a tough period of transition but there is no doubt that the likes of Coutinho and Ricardo Alvarez do have the quality. When Coutinho adjusts completely to Italy, he will further improve on his game and he is a player to look out for in the future.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

9 of 25

    Country: England

    Age: 18

    Club: Arsenal

    Position: Winger

    Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain was signed by Arsenal for a high transfer fee from Southampton, which is quite rare for Arsene Wenger, especially on an unproven youngster. However, on seeing him play, it is quite understandable why Arsenal were eager to sign the midfielder: he could be an integral player in the future for the Gunner.

    With great ability on the ball and a mature head on young shoulders, he could turn out to be one of Wenger’s superb signings if he goes on to realize his talent.

Josh McEachran

10 of 25

    Country: England

    Age: 18

    Club: Chelsea

    Position: Cenral Midfielder

    Frank Lampard has been the mainstay of Chelsea’s midfield for a very long time, but with age catching up to the England midfielder, the Blues are fortunate to have one of the most talented youngsters in their squad who can replace him. 

    Josh McEachran is a rare talent in English football, and if he gets the right manager to develop his potential, he could turn out to be integral to Chelsea’s future. McEachran is a player who could also be a England regular if he continues to progress at Stamford Bridge.

Alvaro Morata

11 of 25

    Country: Spain

    Age: 19

    Club: Real Madrid

    Position: Striker

    There have been several talented players, including the likes of Juan Mata, who have gone to other clubs after not receiving enough opportunities having come through the academy of Real Madrid.

    However, Alvaro Morata will hope that that will not be the case with him because he is a footballer of immense potential and can succeed at the club if given the chance. He does have an excellent manager in Jose Mourinho in the first team, but with Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain ahead of him, he has to wait for his chances as of now.

Gerard Deulofeu

12 of 25

    Country: Spain

    Age: 17

    Club: FC Barcelona

    Position: Winger

    Gerard Deulofeu is a player who could turn out to be the next big thing for FC Barcelona, considering that he has the quality to be a superb player.

    His mentality is the only question and the question is whether he is ready to wait for his chances because it is very difficult to break into this Barcelona side.

    Though he does need to work on some things,  he does have the ability and needs to keep his faith in Pep Guardiola, who integrated the likes of Pedro and Sergio Busquets in the first team from the youth academy.


Stephan El Shaarawy

13 of 25

    Country: Italy / Egypt

    Age: 19

    Club: AC Milan

    Position: Striker

    Stephan El Shaarawy was signed by Milan in this summer and does look to be a very promising prospect for the Italian giants.

    With the Italian giants losing Antonio Cassano due to illness, Shaarawy could have a more prominent role to play this season though there are many quality strikers at Milan.

    The striker scored a vital goal against Udinese and he does have the talent to be an important player for Milan though it will be difficult with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexander Pato in front of the striker.

Julian Draxler

14 of 25

    Country: Germany

    Age: 18

    Club: Schalke 04

    Position: Midfielder

    Julian Draxler is yet another talented German individual to emerge from one of the Bundesliga teams and Schalke will hope that they can retain the services of this midfielder for a long time.

    Draxler is one of the most talented German youngsters and despite his age, he has made a number of appearances for the Schalke team and could be integral to their progress in the future.

    It would not be a surprise if big clubs do show their interest in him but the best decision for him and for the club would be if he stays for at least the next few seasons.

Romelu Lukaku

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    Country: Belgium 

    Age: 18

    Club: Chelsea

    Position: Striker

    With a physique and height at 6' 4" at only the age of 18, it is not surprising that he has been compared with Didier Drogba, who is one of the best strikers in the last decade. Chelsea signed the young Belgian international from Anderlecht for a lot of money but with age on his side, he has the quality to prove that the Blues did the right decision in signing him. He has great physical attributes and showed in Belgium that he can be a good finisher as well.

    With more time in England, it is expected that he will develop into a much better player and he needs the support of the manager and team-mates at this early stage in his Chelsea career.

Andy Polo

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    Country: Peru 

    Age: 17

    Club: Universitario de Deportes

    Position: Striker

    Andy Polo is one of the names we could possibly hear in the future, considering that he is a very impressive talent despite being only 17. He has been linked with some of the biggest clubs in the world and it will not be long before he is playing in Europe. He has an excellent eye for goal and has pace to burn which is essential for a striker of his type. He can make runs from behind the defenders and offers a genuine threat upfront and will be a very astute signing for almost any club in the world.

Alexander Merkel

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    Country: Germany

    Age: 18

    Club: Genoa (in co-ownership with AC Milan)

    Position: Midfielder

    It is not often that you can see talented prospects from Germany outside the Bundesliga and youngster Alexander Merkel is an exception in that respect. He was signed by Milan at an early age and has since developed himself at Italy though he received very little opportunities at the San Siro.

    He was signed by Genoa for co-ownership of the player in a deal similar to Stephan El Shaarawy and he does have more opportunities to play at Genoa. Merkel is an impressive talent and though it is a challenge for him to break into the German national team, he could make it if he shows determination and continues to improve with more opportunities.

Souleymane Coulibaly

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    Country: Ivory Coast

    Age: 16

    Club: Tottenham

    Position: Striker

    Souleymane Coulibaly was one of the standout performers in the U-17 World Cup, as he scored nine goals in only four appearances. He is a superb finisher and also looks to have the quality required to play at the highest level.

    The Ivory Coast striker will inevitably be compared with compatriot Didier Drogba but he is a slightly different player with Samuel Eto'o looking to be a better comparison for the 16-year-old. It is important that he develops further at Tottenham because Giovanni Dos Santos who is a superb talent has wasted his time at Spurs for quite some time now.

    However, Spurs are a club which can give him more playing time and he could grow into his role in England.

Sergio Canales

19 of 25

    Country: Spain

    Age: 20

    Club: Valencia (on loan from Real Madrid)

    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    Sergio Canales is one of the brightest prospects for Spain in the future and it is unfortunate that he has sustained a bad injury at this time just as he was getting more playing time. He excelled in his time at Racing Santander and was signed by Real Madrid.

    However, he failed to make the most of limited opportunities at Madrid where he was below many brilliant players in the pecking order and was sent out on loan to Valencia to hone his skills and develop his confidence.

    He is undoubtedly a very talented player but needs more playing time to perform consistently enough.

Lucas Moura

20 of 25

    Country: Brazil

    Age: 19

    Club: Sao Paulo

    Position: Attacking Midfielder

    Brazil continue to produce some of the best attacking talents and Lucas Moura from Sao Paulo is another Brazilian starlet who looks like he will make it big in the future. He has been compared with Sao Paulo's former star Ricardo Kaka and though he has some way to go, he does have the calibre to be special in the future. Despite only breaking into the first team in 2010, he has already made 10 appearances for the Brazil national team and will only continue to progress.

Iker Muniain

21 of 25

    Country: Spain

    Age: 19

    Club: Athletic Bilbao

    Position: Winger / Striker

    Iker Muniain is one of the best Spanish talents and also has represented the team in the Spain U-21, though he is yet to represent the senior team. Athletic Bilbao have some excellent players in their ranks, some of whom have come through their academy and Iker Muniain is a very fine prospect. He is a regular now for Athletic Bilbao and at only 19 years of age, he has a lot to offer for the team and will continue to develop into a better player.

Xherdan Shaqiri

22 of 25

    Country: Switzerland

    Age: 20

    Club: FC Basel

    Position: Attacking Midfielder / Winger

    FC Basel have some excellent young players in their side, and youngster Xherdan Shaqiri is arguably their best player.

    The Basel midfielder is a player who is unpredictable and is difficult to mark for defenders. He has immense quality on the ball and showed against Manchester United recently and also against the England national team that he can play at the highest level. He is a very important player for Switzerland and Basel but it is inevitable that he will leave for a bigger club in the future because he is a player of immense potential.

Raheem Sterling

23 of 25

    Country: England

    Age: 17

    Club: Liverpool

    Position: Winger

    Raheem Sterling was signed by Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers at a very young age and it seems like it was a great signing, considering the fact that he could go on to become a superb player in the future for Liverpool.

    He scored five goals in a single youth cup game for the Reds against Southend United and could be one for the future for the Reds. He has great individual ability and if he is slowly integrated into the team, he could be a world class player for Liverpool and England.


David Alaba

24 of 25

    Country: Austria

    Age: 19

    Club: Bayern Munich

    Position: Winger

    Bayern Munich have produced several brilliant talents in the past and have an excellent academy and scouting system, which helps them keep churning out talented players for the senior team.

    David Alaba can be considered as an excellent signing by Bayern from Austria Vienna when he was still a youth player. He has since played for the Bundesliga giants and has shown that he has a lot of talent and could be even better with more playing time.

Joel Campbell

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    Country: Costa Rica

    Age: 19

    Club: FC Lorient (on loan from Arsenal)

    Position: Striker / Winger

    Arsene Wenger does have an eye for picking out some of the best talents in the world and it does seem that he has landed one of his best bargain signings by signing youngster Joel Campbell. The striker has been loaned out to Lorient FC in France to gain more experience and when the work permit is granted which is only a matter of time considering he is a senior Costa Rica international.

    Campbell is quite strong, has good dribbling ability and, most importantly, he can shoot excellently, which is why he has the capability to be a prolific goalscorer for Arsenal in the future.