Every football club wants to find the next big thing.Some teams may already have those future stars. Here are my top 5 youngsters.
5. Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid)
Just over a year ago Real Madrid won the race for the signature of Norwegian teenager Martin Odegaard. The now 17 year old has played mainly for the Madrid B team or ‘Castilla’ since his move last year but made his first team debut at the end of last season replacing Cristiano Ronaldo. A sign of things to come for the young midfielder? He has also made 8 appearances for Noways senior national team. Watch this space…
4. Youri Tielemans
This young Belgian is tipped for a great career with interest coming from the world’s biggest clubs. To give you an example of how good this guy is he made his Champion’s League debut at the age of 16 for Anderlecht (a Belgian record). He has cemented a starting position in the Anderlecht midfield and has scored some beautiful goals already. Just 18 years old the future looks bright for Tielemans.
3. Gianluigi Donnarumma
Gianluigi Donnarumma turned 17 last week. This season he has won the starting goalkeeper position for Italian giants AC Milan. He has won praise from current Milan keeper Christain Abbiati who has said the teenager has a “God given talent” and current Juventus and Italian international goalkeeper Gianlugi Buffon has said he is a “top keeper”. Already tipped to be Buffon’s replacement in the national team Donnarumma has all the time and ability to become one of the world’s best.
Signed by FC Barcelona in January 2014 Halilovic has been described as the ‘Croatian Messi’. Due to his low size,dribbling ability and vision Halilovic has secured a starting position in La Liga new-boys Sporting Gijon on loan from Barca. He had impressed in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb and scored 7 goals in 44 senior appearances. The 19 year old has been a key figure in Gijon’s fight to stay in La Liga to date scoring 3 goals in 22 appearances. Barcelona certainly have a talent and should they choose not to keep hold of him he won’t be with out a club for long.
1. Dele Alli
Dele Alli has been the breakthrough player of this year’s Premier League. The 19 year old has flourished in a Tottenham side fighting for the title. He has transitioned effortlessly from playing with Championship side MK Dons last season. Already handed his England debut by Roy Hodgson, Alli is likely to feature at this summers EURO’s. His goal against Crystal Palace is a goal of the season contender and his influence in Tottenham’s midfield could yet help them secure the Premier league this season.
Those are my top five young stars. Who knows how their careers will pan out but there is certainly plenty of time for any of them to become the next big thing. Let’s hope none of them end up like Freddy Adu who was dubbed the next Pele. Adu is now playing for the Tampa Bay Rowdies…