With the Euro 2016 rapidly approaching, HENRY FAGAN takes a closer look at five of the brightest young stars on show at the tournament.
Dele Alli (England)
The 20-year-old Dele Alli enjoyed a fabulous season with Tottenham Hotspur as his emergence went a long way to powering the side’s Premier League title charge. His brilliant technique, darting runs and clever footwork helped the Englishman to 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, earning himself a place in the PFA team of the year in the process.
Divock Origi (Belgium)
The Liverpool starlet looks poised for a breakout season next term having gradually earned his place in the Anfield side following Jurgen Klopp’s arrival. The striker managed 10 goals for his club from 33 appearances, but with many of those initially coming from the bench, and his legions of fans will be expecting a much higher goal return in the 2016-17 season. The 21-year-old is known for his electric pace, meaning he presents a different kind of threat than the one posed by his international teammates Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku and will be one to watch in France.
Kingsley Coman (France)
Bayern Munich forward Kingsley Coman looks poised to further enhance his glowing reputation when his host nation France welcome Europe’s finest. The French star, who is on loan from Juventus but is likely to seal a permanent move to Bayern, made 35 appearances for the German giants this term, netting six times and assisting on 11 occasions. Didier Deschamps will be tempted to start Coman in the opening game with the fresh-faced teenager possessing plenty of pace, as well as a bag of tricks to go with his fluid passing. At just 19, he has a big future with both club and country.
Leroy Sane (Germany)
Schalke star Leroy Sane is perhaps Germany’s hottest young property and has been linked with a move to the Premier League in recent months. The starlet is known for his dynamism and his devastating direct dribbling and although he can play all over the pitch, he has been most successful on the right wing. The 20-year-old has a big future ahead of him and may prove himself a handful for opposition defences at Euro 2016 if handed the chance to impress by coach Joachim Low. Sane managed nine goals and seven assists from 42 appearances this season.
Renato Sanches (Portugal)
The 18-year-old star enjoyed a tremendous breakout season this term as he lined up at the heart of Benfica’s title winning side. Having recently secured a big money move to Bayern, the young Portuguese midfielder is adept at cutting out opposition plays, before carrying the ball forward from midfield and helping transition from defence to attack. The player managed five goals from 36 appearances this season and will be looking to be at Cristiano Ronaldo’s side in Group F.