Under-21 XI: Best young players in world football
The young gems of the game that are set to take the footballing world by storm
Footballers seem to be getting younger and younger as time goes on. Any number of teenagers can be spotted playing in the top leagues around Europe. There are so many youngster that it is now possible to make a world-class team out of under-21 stars and that's exactly what we have done below:
Goal kepper | Thibaut Courtois | Atletico Madrid (On loan from Chelsea)
The Belgian first team goalie is in top form for Atletico Madrid, keeping many clean sheets and making some outstanding saves. Atletico were reportedly interested in keeping the youngster but Chelsea will have no intention of selling the youngster, seeing him as a natural successor to Petr Cech.
Right back | Carl Jenkinson | Arsenal
The Arsenal man turned 21 in February so scrapes in to this under-21 side. His £1 million transfer from Charlton raised many eyebrows in the stands at the Emirates with many fans wanted big-name signings. But Jenkinson has since proved to be another unearthed diamond in the rough for Arsene Wenger and is surely on his way to becoming England’s first-choice right back. He still has some raw attributes to his game but just give him some time and he will be great.
Centre Back | Matija Nastasic | Manchester City
The Manchester City defender has become a mainstay in the City side due to the absence of Vincent Kompany. He has since proved more than worthy to fill the captain’s boots. His speed for a centre back is amazing and his passing and composure is absolutely superb. He has been in great form this season and can do much better.
Centre Back | Raphael Varane | Real Madrid
The Real Madrid player has been in excellent form this season. After the fine performances against Barcelona and Manchester United the young Frenchman looks to be a future skipper for club and country. He has become one of the most talked about teenagers in the world. With his superhuman strength and headers, he will go far.
Left back | David Alaba | Bayern Munich
The fast-as-lightning left back for Bayern Munich has been in astonishing form for the German side as well as his national side Austria. His tireless engine and willingness to get forward has seen his score a handful of goals this year, most recently in the Champions League against Juventus.
Right midfield | Lucas Moura | Paris Saint-Germain
PSG did well to warn off interest from Manchester United to sign the sought-after Brazilian. They reportedly paid a staggering €40 million for him but if his form continues that will prove to be a worthy price tag.
His agility and composure on the ball will take him far at Paris Saint-Germain. Expect him to light up the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Central midfield | Paul Pogba | Juventus
Pogba hit the headlines last summer after rejecting a contract extension from Manchester United and instead opted to sign for Italian giants Juventus. Whether the move will prove to be a good one or not is still to be seen but one thing for sure is that Manchester United will regret not keeping this talented youngster.
Central midfield | Mario Gotze | Borussia Dortmund
Mario Gotze is one of hottest property in world football right now. His speed, shooting accuracy, agility and technical ability is outstanding. At the tender age of 20 he is already considered to be a mainstay in the national side and a key member of Borussia Dortmund’s XI.
Central midfield | Isco | Malaga
The main man for Malaga has been excellent for them this season and will no doubt be on the wish list for many clubs. Isco was brought in to the side as a key player after Santi Cazorla was transferred to Arsenal. Fans were worried the young lad wouldn’t come close to filling the little Spaniard’s boots but he has since proved them wrong. He has been scoring wonderful goals and creating them as well. This midfielder is already a legend of Malaga and the club will have to try hard to keep him away from the top clubs this summer.
Left midfield | Stephen El Shaarawy | AC Milan
The nimble 20-year-old has come to prominence this year after notching up an impressive 16 goals for AC Milan despite being played on the left-wing. That leaves him second in the scoring charts behind only Edison Cavani.
Striker | Romelu Lukaku | Chelsea
The Belgian international was sent out on loan to West Brom at the start of the season after failing to break in to the Chelsea team. However, the young Belgian international has been Chelsea’s top scoring striker having scored 13 goals for West Brom. Chelsea fans will be itching to get the youngster back in the ranks with Fernando Torres edging closer and closer to anonymity. Combining speed, strength and shooting accuracy the bulky man is bound to be brilliant.
Did someone you deem unwrothy not make the team? Is there a hidden gem out there we've missed? Let us know in the comment box below.
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