France XI: Real Madrid starlet to lead French revolution?
Real Madrid starlet Raphael Varane & Juventus ace Paul Pogba can lead France to future glory
France have been developing many young great starlets of late and may have caught they eye of top European clubs.
I have put together a squad of promising french youngsters, who have been tipped for greatness.
Goalkeeper: Ali Ahamada (Toulouse) 21
We start with Ahamada. The acrobatic France Under-21 Number one hasn't featured much this campaign for Mid-table Toulouse.
However he left a great impression on Ligue 1 in the 2010-11 season, capitalising on the injury suffered to usual starter Marc Vidal. He is the undisputed future number one for club and country.
Right-back: Sebastien Corchia (Sochaux) 22
Promising right-back Sebastien Corchia is currently on the books for relegation-threatened Sochaux, but for how long? It's certain this bright young footballer will be playing for one of Euope's 'big dogs' in the near future. 21 caps for the under-21 side as well as three goals, it's looking likely that the France senior squad will come calling soon.
Centre-back: Kurt Zouma (Saint-Etienne) 18
Having already impressed many round Europe this season, it does not need much to tell you that quick centre-back standing at 6 foot 2 inches tall is one of the most highly rated youngster's to have come out of the famed academy.
Strong, quick, tall. With attributes like those he is sure to be snapped up sooner or later by a 'top club' such as Manchester United or the Italian giants.
Centre-back: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) 19
Recently saw an astronomical rise to fame after his Champions League heroics against the likes of Manchester United, the giant, talented centre-back is already being touted as one of the greats to have ever come out of the country's youth system.
Before his big move to Real Madrid in 2011, Varane played league football for RC Lens in Ligue 2. One of the coups of recent times? Only time will tell...
Left-back: Lucas Digne (Lille OSC) 19
Another potential Manchester United target, the versatile Lucas Digne. Also capable of playing in left-midfield, Digne was called upon by manager Rudi Garcia to fill the flying wing-back void left by the departed Mathieu Debuchy to Newcastle and this season he has gained a ton of plaudits, not only attacking but holding strong at the heart of the LOSC defence. Definitely a huge star for the future.
Defensive-midfield: Paul Pogba (Juventus) 20
After scoring two screamers for the Turin side either side of half time in a league game versus Udinese, Paul Pogba's summer transfer to Juventus is leaving people dazed how Manchester United could let a huge talent like Pogba slip through their fingers. A regular in the Serie A champion's side and a strong defensive midfielder, Paul easily walks into this side.
Defensive-midfield: Geoffrey Kondogbia (Sevilla) 20
The number 22 midfielder has had a strong start to life at Sevilla, another player to have come from Lens like his former Under-20 team mate Varane. Constantly been linked with a move away recently in tabloids, however there is no reason to see why the Andalusian club would be pushovers.
Attacking-midfield: Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) 22
Blistering pace and possesses the technical skill to beat any defender. Griezmann has had a fantastic season with Champions League chasing Real Sociedad from the Basque region of Spain.
Three goals from 10 caps for the French Under-21 side, Griezmann has, at times, been played as a striker but has adapted well to the wings as a mercurial attacking midfielder.
Attacking-midfield: Florian Thauvin (Bastia-on loan from Lille OSC) 20
After a huge hype about the Orleans midfielder after excelling for Corsican side Bastia in Ligue 1, he decided to swap blue for red and seal a winter transfer to Lille. Part of the deal was to see him loaned straight back to Bastia to finish a relatively successful campaign. Highly rated and showing great potential, a definite for the squad.
Attacking-midfield: Neal Maupay (Nice) 16
Despite his age, the 5 foot 7 inches man from the Cote D'azur is proving to be an unearthed gem for Europa League pushing side Nice. Currently sitting fifth in Ligue 1, Maupay has scored three times in 15 appearances for the club, a brilliant record for a 16 year old in his debut season.
Surely a future prospect for Europe's top sides? He could be the new Ezequiel Lavezzi - possessing pace and extraordinary vision as well as a great eye for goal.
Striker: Alexandre Lacazette (Olympique Lyonnais) 21
The Lyon number 10 is known around Ligue 1 for his pace and dribbling skills. The dynamic striker has displayed this all season long as he has been guiding Lyon to a Champions League spot, time will tell if they make it or not but Lacazette has certainly impressed possible suitors of a summer move. Can also play in midfield or on the wing, versatile and has a cracker of a shot. A future star? Definitely.
Honourable mentions also go out to:
Samuel Umtiti (Lyon) 19
Mamadou Sakho (PSG) 23
Gueida Fofana (Lyon) 21
Emmanuel Riviere (Monaco) 23
Henri Saivet (Bordeaux) 22
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