Managers and fans always like to see young players succeed. It is rewarding to watch players grow into the finished article and with many young players often not getting the chance at the highest level, it makes it extra special to see a youngster outplay their senior opponents.
With a number of great young midfielders in the game today, this is a list of the top five best in Europe.
1) Spain: Isco, 21
Real Madrid new boy, Isco, dazzled his way into the Bernabau with phenomenal goals, skills and assists during his time with Malaga. He was pivotal in their journey to the Champions League quarter finals and made the disappearance of Santi Cazorla almost unnoticeable. He has also performed on the international stage and was a key player in Spain’s recent U-21 European Championship victory. The winner of the 2012 Golden Boy certainly has huge potential and certainly looks like playing at the highest level of the game for a very long time.
2) Germany: Mario Gotze, 21
Mario Gotze hit the headlines for the wrong reasons with his recent move to Bayern Munich. His move from rivals Borussia Dortmund caused outrage as some believed he betrayed his boyhood club. Having said this, the attack-minded creative midfielder is an incredible talent. His football ability is awe-inspiring; a fantastic touch, incredible vision with the passing to match. The young German is another ‘Golden Boy’ on the list and will certainly improve under the guidance and managerial style of Pep Guardiola at Bayern. Mario Gotze will hopefully push on for a regular position in the national team but has fierce competition with the likes of Mesut Ozil already a similar role.
3) England: Jack Wilshere, 21
The Englishman has been at Arsenal his entire career and has been a part of the first team set-up since he was 16. After a successful loan spell at Bolton, he has been plagued by injuries which has been detrimental to his development. Even so, Jack Wilshere is an extremely exciting midfielder who can create chances with ease. He is an apt player but is most effective in a deep-lying midfield role where he becomes a fantastic box-to-box midfielder. He is widely praised as one of the world’s best midfielders already and will surely captain his country in the future. The world football community all hope that Wilshere will get over his injury concerns.
4) France: Paul Pogba, 20
The ex-Manchester United player left England without getting a fair chance. Paul Pogba was arguably arrogant and impatient with his approach towards United, however he has proved his worth this season at Juventus. He scored numerous important goals and the majority of them were fantastic strikes. He notched up 27 appearances for Juventus in the league and played a huge role in their retention of Serie A. The Frenchman also led his nation to the Fifa U-20 World Cup this year and was awarded the golden ball. Although he can be seen as arrogant with his celebrations or penalty-taking style, Pogba has a fantastic future ahead of him.
5) Italy: Marco Veratti, 20
Touted as the new Andrea Pirlo, who happens to be Marco Veratti’s idol, there is huge pressure on this young Italian’s shoulders. He is one of the world’s best deep lying midfielders at the age of 20 and since his high-profile transfer to Paris Saint-German, he has looked the real deal. He played 39 times in their title-winning season and performed at great levels for one so young. He has an incredibly bright future ahead of him and will be pivotal for both club and country over the next ten to fifteen years.
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