GMS contributor Jack Cunningham has picked his top five European attacking youngsters, do you agree?
Managers and fans always like to see young players succeed. It's 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 forwards in the game today, this is a list of the top five best from five top European nations.
1) Italy: Mario Balotelli, 22
The ex-Manchester City player is a controversial figure. Often unfocused and disinterested the super-talented forward has re-found and rekindled his love with the game. Since his return to Milan, this time with AC, he has netted 12 goals in 13 appearances. His mercurial talent has been shown on the International stage where he has spearheaded the Italian attack since Euro 2012.
2) Germany: Andre Schurrle, 22
The new Chelsea boy is a huge prospect. The German International netted 14 times in the Bundesliga last season and is known for his blistering speed and supreme finishing technique. He is also surely going to feature heavily for the German national team over the next 10 years and will look to form partnerships with the fantastic and, slightly older at 23, Thomas Muller.
3) Spain: Gerard Deulofeu,18
The Barcelona starlet is destined for the Premier League after joining Everton on a season-loan. The Spanish forward will light up Goodison Park with pace and expert finishing. Last season he notched up 18 goals for Barcelona B last season and looks likely to soon make the transition out of La Masia and reserve games and propel himself into the Barcelona first team.
4) France: M’baye Niang, 18
The AC Milan winger is full of energy, pace and raw talent. The 18-year-old is AC Milan’s 2nd youngest goal scorer and is rated incredibly highly at both AC and by the French National team. However, he is often breaking rules and his attitude may cost his talent as he is currently banned for the French National team. Hopefully the speedster will learn from under Mario Balotelli’s guidance as he will understand Niang all-to-well.
5) England: Wilfried Zaha, 20
The exciting winger has recently been picked up by Manchester United. He was key to Crystal Palace’s play-off campaign and was pivotal in their successful promotion push. Strong, quick and fast-feet, Zaha has the ability to become a star in the Premier League and on the International stage. The adaptable player can be used as an attacker on the wing or supporting the striker.
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