Five young players to look out for in the 2014-15 season

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In recent seasons the likes of Isco, Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling, among others, have all burst onto the scene and captured the imaginations of football fans from across the world.

So with the new football season fast approaching we take a look at five European based players who will be hoping to make the 2015-16 season their breakthrough campaign.

Jordon Ibe, Liverpool (England)

Having been backed by Kop legend Steven Gerrard as the man to replace the recently departed Raheem Sterling; Jordon Ibe already has the support from one of the most influential figures in Liverpool's history to be a success for the Merseyside club in the years to come.


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Strong, powerful and possessing a tremendous amount of pace, Ibe has also earned praise for the level of maturity he has shown in his performances for Liverpool; being labelled by manager Brendan Rodgers as someone who can become a 'top-class performer for Liverpool' should he continue to show the same level of progression.

Ibe joined Liverpool from Wycombe Wanderers for an undisclosed fee in 2012, having made his debut for the Chairboys aged just 15 in a League Cup match in 2011. However despite making his debut for Liverpool on the final day of the 2012-13 season the young winger found opportunities hard to come by at Anfield and instead went on to enjoy two separate loan spells over the next two seasons at Birmingham City and Derby County respectively.

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Where it was at the latter he began to fulfill his potential by scoring five goals in 20 appearances for the Rams, before being recalled by Liverpool to rejoin the first team. He went on to make 14 appearances for The Reds last season, with his first start coming in a 0-0 draw against Everton in the Merseyside derby. A match in which he came the closest to opening the scoring in when his fiercely struck effort hit the post, as well as being named 'man of the match' for his performance.

Whilst the summer has also seen Liverpool strengthen their squad considerably, with the arrivals of James Milner and Roberto Firmino in particular likely to provide further competition for Ibe to contend with. However with the London born wide man continuing to impress in pre-season Jordon Ibe could prove to be a household name for years to come. 

Anthony Martial, AS Monaco (France)

Despite his tender age of 19 Anthony Martial can already boast nearly 50 senior appearances to his name for Monaco, with all but one of his appearances so far for the principality club coming in the previous campaign.

The young forward enjoyed an impressive debut season for the club last term, netting ten goals in all competitions as Monaco finished the league campaign in third place behind Lyon and fellow heavy spending giants PSG. 

That form led to him being heavily linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur this summer. However the move never came to fruition with the forward instead choosing to sign a new four year deal and remain at the club until 2019.

Blessed with great pace and energy the youngster has drawn comparisons with fellow Frenchman and Monaco academy graduate Thiery Henry for his performances last season. Having formed a formidable attacking partnership with Joao Moutiniho, Bernardo Silva and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco.

Inevitably many a fan will still have there doubts over whether the youngster can reach his full potential, having only completed one full season at first team level. However should he continue to progress at this current rate then there remains no reason why Martial could not be become one of the best players to emerge from French football in recent years. 

Inaki Williams - Athletic Bilbao 

It's not often a player makes history in their debut season for a club, but that's exactly what Inaki Williams managed to do for Athletic Bilbao last season.

Williams became the first black player to score for the Basque side in their entire 117 year history last term, when he found the net against Torino in the Europa League.

The Spanish giants follow the 'cantera policy' which allows them only to field players who have been born or trained in the Basque region, with Williams himself being born in the region but to a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother.

The young winger caught the attention of Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde last season after scoring 21 goals in 32 appearances for the Basque club's reserve side. A return which allowed him to make his debut for the first team last December, as he went on to score three goals in 25 appearances for Bilbao in his debut season for the club.

Having already made history in his first season at senior level, the pressure will be on Williams to prove his ability once again for the coming season in Spain. With many waiting to see if the young forward was just a 'one season wonder' or whether he truly has the ability and consistency to maintain his current form and more for the rest of his career.

Alessio Romagnoli - AS Roma 

Powerful, tactically astute and up for a tough challenge or two, Alessio Romagnoli fits the bill perfectly for your typical Italian defender. So much so that by his 17th birthday in 2012 the young centre back was already being involved in and around the first team squad at Roma.

Going on to make his debut for the Giallorossi later that year, aged 18, against Atalanta in Serie A. However following the sacking of then Roma coach Zdenek Zeman, Romagnoli found himself frozen out of the first team by Zeman's replacement Rudi Garcia and instead spent the entire 2014/15 season on loan at Sampdoria.

Romagnoli scored two goals in 30 appearances during his time on loan at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, helping Sampdoria to finish seventh in the Italian domestic league and qualify for the Europa League.

Over the last few weeks AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was Romagnoli's coach at Sampdoria last season has not hidden his admiration for the Italian under-21. 

Although with Premier League giants Arsenal also said to be heavily interested in the young defender it remains to be seen where Romagnoli will be playing his football for the coming season.

Compared to Alessandro Nesta for his style of play and physique. Should Romagnoli go on to replicate anywhere near the amount of success the Italian legend achieved in his career then he will certainly be worth his weight in gold to whoever manages to get his signature on the dotted line.

Marc Stendera - Eintracht Frankfurt 

Yet another highly rated youngster to emerge from the conveyor belt of talent in German football, Marc Stendera at the age of just 19 is already being billed as the future of both the Bundesliga and national team in Germany. 

His exploits at the FIFA under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, for Germany, this summer saw him earn the bronze boot accolade; with his four goals and three assists helping the Germans reach the quarter finals of the tournament where they were ultimately eliminated by Mali on penalties.

Full of flair and confidence, the attacking midfielder has become known in his homeland for his quality from set-pieces, earning comparisons to Germany World Cup winning scorer Mario Gotze


In past seasons to date the likes of Issac Cuenca and Federico Macheda are just some of the many names who promised so much in the early days of their careers but ultimately failed to live up to expectations, keeping true to the phrase 'form is temporary, class is permanent'.

In short only time will tell as to whether any of the players mentioned go on to fulfil their potential. For in football it takes much more than just talent alone to become one of the very best players to have ever graced the beautiful game.

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Athletic Bilbao
AS Monaco
AS Roma

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