Five starlets who can shine at Euro 2016

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With the conclusion of the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga over the past week, the eyes of football fans all around Europe are starting to turn towards Euro 2016.

With a little under three weeks to go until Europe's elite go head to head in France, the debate still rages on over which team possesses the necessary qualities to be crowned champions. 

One thing is for certain, however, there will be no shortage of exciting young talent on show come the start of Euro 2016.


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With most countries having announced their preliminary squads heading into the tournament, we take a look at five young players who look set to have a huge summer ahead of them.

Anthony Martial

If you haven't heard of Anthony Martial, then where have you been for the past nine months?

After signing for Manchester United in September for an initial fee of £36 million - rising to a potential £58 million - Martial has been a shining light in an otherwise disappointing year for the Old Trafford club.

Scoring an impressive 17 goals in his 48 appearances this term - most of which came playing as a glorified winger - Martial has offered pace, power, and unpredictability to a side which has otherwise all to often failed to impress. 

Having already been capped eight times by France despite his tender-age, Martial is still yet to make a serious impression on the international stage - having failed to find the net for France thus far. 

However, with doubts still lingering over Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud's ability to lead the line for his country, and following Didier Deschamps much-publicised decision to exclude controversial Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, many fans are now hoping that Martial will be given the chance to form a partnership with Atletico Madrid's in-form Antoine Griezmann. 

If this were to prove correct, Martial's ability to transfer his club-form to the international stage might just prove pivotal in deciding who will be crowned champions, come July 10.

Leroy Sane

Yet another promising young talent to emerge from Schalke's prestigious academy, Leroy Sane has been something of a revelation for Gelsenkirchen-based club. 

Having only made 15 appearances for the club prior to the start of the season - scoring four goals in the process - Sane burst onto the scene this season, quickly establishing himself as a key part of Schalke's push for European football.

Having gone on to make 48 appearances in all competitions, registering an impressive ten goals and a further eight assists, Sane's form in the Bundesliga has reportedly attracted the attentions of both Manchester United and Manchester City.

Sane's form was also enough to earn him a call up to the Germany squad in November of last year, making his debut against France in a 0-2 defeat.

A lightening quick midfielder capable of playing both through the middle as well as out wide, Sane's versatility - as well as his ability to chip in with goals from midfield - could be crucial to Germany's chances of completing a back-to-back World Cup and Euro double.

Renato Sanches

Renato Sanches was perhaps a name unfamiliar to many across Europe before his big-money move to European giants Bayern Munich earlier this month. 

To those already familiar with Sanches' ability and vast potential however, it is easy to see why Bayern Munich were persuaded to part with a potential £62 million in order to secure the 18-year-old Portuguese' signature. 

Having only broken through into Benfica's first team in October of last year, Sanches went on to make 35 appearances for the Portuguese champions - including six appearances in the Champions League - scoring two goals in the process.

Sanches has broken a number of records for the club since making his debut, including the prestigious title of being the youngest player to be called up for a major tournament with Portugal, as well as being the youngest player to score a goal at home for Benfica in the 21st century - a 35 yard wonder strike against Academica.

A powerful all round midfielder capable of playing both behind the strikers as well as in a deeper role, Sanches' potential and raw ability have led many to hope that Euro 2016 might just be the tournament in which Sanches truly announces himself to the footballing world.

Saul Niguez

Yet another young, talented midfielder to come out of Spain. Saul Niguez has certainly got a lot of people very excited. 

A former member of Real Madrid's famed academy, it is at their local rivals Atletico that Saul has gone on to forge his reputation. 

After starring for Atletico's B-side, Saul was loaned to fellow La Liga side Rayo Vallecano for the 2013/14 season. After immediately impressing, he quickly became a key-fixture of the side that went on to perform well above many people's expectations, finishing a very respectable 12th in La Liga.

On his return to Atletico the following year, Saul's impressive form won him a regular place in Diego Simeone's Atletico side. After making 34 appearances in the 2014/2015 season, Niguez went on to make a further 47 the following year, scoring an impressive nine goals along the way - including a sublime solo effort against Barcelona in their Champions League semi finals.

One of the hottest midfield prospect's to come out of Spain since David Silva and Sergio Busquets, many have backed Saul to cement a regular starting berth in his national side over the coming years, starting with Euro 2016.

Dele Alli

Labelled the 'best young midfielder England has had since Paul Gascoigne' by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Dele Alli certainly has no shortage of admirers.

After breaking into Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham squad at the start of the season, Alli's form and continued ability to produce moments of sheer magic saw him become a vital component of the North London club's title challenge.

Despite having only recently turned 20, Alli racked up an impressive 46 appearances for Spurs this season, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further 12 across all competitions. 

His almost telepathic understanding with fellow Englishman and in-form striker Harry Kane has also led to much public-demand for the pair to both start for England across the entirety of Euro 2016.

Either way, Kane and Alli's form is no doubt going to be crucial to England's Euro 2016 hopes, and if the pair are able to replicate the form that both have displayed for Tottenham across the entirety of this season, then those hopes might not be looking to shabby. 

Who do you think will shine at Euro 2016? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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Wayne Rooney
Manchester United
Tottenham Hotspur
England Football
Premier League

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