Eight promising young players to watch out for during Euro 2016

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Over the last two seasons, several young players have emerged onto the European club football scene, some having already made telling contributions for their clubs. 

Heading into Euro 2016 in France, these players will have a chance to showcase their abilities on the international stage, where their talent can be seen by millions of viewers around the world, further improving their credentials. 

Several notable players have broken through into the limelight during past Euros.


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Wayne Rooney announced his entry to the international stage during Euro 2004 in Portgual, scoring four goals during the tournament. 

Other notable players that broke through in 2004 were Wesley Sneijder of Holland, Bastian Schweinsteiger of Germany and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. 

All of the above players now have a Champions League medal to their name, in addition to numerous league titles. 

Let's take a look at some of the most promising talents who have been selected in their respective national teams for the Euros, having shone for their club sides during the past season. 

Joshua Kimmich - Germany

The 21-year-old midfielder had a breakthrough season for Bayern Munich in 2015/2016, making a handful of appearances for the Bavarians. 

Having drawn similarities to Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan, the German midfielder specializes in tackles and interceptions, making him more suitable for the defensive aspects of the game. 

To say that Kimmich is likely to face stiff competition for a place in the first team would be an understatement. 

The reigning world champions have a plethora of midfielders to choose from and players such as Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Schweinsteiger, and Christoph Kramer would all be ahead of the young German in the pecking order for the central midfield roles. 

However, Kimmich could find a place in the team in defense, if not midfield, as he did occasionally for Bayern during the course of the season. 

Saul Niguez - Spain

After a breakthrough season for Atletico Madrid, Niguez has cemented his place in the first team at the Vicente Calderon. 

Niguez's style of play is that of a box-to-box midfielder, possessing high energy and work rate, similar to most players in Diego Simeone's side. 

The young Spanish international will also find it difficult to break into his national team starting eleven with players such as Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Isco, Sergio Busquets, Thiago Alcantara and David Silva in the side. 

However, Spain is currently in a transitional phase following their golden generation of players who helped the side win the World Cup and two Euros, which could provide the Atletico midfielder with a glimmer of hope in breaking into the Spanish team. 

Renato Sanches - Portugal

At the tender age of just 18, Sanchez has garnered the attention of scouts, coaches, critics, supporters and viewers all across Europe. 

Bayern have already snapped up the skillful midfielder from Benfica in a deal worth £27.5m, according to BBC, with the fee expected to increase. 

The Portuguese national team have had a ragged look to them in recent years, with a clear lack of cohesion and chemistry. 

Despite the presence of star players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani and Joao Moutinho, the team from the Iberian peninsula have far from impressed, which could pave the way for Sanches to make an appearance. 

Divock Origi - Belgium

Origi stormed into the Liverpool team under Jurgen Klopp this season, scoring five goals in 16 appearances for the club. 

In a club where fellow Belgian compatriot Christian Benteke and English forward Daniel Sturridge are expected to serve as the main strikers, Origi became a firm favorite for Klopp, especially in the latter stages of the season. 

Belgium have a host of strikers to choose from including Origi, Benteke, Yannick Carrasco, Romelu Lukaku and Michy Batshuayi, which could make it slightly tricky for Origi to make it into the first team, but it will certainly not come as a surprise if the young striker is picked.  

Anthony Martial - France

Having staked his place in Manchester United's first team, the French striker is likely to start for France during the Euros, especially due to the likely absence of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. 

The 20-year-old showed great maturity, pace and composure during his first season at Old Trafford, registering 11 goals in 31 appearances for the Red Devils.

Martial has been touted as the next Thierry Henry by viewers and critics. If the young striker is able to even remotely emulate the legendary former Arsenal striker, France as well as United will be in for a treat during the next decade. 

The former Monaco striker already has eight international caps under his name and will look to add to that tally in the upcoming Euros.

Dele Alli - England

The 20-year-old has not only broken into the Tottenham side this season, but has also been one of their main players during the season. 

The midfielder scored 11 goals and supplied nine assists during the campaign, firmly establishing his place in the attacking midfield role for the club from north London. 

Alli announced his arrival on the international stage with a spectacular goal against France in a friendly at Wembley in November and has been promising for the Three Lions ever since. 

Having clinched the Premier League Young Player of the Year, the English midfielder will be hoping to translate that fine form into the Euros. 

Kingsley Coman - France

Arguably the most exciting player on this list, Coman already has a great deal of senior level experience, having featured heavily for Bayern in the Bundesliga as well as the Champions League. 

Technically a Juventus player, on loan at Bayern, Coman is an out-and-out winger who likes to use his immense pace to run down the wide channel and put in crosses. 

The 19-year-old has shown great maturity while playing for the Bavarians and would occasionally switch flanks with Brazilian winger Douglas Costa during the course of a game to devastating effect. 

In a relatively young French side, Coman has a fair chance of making it into the first team, but could have to challenge the likes of Martial, Dimitri Payet and Antoine Griezmann for the wide positions. 

Marcus Rashford - England

There has been much hype around 18-year-old Marcus Rashford, who has managed to score on his Premier League, Europa League and most recently, his international debut. 

In just 11 appearances for United, Rashford managed to clinch five goals, one of them being the crucial winner against city rivals Manchester City. 

It will be interesting to see if England manager Roy Hodgson opts to select the young forward with the likes of Sturridge, Kane and Vardy also in the squad. 

One option could be to push Rashford out wide, a position the forward is quite familiar with. 

The Euros would be a great stage for the above players to showcase their talents further if given the chance to make an appearance. 

As mentioned earlier, these players have already made a mark for their club sides, some of them already considered as regular first team players. 

Viewers will be curious to see if they can have an impact on the tournament and help their respective teams progress far in the competition. 

Who will have the best tournament out of these eight players? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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