While the stakes involved in modern football mean that top teams must always prioritize the here and now, there is also a pressing need to invest in youth. By identifying and nurturing the young talent that can help to drive future success, clubs can reduce operational costs without compromising on their output on the field of play. The current European game is littered with immensely talented youngsters and starlets, many of whom are already making their burgeoning mark on the top leagues.
3 of the most talented youngsters in the European game
With this in mind, we have selected three of the most promising youngsters currently plying their trade in the European leagues. These include: -
Anthony Martial (Manchester United and France)
While many may have scoffed when Louis Van Gaal spent a staggering £36 million on a 19 year old striker with minimal first team experience, there are few fans or pundits laughing now. Martial has wowed spectators with his transition to the EPL with Manchester United, scoring four times in seven games and earning praise for his poise, pace and incredibly mature decision making. Also a talented dribbler who can play up front or on the left of a three-man attack, he has been compared on Thierry Henry but could yet have the same impact as former Red Devil talisman Eric Cantona.
Dominic Solanke (Vitesse Arnhem, on loan from Chelsea)
Chelsea have endured a torrid start to the season, while they have also faced criticism off the field for the rate at which they farm players out on loan. The club currently has a staggering 26 players loaned out to clubs throughout Europe, which incidentally is more than the 25 that make-up Chelsea’s first team squad. Some of these boast genuine talent, however, with attacking midfielder Dominic Solanke among the most promising. He currently plays in the Dutch top flight with Vitesse Arnhem, while he has showcased an eye for goal and a great engine in his brief career so far. The 18-year old has also represented the England U-19 team, so his international prospects look bright too.
Alex Iwobi (Arsenal)
Although the 19-year old starlet has yet to make a competitive appearance this term, Alex Iwobi featured prominently during the Gunners preseason tour to Singapore and has a bright future ahead of him. He then proceeded to announce himself to the Gunners faithful in tremendous style in the summer, scoring a sublime goal in a 6-0 win over Lyon during the Emirates Cup. Having emerged through the ranks at Hale End, Iwobi has showcased tremendous versatility and played with distinction at full back, center forward and out on the wing, while also displaying outstanding footwork and pace. Perhaps we should expect nothing else the nephew of Nigerian legend Jay-Jay Okocha, who once lit up the Premier League with Bolton Wanderers.