50 U23 Players To Watch Out For

We are all always looking out for ‘the next big thing’ whether they are playing in the top division in Romania or the 2nd division in Chile, there is talent all around the globe. With that in mind I thought I would bring 50 U23 talents to your attention to keep an eye on their development. Some you may you may know, some you may not but one thing is for certain that all in this list have big potential.

50.Luiz Araujo
Age- 21
Position- Left Wing/Striker
Team- Lille
Nation- Brazil
Info- The Brazilian is a recent signing for French side Lille and they will be looking for big things from this talent after paying a hefty fee of around €10m. He was top scorer at the recent U20 Copa Libertadores with 8 goals so he is definitely one with big potential.

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49.Phakamani Mahlambi
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Bidvest Wits
Nation- South Africa
Info- Highly Regarded amongst many South Africans, Mahlambi has been in top form for his side in South Africa’s top flight. With 6 goals and 7 assists in 16 games the 19-Year-Old has been tipped to be one of the future stars of the Bafana Bafana.

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48.Nazifi Yahaya
Age- 16
Position- Striker
Team- Kano Pillars
Nation- Nigeria
Info- Kano Pillars youngster, Nazifi Yahaya is hot property in Nigeria after his star performance for the NPFL U17 Allstars side which were runners up at the Guateng Future Champions Tournament in South Africa. Many European clubs have been keeping a close eye on the young man including Atletico Madrid.

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47.Mohamed Kanno
Age- 22
Position- Attacking Midfielder
Team- Al-Ettifaq
Nation- Saudi Arabia
Info- Kanno has been a star in Saudi Arabia’s top flight. 4 goals and 1 assist does not seem brilliant but if you watched his performances you will know how good he is. A call up for the national team will be on the cards if he continues to play like he has in recent times.

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46.Saeid Ezatolahi
Age- 20
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Rostov
Nation- Iran
Info- Ezatolahi played the majority of Iran’s world cup qualification games on their journey to being the 2nd nation confirmed for the worlds biggest competition. The midfielder scored 2 goals and got 2 assists so he will be one to watch not only in the Iran side but also for his club side, Rostov.

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45.Diego Lainez
Age- 16
Position- Left Wing
Team- Club America
Nation- Mexico
Info- Diego Lainez is a player who many believe can be the Mexico’s new star. The 16-Year-Old has been turning heads with his ability and is attracting interest from Europes elite. The Mexican has made a few appearances already for his side Club America and has showed glimpses of what is to come from him.

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44.Han Kwang-Song
Age- 18
Position- Striker
Team- Cagliari
Nation- North Korea
Info- Kwang-Song took headlines after he became the first North Korean to ever score in the Serie A. With 1 goal in 0 starts in his first season with the Sardinian club the youngster will be looking to 1 up himself and continue to improve and I for one cannot wait to see this interesting player develop.

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43.Juan Foyth
Age- 19
Position- Centre Back
Team- Estundiantes
Nation- Argentina
Info- The 19-Year-Old Centre Back featured for Argentina in the U20 World Cup in which they only kept 1 clean sheet in a 5-0 win against Guinea. For his side Estundiantes he made 4 appearances in this season and got 2 clean sheets. The most recent rumours are that Tottenham are rumoured to be in the for the youngster. So he will definitely be one to keep an eye on.

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42.Bong Kalo
Age- 20
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Tafea
Nation- Vanuatu
Info- Bong Kalo is a hero amongst the people of Vanuatu after his fantastic performances for his nation at the recent U20 World Cup where he scored 3 goals and helped Vanuatu exceed expectations. The midfielders leadership and ability has recently landed him with a trial at Bundesliga side Hannover which would be amazing to see a player like him in the big time.

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41.Sardar Azmoun
Age- 22
Position- Striker
Team- Rostov
Nation- Iran
Info- Most of you will remember Sardar Azmoun for his performance against Bayern Munich in which he scored the sides first goal in a 3-2 win over the European Giants. The Iranian was also a key part of Iran’s road to the world cup and even scored and assisted in the game against Uzbekistan which secured their world cup spot. While he may not be the most prolific, Azmoun is always a striker you can rely on when you need him most.

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40.Ibrahim Sulley
Age- 17
Position- Striker
Team- Unknown
Nation- Ghana
Info- The Ghanaian is unknown to many around the world and you can be excused as even I dont know what team he plays for. However, Sulley was in the Ghana side that reached the Final of the U17 African Cup Of Nations in 2017, which they unfortunately lost to Mali 1-0. The youngster scored 2 goals for his nation including a nice lobbed goal against Cameroon.

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39.Riccardo Orsolini
Age- 20
Position- Right Wing/Striker
Team- Juventus
Nation- Italy
Info- Riccardo Orsolini shot to fame after a clip of him absolutely humiliating a defender went viral. Soon after Juventus signed him but loaned him back to his hometown club of Ascoli. Orsolini was top scorer at the U20 World Cup where he scored 5 goals for an Italy side which finished 3rd in the tournament. Although he is a talent it is unlikely we will see Orsolini in the first team next season and there is more chance that we will see him on loan at a side like Chievo or Bologna but we will get to finally see if he can do it in the big league and I for one can’t wait to see it.

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38.Diego Rossi
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Penarol
Nation- Uruguay
Info- Diego Rossi has been in red hot form for Uruguayan side, Penarol as of late. The youngster has got himself 7 goals and 3 assists in just 9 starts which is an incredible return for someone who is still only a teenager. The journey for him has only just begun and I can see him being a part of the Uruguay national team in the near future.

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37.Maxime Lopez
Age- 19
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Marseille
Nation- France
Info- Another breakout star from 2016/17, Maxime Lopez had a brilliant season with Marseille. The midfielder had a return of 3 goals and 9 assists in 35 games in the top flight at just 19-Years-Old. With the future of France looking so bright Maxime Lopez looks like he could be part of that future if he continues to play like he did last season. There is a good chance we may see him at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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36.Alhassan Ibrahim
Age- 20
Position- Striker/Attacking Midfielder
Team- Akwa United
Nation- Nigeria
Info- Alhassan Ibrahim is regarded as one of the best players in the NPFL. The Striker has been in hot form which ultimately resulted in him being called up to the national team in a 1-1 draw against Corsica. Ibrahim has been likened to Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kano and it is clear to see why the boy is very talented.

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35.Reza Shekhari
Age- 19
Position- Attacking Midfielder
Team- Rostov
Nation- Iran
Info- Yet another player who featured at the U20 World Cup, Reza Shekhari scored 3 goals and got 1 assist for Iran including a brace against Zambia. Shekhari is a recent signing for Rostov alongside fellow Iranian’s Sardar Azmoun and Saeid Eztolahi so it is a great place for him to develop and who knows if he has a good season we may see him at the 2018 World Cup if he can bring his U20 Form to the senior team.

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34.Jesus Medina
Age- 20
Position- Left Wing/Right Wing
Team- Libertad
Nation- Paraguay
Info- A current Paraguayan Primera Division champion, Jesus Medina scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win against Independiente to secure the title for his side. Capable of playing on both wings Medina captained his Paraguay side who lost to Brazil at the U20 South American Championship. Medina scored both goals.

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33.Lautaro Martinez
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Racing Club
Nation- Argentina
Info- Lautaro Martinez well regarded in his native home of Argentina. The youngster has been putting in solid performances for both club and country. At the U20 World Cup Martinez scored 2 goals in 2 games. For his side, Racing Club, Martinez has scored 9 goals in 15 starts. This great form has attracted interest from Arsenal who have seemed very keen to sign the youngster. However, Martinez will stay at Racing Club for one more year to continue his development so keep an eye out for him.

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32.Christian Bassogog
Age- 21
Position- Right Wing/Striker
Team- Henan Jianye
Nation- Cameroon
Info- Christian Bassogog turned heads at the AFCON after he helped Cameroon win their 5 title. Bassogog also picked up the award as the best player at the tournament. After this tournament he was given a big money move to play in China for Henan Jianye. Bassogog has so far bagged himself 4 goals and 3 assists in 11 games for the Chinese side.

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31.Stephen Odey
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- MFM FC
Nation- Nigeria
Info- The recently capped Nigerian Striker has been on fire domestically for MFM FC who are exceeding expectations. Odey has bagged himself 18 goals in the season and is on course to break Mfon Udoh’s record of most goals in a season with 23. He has been the target of many clubs around the world including Celtic and Barcelona. With great potential it is very likely we will see Odey playing in Europe this season.

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30.Fedor Chalov
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- CSKA Moscow
Nation- Russia
Info- The young Russian had a superb end to last season in which he scored 4 goals in the last 4 games. He also finished with 5 goals and 3 assists in the UEFA youth league including 4 against French Champions Monaco. With Russia’s national team playing poorly at the confederations cup they may look towards Fedor Chalov to take them to the next level.

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29.Takefusa Kubo
Age- 15
Position- Attacking Midfielder
Team- Tokyo Youth
Nation- Japan
Info- Takefusa Kubo went viral recently after making his first team debut for Tokyo FC at just 15-years-old. ‘The next messi’ as people like to call him also played for Japan’s U20 at the U20 World Cup. The former Barcelona youth player has a very bright future and can no doubt go all the way if he keeps developing how he has been now. Will a regular first team spot be on the cards this season? We will have to wait and see.

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28.Miguel Almiron
Age- 22
Position- Attacking Midfielder
Team- Atlanta United
Nation- Paraguay
Info- Miguel Almiron has been a star for Atlanta United’s maiden season in the MLS. The midfielder has a return of 8 goals and 5 assists in 17 games for an Atlanta United side who have been brilliant to watch. The 22-year-old has been a regular recently for Paraguay and that wont change as Almiron’s future is bright.

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27.Abdulkadir Omur
Age- 17
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Trabzonspor
Nation- Turkey
Info- ‘The Turkish Messi’ as I called him on the article I made on him, Abdulkadir Omur has dominated the youth leagues for both club and country. Omur scored 41 goals for Trabzonspor’s youth team which is phenomenal. He made his debut for the first team at just 16 and has made 6 appearances since then scoring just once. With brilliant close control he has been likened to the likes of Messi and Hagi so people certainly have high hopes for this young talent.

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26.Fatih Aktay
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Altinordu
Nation- Turkey
Info- Fatih Aktay is fairly unknown by those outside of Turkey. Aktay bagged himself 6 goals and 1 assist in just 5 games for Altinordu in the UEFA Youth League which included 5 goals in 1 game against Sparta Prague. In the first team Aktay has shown glimpses of his talent as he got 4 goals and 3 assists in just 10 starts. With rumours coming out that Besiktas are interested in him he will most certainly be one to look out for this season.

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25.Milad Mohammadi
Age- 23
Position- Left Back
Team- Terek Grozny
Nation- Iran
Info- Yet another player who was so key for Iran, Milad Mohammadi played in all of his nations round 3 qualification games in which they lost 0 and also conceded 0. For his side Mohammadi got more assists that any other defender in the Russia Premier League. He will be a player who is one to look out for at the next world cup in an Iran side who I believe will be the dark horses of the competition.

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24.Patson Daka
Age- 18
Position- Striker
Team- FC Salzburg
Nation- Zambia
Info- Patson Daka is arguably Zambia’s biggest talent. The 18-Year-Old has been in top form for both club and country. He was joint top scorer with 4 goals at the U20 African Cup of Nations along with fellow Zambian, Edward Chilufya. He also featured the U20 World Cup but did not bring the same form and he only scored 2 goals. For his side Daka has been brilliant. He scored 2 goals in 0 starts at the UEFA Youth League including the winner in the Semi-Final and the equaliser in the Final to help FC Salzburg win the entire competition. The future is very bright for the young Zambian who should be getting fist team football this season.

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23.Percy Tau
Age- 23
Position- Striker/ Attacking Midfielder
Team- Mamelodi Sundowns
Nation- South Africa
Info- Bafana Bafana talent, Percy Tau has shown the people of South Africa what he can do. Tau got 8 goals and 8 assists in 45 games including 1 in the Club World Cup. For South Africa Tau has carried the great form. He has 2 goals in 2 starts for his nation. With the good young players South Africa the future is certainly bright for the Bafana Bafana.

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22.Edward Chilufya
Age- 17
Position- Striker
Team- Mphande Youth Academy
Nation- Zambia
Info- Yet another player who was a star for Zambia’s U20 team. Edward Chilufya was joint top scorer at the U20 African Cup of Nations with 4 goals in the side who won the entire competition. Chilufya scored in both the Semi-Final and Final so it just shows how much of a big game player he is. Chilufya also played at the U20 World Cup but unfortunately only scored just 1 goal in a Zambia side who broke records.

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21.Ismaila Sarr
Age- 19
Position- Left Wing
Team- FC Metz
Nation- Senegal
Info- Ismaila Sarr had a breakthrough season in 2016/17 with recently promoted FC Metz. The tricky winger got 5 goals and 5 assists in 31 games and even made 6 appearances for the Senegal national team including 3 at the recent African Cup Of Nations. Ismaila Sarr is the next big thing in France’s top flight and I can see him being a standout player in 2017/18.

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20.Cesar Montes
Age- 20
Position- Centre Back
Team- Monterrey
Nation- Mexico
Info- Standing at 6’2″ Cesar Montes has had 2 great seasons with Monterrey in Mexico’s top flight. A member of the Mexico side who were at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Montes is yet to make a senior appearance for Mexico but that will no doubt change in the near future as he is a top talent.

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19.Moussa Kone
Age- 20
Position- Striker
Team- FC Zurich
Nation- Senegal
Info- After winning the league to return to the Swiss Super League it was the goals of Moussa Kone that helped them win silverware. His 16 goals in just 12 starts is a sensational return for the 20-Year-Old and alongside fellow talent Raphael Dwamena they will be ones to look out for in the Swiss top flight this season.

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18.Victor Osimhen
Age- 18
Position- Striker
Team- Wolfsburg
Nation- Nigeria
Info- The Nigerian star at the U17 World Cup in 2015, Victor Osimhen’s 10 goals helped his nation win their 5th title. His great form attracted the interest of many including Arsenal who thought they had completed the signings of the 3 Nigerian stars in him, Kelechi Nwakalli and Samuel Chukwueze but unfortunately he signed for Germany side Wolfsburg who had a poor season. Having only made 1 appearance for Wolfsburg so far there is no doubt that more will come this season.

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17.Kaj Sierhuis
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Ajax
Nation- Netherlands
Info- The joint top scorer at the UEFA Youth League, Kaj Sierhuis bagged himself 8 goals in 7 games at the youth tournament for his side Ajax. Overall in the season he got 28 goals and 3 assists in just 32 games which is an incredible return for the teenager. With return like that in a team like Ajax there is a good chance we may see him in the first team this season.

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16.Malang Sarr
Age- 18
Position- Centre Back
Team- OGC Nice
Nation- France
Info- If you followed Nice’s success in the 2016/17 season then there is no doubt you will know who Malang Sarr is. The 18-Year-old broke onto the scene after he scored on his debut for Nice in a 1-0 win against Rennes when he was just 17! Sarr will definitely be a strong candidate to play for France in the future and I could see him playing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar if he keeps developing the way he is now.

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15.Stefano Sensi
Age- 21
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Sassuolo
Nation- Italy
Info- Although he is a quality midfielder it is difficult to take the place of Francesco Magnanelli who has been a key player for Sassuolo for years. However, it wasn’t until Magnanelli got injured that we got to see what Sensi is capable of. The talented midfielder may have to leave the side to get the game time he deserves as he has the ability to be starting for many other teams in Italy.

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14.Alban Lafont
Age- 18
Position- Goalkeeper
Team- Toulouse
Nation- France
Info- another player who broke out in 2016/17, the Toulouse goalkeeper put in numerous solid performances for the french top flight side at such a young age. The 18-year-old had 11 clean sheets during the season. If he continues to play the way he has I have no doubts that Lafont will be one of the worlds best goalkeepers in the future.

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13.Orbelin Pineda
Age- 21
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Chivas
Nation- Mexico
Info- Yet Another top talent coming out of Mexico, Orbelin Pineda had a tremendous season with Mexican top flight side Chivas. His form is was so good that he found himself making appearances for the national team including 3 in the World Cup Qualifiers. Pineda will no doubt be in the heart of that Mexico midfield for years to come.

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12.Jordi Mboula
Age- 18
Position- Right Wing
Team- Monaco
Nation- Spain
Info- A recent signing for Monaco to fill the void for the many players Monaco are losing, Jordi Mboula has fantastic potential. The Spaniard was joint top scorer at the recent UEFA Youth League with 8 goals in 9 games for a Barcelona side who reached the Semi-Finals. Hopefully we will see Mboula regularly in Monaco this season as he has big potential.

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11.Allan Saint-Maximin
Age- 20
Position- Right Wing
Team- Monaco
Nation- France
Info- A star at the recent U20 World Cup, Allan Saint Maximin was also brilliant for his club side Bastia, where he was on loan from Monaco. In a side who was relegated Saint-Maximin was a star player who Monaco are lucky to have. With the French champions seemingly selling all of there players they will be looking at Saint-Maximin to fill the void and put in some great performance which he is more than capable of.

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10.Nedim Hadzic
Age- 18
Position- Striker
Team- FK Sarajevo
Nation- Bosnia and Herzegovina
Info- Although he has played just 17 minutes of First team football Nedim Hadzic has been making a big name for himself. The 18-Year-Old will most likely be a first team player by the end of the year after his performances in youth football for both club and country. Hadzic has scored at every international level he has played at so far. He is certainly one to keep an eye out for.

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9.Andrea Pinamonti
Age- 18
Position- Striker
Team- Inter Milan
Nation- Italy
Info- 18-Year-Old Andrea Pinamonti scored 19 goals last season including 16 in the Youth Leagues with Inter Milan who finished 2nd in the Primavera C. It is likely that we will see Pinamonti on loan this season to gain much needed first team experience and if he does I believe he will take that chance well.

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8.Luther Singh
Age- 19
Position- Striker
Team- Braga
Nation- South Africa
Info- ‘The South African Messi’, Luther Singh is arguably South Africa’s biggest talent. The Braga striker was top scorer for his nation in the recent U20 African Cup Of Nations where he scored 4 goals and was given mass amounts of praise for his performances by those who watched him. He is yet to make a senior appearance for Braga but there is no doubt that will change after his performances for the national team.

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7.Ricardo Pereira
Age- 23
Position- Right Back/ Right Winger
Team- Porto
Nation- Portugal
Info- Ricardo Pereira has been a key figure in this Nice side that has performed so well in the past 2 seasons. The defender is not only one of the best in Right Backs in his league but also in the world. Capable of playing on the wing too, Pereira has the potential to be the best right back in the world we will just have to see if he can live up to that potential in the near future.

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6.Ante Coric
Age- 20
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Dinamo Zagreb
Nation- Croatia
Info- Ante Coric has been around for a few years and in that time he has gained a lot of plaudits. The midfielder has caught the attention of many clubs including Tottenham who seem to be linked with him every window but if they did sign him they would be getting a future Croatian star.

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5.Amine Harit
Age- 20
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Nantes
Nation- France
Info- Harit had a breakthrough season in 2016/17 after many great performances for French side, Nantes. Throughout the season he had clubs watching him including Schalke, Arsenal, Liverpool and many more. Under new manager Claudio Ranieri it will be great to see how he develops under a Premier League winning manager.

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4.Ritsu Doan
Age- 19
Position- Attacking Midfielder
Team- FC Groningen
Nation- Japan
Info- Ritsu Doan is the future of Japanese football. The 19-Year-Old was at the recent U20 World Cup in which he scored 3 goals in 4 games. His great form warranted a move to Dutch side FC Groningen so he will definitely be one to watch next season.

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3.Assane Diousse
Age- 19
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- Empoli
Nation- Senegal
Info- Diousse is regarded by viewers of Serie A football to be a top talent. The teenage midfielder has shown signs of great potential in a poor Empoli side that was relegated. There is no doubt that Diousse will leave Empoli and whoever gets him will have quite the player on their hands.

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2.Sebastian Driussi
Age- 21
Position- Striker
Team- River Plate
Nation- Argentina
Info- Driussi is coming off the best season of his career so far. His return of 19 goals in 31 games is incredible for someone his age. His great form attracted the interest from many clubs from around Europe but it is rumoured that Russian side Zenit have Acquired his services.

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1.Vincent Koziello
Age- 21
Position- Central Midfielder
Team- OGC Nice
Nation- France
Info- Although he didnt have the best of seasons in his short career, Vincent Koziello is still one of the most talented youngsters in the world. The 21-year-old is so mature in the way he plays and could be mistaken for a much older player. If he gets more gametime at Nice he will definitely show why he is the future of French Football.

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