Picking up 10 youngsters tipped to shine in the upcoming Euro 2012.
A major football tournament always works as a stage for young players to showcase their talent and it is where these young players are picked up by prominent clubs in Europe. This year’s EURO is no different, it promises to bring together a plethora of young players who are eagerly waiting for their chance to showcase their talent for their national sides.
These players already have a reputation of being the key players in their respective clubs and have made a name for themselves, which lead to their selection in their national squads to compete in Europe’s elite tournament. It’s only a matter of time to see who makes a name and who fails, but regardless of the teams they play in, these are players worth watching out for. All the major clubs in Europe will be keeping an eye on them, in view of signing them after the tournament.
1. KEVIN STROOTMAN (Netherlands)
This PSV midfielder can make his mark on this competition with Bert Van Marwijk already stating that his eye for passing is one of the best. He is tall, strong and has all the aspects of a great midfielder in the making. He has had a great season with PSV and looks to build n it by capping off a great EURO. With the likes of Sneijder,Van der vaart and Robben around him, he can definitely make an impact in this competition. His defensive awareness and a great vision to pick the passes makes him a great partner for Sneijder, who is the heart of the Dutch attack.
2. MARIO GOTZE (Germany)
Tipped as the next big thing in Germany, this winger cum attacker has made his name by winning the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund for the second consecutive year. His speed, technical ability and eye for passing is second to none. One of the best talents on display at this summer’s EURO, he surely can provide Germany with that extra bit of edge. Though he is not assured of first team place, but he will surely set Poland and Ukraine alight should he get his much deserved chance in the national squad.
3. IKER MUNIAIN (Spain)
This tiny midfielder from Pamplona is termed as “the Spanish Messi” by the media. His performances against Manchester United in the Europa League were brilliant to say the least. He could still find himself warming the bench, losing out on the first team to players like Xavi and Iniesta but this dynamic player can play either in the wings or in the center of the midfield. He could well be used as a substitute but still can make his mark on this competition with his box-to-box running. It’s a certainty that he will not get as much chances as he would like but if given the chance, he would be a handful for the opposition defense.
4. CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Denmark)
A player who can dictate with the game his great vision and passing ability, if given the opportunity. Another teenager, he’s an integral part of the Ajax team and has already gained over 10 caps for his national side. He certainly looks good for plenty of assists at Euro 2012 and will be a key player for Denmark if they are to continue their good work. Out of all the youngsters he looks the most likely to get the maximum chances in the national squad. Denmark has been grouped with Portugal, Netherlands and Germany in the Group of death and it will take an outstanding performance from this 19 year old if Denmark are to progress from the group stages.
5. KYRIAKOS PAPADOPOULOS (Greece)
The young Schalke centre-half is showing all the makings of becoming a star for his country. The 19 year old Greek teenager has already notched up 6 caps with the national team, and looks to be the heart of the Greek defense. He has shown maturity on pitch which is beyond his age and Greece’s progress from the group stages will depend a lot on how he and his unit perform.
6. FABIO BORINI (Italy)
This young and dynamic striker has had a decent season with AS Roma. Full of pace, low center of gravity, this youngster can just be the recipe for Italy’s winning prospects. It is just about the right time to unleash this talent on the international stage if Prandelli decides to take him to Poland. Given a chance, he is a better choice than Balotelli, while Balotelli has more experience but Borini sure has a better control over his temperament, which is a great attribute for a world class player. He can also be effective coming from the bench when the opposition defenders are tired.
7. ANDRIY YARMOLENKO (Ukraine)
The young forward can operate up top or on the left-hand side and has been dubbed the ‘next Sheva’ by sections of the Ukrainian media. With an impressive strike rate at international level having scored seven in 18, the Dynamo Kyiv man will be key if Ukraine are to progress from their group. He is strong and has a great control with an eye for the goal. He will play a major role in Ukraine’s participation in the EURO this year and the Ukrainian success will depend a lot on his performances.
8. ALEX OXLADE- CHAMBERLAIN (England)
This pacy winger also known as “The Ox” could just be the answer to England’s right wing problems. With Theo Walcott being inconsistent this season and also on the international stage, this might just be the perfect stage for the Arsenal midfielder to announce himself on the international stage. But will Roy Hodgson show faith in him and select him in his starting 11? Only time will tell. With his power and physical tenacity, he can be a threat for the opposition full-backs.
9. YANN M’VILLA (France)
Yann M’villa has been the rock in the midfield for Rennes this season and he has established himself as one of the most sought after defensive midfielders in the world. Captained his side at the age of 21, though Rennes did not finish high on the League table, but he has caught the eye of major clubs in Europe. He is strong on the ball, has a great aerial ability, not one of those to score a lot of goals but he surely pulls the string in the midfield from his deep position, which earned him comparisons to Patrick Vieira.
10. ALAN DZAGOEV (Russia)
“The Russian Messi” is the most exciting player to have emerged from Russia after Andrei Arshavin in the recent past. This 21 year old attacking Midfielder has been instrumental in CSKA Moscow’s success for past two seasons, successfully helping them qualify for the much coveted champions league. A great dribbler, Dzagoev also has a great vision to pick his team mates amidst the crowd of opposition defense. In four seasons with CSKA he has scored 37 goals from the midfield, which speaks volumes of his ability to not just create goals but also to pitch in few here and there himself.