World Cup fever is spreading fast as kick -off draws is today. We know already the superstars who will possibly light up the 2018 Fifa World Cup. But how about the youngsters or should I say the next generation stars?
Many of the 736 players are known faces in the Fifa tournament, but a lot of unknown faces are out there looking to make a statement on global stage.
I’m Ekemini Nelson, I have picked up ten youngsters mostly outside the premier league worth watching out for this summer. Club scouts will have to throw their dice carefully while scouting.
1. Smaila Sarr, Senegal. Age 20
Position, forward, Club Rennes, France.
Sarr is a talented forward, he came through the same academy that produced Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. He signed for the French side last summer. He’s a joy to watch, someone that is hard to stop when he picks up speed.
2. Maxi Gomez, Uruguay
Age 21, Position striker, Club Celta Vigo, Spain.
Maxi Gomez strikes 18 times for the Spanish outfit in his first season in Europe in the just-concluded season. He also scored against both Barcelona & Real Madrid.
3. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)
Age 19, Position Defender, Club Real Madrid Spain. Hakimi was born in the city of Getafe Spain, to a Moroccan parent. He opted to represent his fatherland instead of his country of birth.
4. Andre Silva (Portugal)
Age 21, Position Striker, Club AC Milan, Italy.
The Portuguese was captured from Porto for £33m in summer 2017. But failed to below his valued.
5. Sardar Azmoun (Iran)
Age 23, Position Striker, Club Rubin Kazan, Russia.
The 23-year-old talisman is dub the Iranian Messi for his mesmerizing skills and dribbles and additional air ability. He sure will be the man to lead Iran attack.
6. Breel Embolo (Switzerland)
Age 21, Position Striker, Club Schalke O4, Germany. Embolo was born in Cameroon, he lived there until he was five, before he moved to Basel and acquire a Swiss passport in 2014.
7. Alex Iwobi (Nigeria)
Age 21, Position Winger, Club Arsenal, England. He’s the nephew of Nigeria’s Legend Austine Jay Jay Okocha. He was born in England. In 2017, Alex switched his nationality to Nigeria. The Gunners youngster scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Zambia in Uyo, as Nigeria secured their World Cup qualification becoming the first African country to qualify in a group that had Africa’s heavyweight, Cameroon & Algeria.
8 Francis Uzoho(Nigeria)
Age 19, Position Goalkeeper, Club (Deportivo La Cruna, Spain). The teenage sensational rise to prominent is miraculous from his call to the U17 at the 2013 World Cup at age 14 to his international call-up. He received his first call-up to the Nigerian senior squad in an international friendly against Argentina which he also debuted. Since then he has gone up to establish himself as Nigeria’s first choice and look set to contend with Lionel Messi when Nigeria host the Argentines in their last group D match.
9. Trent Alexander-Arnold (England)
Age 19, Position Right back, Club Liverpool England. The Liverpool academy graduate represents the three Lions at various age grade competitions. This has been his breakthrough season in top-flight football. He has steadily repaid the faith entrusted in him by Klopps. He was named straight in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Fifa World Cup. The perfect option after Klye Walker in the right back.
10. Tyronne Ebuehi (Nigeria)
Age 22, Position Right Back, Club Benfica, Portugal.
The Dutch-born Nigerian youngster was born in Netherlands to Nigerian parents. He switched his nationality in 2017. With assuring performance at the right-back role, he’s certainly the perfect guy to challenge Shehu Abdullahi for the starting spot.