The world of football has been in a state of constant change. The game has got quicker, newer tactics are adopted and fresh faces are seen. With teenager like Kylian Mbappe already breaking the 100 million barrier, it has forced clubs to look for the next young talent from the pool of untapped potential. Many of these young footballers are already making waves in some of Europe’s top leagues. Here are some of the top young footballers in 2018 to look out for, who could be the next big name in football.
Youri Tielemans (Monaco)
Anderlecht has an incredible record of producing young talents with the likes of Lukaku, Kompany, Mertens and Batshuayi being their academy products. Twenty year old Tielemans, is a naturally gifted central midfielder. During his time at Anderlecht, he became the youngest player to play in the Champions League. He signed for Monaco in May 2017 for £25 million despite a keen interest from other big clubs like Arsenal from across Europe. Before moving to Monaco last summer, he scored 13 goals in the Belgian league helping Anderlecht to league champion glory. He has shown his versatility playing as a defensive midfielder, central midfielder and also as a number 10. Monaco is known for their youth development and you can expect Tielemans to become a future star.
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen)
The 21 year old German already has over 100 first team appearances in Bundesliga and 21 in UEFA Champions League. This season the Brandt has scored 4 goals so far and assisted 2 in 1245 mins in the Bundesliga. Brandt has also shown a high level of fitness starting 25 times in Bundesliga last season. The rising star of German football has already shown traits of immaculate ball control, good first touch and blistering speed attracting attention from Europe’s top teams. He already has 4 caps for the national team notably three times in the FIFA Confederations Cup which Germany won and also has a Olympic Silver medal to his name. An impressive prospect coupled with his young age Brandt is linked with European gaints like Liverpool, Real Madrid and AC Milan.
Moise Kean (Juventus)
For most 16 year olds, making a debut for the reigning Italian champions will be a tall order, but Moise Kean is not such a teenager. In the 2016/17 season, the striker became the first player born in 2000s to feature in Serie A and Champions League. Kean had already established himself as a talent by scoring 24 goals in 25 games for the Juventus youth team before his senior appearance. He moved to Hellas Verona but despite playing for a struggling side, Kean averaged 0.2 goals per match. Last summer Real Madrid shelled out £39.6 million to sign Vinicius Jr from Flamengo. Transfermarkt rates Kean at £6.3 million but the market value will only rise from here, now that he is managed by super agent Mino Raiola.
Julian Weigl (Borussia Dortmund)
Julian Weigl is an exceptional talent when it comes to short passing game and linking the defense with the attack line. The German international possesses a penchant when it comes to anchoring the midfield and dictating play. This leads him to make more passes than any other Dortmund player. This season he is averaging 88.1% successful passes per game. When Ilkay Gundogan left for Manchester City and several other midfield players were missing from the squad due to injury, it was time for young Julian to rise to the occasion. Since then he has shown immense maturity in handling weight of responsibilities on his shoulder featuring 30 times in the last campaign for Dortmund. At 22, Weigl has already featured 98 times with Borussia Dortmund and has multiple caps for his country. He would cost an absolute fortune. But with the BVB man, a big fee would be well spent as he could anchor a midfield for the next 10 years.
Naby Keita (RB Leipzig)
Naby Keita will become one of the best players to dominate the midfield in the Premier League in future. The player first impressed as a defensive midfielder and was later moved to an attacking position. Since moving to RB Leipzig 2016 the Guinea international has scored 13 goals and assisted 8. Although Keita is weak in aerial duels owing to his short frame, he makes it up with fantastic dribbling ability, winning one-on-one duels and ability to orchestrate quick transitions to the forward line. He averages 81.4% successful passes per game. Keita’s versatility in handling multiple positions caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp in summer. Liverpool have paid £60 million for the player as he looks forward to dominating the Premier League for years to come. With Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona, Liverpool have a spot vacant in the midfield. Keita has all the attributes to make his own position in this attack-minded Liverpool side.
These players are superstars of tomorrow ready to roar and leave their mark by helping their respective teams to success.