March 15, 2013 by backofthenetjl
As football fans, we all share an interest in the brightest prospects in world football; at the moment there are quite a large number. It’s becoming a rather popular topic with lots of people talking about it, so I’ve decided to put together my hot prospects XI.
GK: Thibaut Courtois
This one was quite a difficult one to choose as there are a number of talented Goal-keepers around at the moment, namely Bernd Leno, Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen and David De Gea. But of all young shot-stoppers in the world, I chose a goal-keeper who has so much potential and vastly improving developing. That keeper is Thibout Courtois. Courtois is currently in his second spell on loan at Atletico Madrid from Chelsea and is earning rave reviews from a host of fans, pundits and writers. He is a phenomenal shot-stopper with incredible reflexes, which enables him to produce some truly jaw-dropping saves. If he can adapt to the Premier League swiftly, then Chelsea will unearth a gem of a keeper.
RB: Mattia De Sciglio
For this position, I chose young Milan full-back Mattia De Sciglio. I’ve watched him on a few occasions and despite being so young in a huge club like Milan, he looks at home in defence. His preferred and primary position is at right-back; however he is also very capable of slotting in a left-back as he is comfortable with using both feet. He seems to be able to attack and defend to a good standard and reads the game superbly; something all defenders need. He still needs to improve, but I see him becoming a real regular in the Milan side in the next few years.
CB: Raphael Varane
When choosing who my first centre-half would be, it was almost obvious who I would pick. Raphael Varane has caught the eye of many recently with his exceptional performances in defence for Real Madrid and I am a firm believer that he has a massive career ahead of him. He was somewhat thrown in the deep-end at Madrid, but he has settled in quite nicely and looks at home in defence alongside Sergio Ramos. His decision making is very good, his reading of the game is impeccable and he is so calm and composed on the ball. Strong, powerful and quick, I have been mightily impressed with how he has dealt with the pressure of big games against sides like Barcelona and Manchester United and if he can perform so well at the age of just 19, then I have no doubts he will become one of the best defenders in the world.
CB: Matija Nastasic
Along with Varane, I rank Nastasic up there as one of the best young Centre-backs in the world. Having arrived at Manchester City from Fiorentina in the summer, not many people who don’t watch Serie A regularly was aware of what a talent he really is, but he has slotted in and has been City’s best bit of transfer business all season. He is so calm in situations, relaxed on the ball and he times his tackles to perfection. I am convinced he will be there with the best players in the world at some point in his career.
LB: David Alaba
There are a few talented young Left-back’s in the world at the moment, but for me, there is none better than Bayern’s David Alaba. Alaba has been used in a number of different roles with the Bavarian’s, but he has perfected all areas of his game and cemented his place in the side as a left-back. His ability to attack and join up attacks is accompanied by his excellent reading of the game. Alaba is also incredibly quick and mobile, so is able to play against the fastest of wingers; he is the type of full-back wingers hate to play against. Calm and composed on the ball, Alaba has also been handed the duty of penalty taking at Bayern, with him confidently dispatching penalties on a few occasions. I really think Bayern have got a tremendous player on their books and at the tender age of 21, he is already conjuring up some exceptional performances. If he is this impressive at such a young age, he will develop into a phenomenal player. Consistent and reliable, I think we will be talking about him for years to come.
CDM: Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba; one of the most fascinating youngsters you will ever come across. The Frenchman was widely tipped to make the grade at Manchester United, having arrived from Le Havre, but in the end it didn’t exactly work out. He certainly showed signs of promise and that didn’t go un-noticed, but huge wage demands meant United had no choice but to allow him to leave and that could be a decision they will live to regret. Pogba is now plying his trade at Juventus and has already showcased his unique and flawless talent on more than one occasion. The 19-year-old is what I would consider an elegant and classy footballer, blessed with a beautiful touch, superb awareness and marvellous vision. After only making 3 appearances at United, Pogba has been used far more often for Juventus, where he has made 20 appearances this season, in which he has delivered some impeccable performances. He has scored 5 goals this season and my, some of them have been absolute wonder-strikes. He strikes the ball so cleanly and hits it with some power and venom; his long-range shooting in something to behold and a trait which will see him have huge success as he develops and matures. A huge talent who I guarantee will become one of the best around.
RM: Erik Lamela
Erik Lamela may not be a name you are familiar with, but I reckon you’ll be hearing his name a little more over the next few years. I am a huge admirer of Lamela and believe he is one of the most gifted young footballers around. With a wand of a left-foot and stunning technique on the ball, he is a player who can change the game in an instance, whether that being due to a beautiful goal or a peach of a pass. The Roma man is very versatile, but when playing in the right is where he has most joy, cutting in and causing havoc for opposition defences, he is very dangerous when deployed in that role. He is a magician, capable of producing some unbelievable moments which have you in awe. The Argentine is a classy player whom I believe has huge potential and I hope; eventually he will fulfil that potential, though he may need to leave Roma if he is to do so.
LM: Viktor Fischer
Viktor Fischer is one of the most wanted talents in world football, having previously attracted interest from big clubs such as Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter Milan before eventually signing for Ajax; a club which has developed so many exceptional footballers over the years and you get the feeling that he is in line to be the next. The 18-year-old’s primary position is a left-winger and he has bags of ability; he boasts a superb touch and an excellent football brain; which could see him really hit big heights in his career ahead. Fischer has been used regularly in the NextGen Series competition and it has definitely aided his development; he finished as joint-top scorer last season and came up with some marvellous performances, including a game against Liverpool in which he scored a hat-trick and well and truly tore them apart. He has two great feet, good technique and great composure in front of goal. Ajax have unveiled a long list of successful Danish players and I am tipping him to be the next.
Well Isco is a complete and utter genius, with him acting so maturely and confidently on the pitch it can sometimes make you forget that the Spaniard is still only 20-years of age. He is blessed with magnificent vision and unbelievable close control, attributes which has allowed him to excel in a skilful and technical league like La Liga. The departure of Santi Cazorla to Arsenal at the start of season has granted Isco more freedom to express his unique qualities. He has been a vital part of Malaga’s excellent Champions League run, as we seen with his stunning goal against Porto last week. He thrives in that role just behind the striker in a 4-5-1 formation, where he is able to collect the ball from team-mates and make things happen. He seems to find pockets of space and this is where he is most dangerous, due to his excellent shooting ability and the weight and precision of his passing. Many clubs have expressed an interest in Isco and will continue to do so, there will be many options for him in the future and with Malaga’s financial situation, he is expected to leave at some point, but whether he remains in La Liga is unseen. It cannot be denied that the former Valencia man is one hell of a talent.
CAM: Julian Draxler
Schalke have recently let go of one of their most promising talents in Lewis Holtby, but they also have another exciting talent on their books in Julian Draxler; a player who has already established himself as a regular at the Bundesliga club, despite being just 19-years-old. While Lewis Holtby was still at the club, Draxler spent most of his time on the left-wing but since Holtby’s departure, the German has moved into the central position which Holtby used to occupy and since then, he has had more of an impact when playing; being able to find the runs of Bastos, Huntelaar and Farfan is something he seems to do with ease. He has flawless vision and is also capable of scoring goals, although he is mainly recognised for his assists. With Holtby leaving for Spurs, I can only see Draxler improving and eventually I think a big club will come for him.
ST: Stephan El Shaarawy
Of all the youngsters I have mentioned in this article, Stephan El Shaarawy is undoubtedly the most well known, especially after the fantastic season he is currently having with Milan. El Shaarawy is known for his superb movement and this has been highlighted recently with the arrival of Mario Balotelli. The two have struck up a good understanding and El Shaarawy has created space for his Italian compatriot and dragged defenders out of position, resulting in some good goal-scoring opportunities being created. El Shaarawy is not what I would consider an out and out of striker as he tends to drop deeper to look for the ball and at times he also moves out wide to help out. He has a good amount of pace, which is an essential