10 youngsters to watch at FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland
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The FIFA U20 World Cup is upon us. Proponents of young footballing talent will have their eyes peeled for the next big thing during the next three weeks in Poland.
The U20 tournament is a gateway to stardom. Every two years, bright prospects jostle to gain access. Just a handful are lucky.
That said, here are 10 you should keep your eyes with hostility underway.
1 - Timothy Weah (USA)
Weah shoulders the hopes of the entire American nation. Like his father, the legendary African footballer George Weah, the young forward isn't showing any sign of burnout.
Capped five times by the senior side, Weah displayed such maturity at the 2017 U17 World Cup, hitting a hat-trick against Paraguay. A strong outing in Poland would plunge him into the mix at Paris Saint-Germain having spent last season out on loan.
2 - Nehuen Perez (Argentina)
Perez leads the next generation of La Albiceleste defenders. His emergence comes at a time when the South American nation’s rearguard factory is running flat.
As skipper, he was paramount in central defence during their second-place finish at the regional U-20 Championship. Atletico Madrid couldn't resist his brilliance, signing him in February.
3 - Diego Lainez (Mexico)
Diego Ramirez's team is comprised of several star names, including Real Betis winger Diego Lainez and Leon forward Jose Juan Macias. The former bears the torch, as the only player based abroad.
Lainez is capped four times with the senior Mexico team. El Tri manager Tata Martino said he even considered bringing the attacking midfielder him to the Gold Cup with the senior team this summer.
4 - Tom Dele-Bashiru (Nigeria)
England won't defend their title in Poland. No surprise Manchester-born Dele-Bashiru opted for Nigeria after representing the Three Lions at U16 level.
A powerhouse of a midfielder, the Flying Eagles will bank on the Manchester City starlet to drive the team forward from midfield with his direct style of play.
5 - Radoslaw Majecki (Poland)
Majecki follows the Polish recent path of outstanding custodians. Wojciech Szczesny, Lukasz Fabianski, Artur Boruc, Lukasz Skorupski footprints are there to follow.
The young shot-stopper came to limelight in October after he became the first choice at Legia Warsaw. The 19-year-old impressed, racking up seven clean sheets and allowed only 12 goals in 14 league appearances.
6 - Lee Kangin (South Korea)
Already rated at £71m by Valencia, Lee Kangin is on his way to becoming a big star for club and country. A fine outing in Poland will only hasten the inevitable.
Kangin belongs to an elite class of Asians to feature in La Liga. The 18-year-old left-footed forward stepped up from Los Ches youth ranks, with a senior debut last season and two other appearances.
7 - Turki AlAmmar (Saudi Arabia)
Al-Ammar pulled the strings when Saudi Arabia shocked the odds to clinch the AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia. The enterprising attacker enjoyed a successful tournament, scoring four goals.
There's a sense of excitement around his emergence. The budding star goes to the competition as the reigning AFC Youth Player of the Year.
8 – Erling Haland (Norway)
Haland has drawn a comparison with Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. It is easy to see why. A natural poacher, he is a threat in the penalty area with a decent touch and good vision.
Like Solskjaer, the 18-year-old started off at Molde before choosing a different track to Red Bull Salzburg. An impressive showing in Poland could ultimately redirect him to Old Trafford.
9 - Cucho Hernandez (Colombia)
A dynamic and hard-working forward, Hernandez plays through the middle albeit adept on the flanks as shown at Huesca on loan from Watford.
He initially joined Spanish side Granada but failed to make an appearance before moving to the Premier League who share the same owners.
10 - Leonardo Campana (Ecuador)
Top scorer at the 2019 South American U20 Championships, the striker is part of an exciting crop of Ecuadorians with two caps already.
He’s a tall left-footed forward who likes to drop deep and link the play before moving up the field to get on the end of moves in the box. Still playing his football in Ecuador for Barcelona, it is just a matter of time before the famous Catalans come knocking.