The 2015 European Championship kicks off on the June 17th in Prague, Czech Republic. This gives football fans the chance to see potential stars of the future and the transfer rumour mill to get into full flow.
Holders Spain failed to qualify for this year’s tournament after losing to Serbia in a playoff, their team in 2013 contained the likes of Isco, Thiago Alcantara and David De Gea. Memphis Depay, Nathaniel Clyne and Marco Verratti were just a few of the youngsters to partake in the same tournament. It is certainly a stage for players to make their mark. Here are 3 youngsters taking part for you to keep your eye out for.
Ruben Neves is a Portuguese midfielder who predominantly plays as a defensive midfielder however isn’t afraid to start attacks; he possesses a great range of passing, excellent ball retention and intelligent position to break up play.
Neves has come through the ranks at Porto and has made 24 Premeira Liga appearances scoring 1 goal in the process. Added to this he is also Porto’s youngest ever league starter and youngest ever goal scorer. For Portugal he’s played for the U16’s, U17’s, U18’s and was fast tracked into the U21’s where he has made 6 appearances.
A clever player likened to Sergio Busquets, Neves is a calm head on young shoulders he has already attracted interested from Liverpool and Arsenal and the European Championships will certainly help raise his profile.
The German production line just keeps on producing, and shows no signs of stopping. Max Meyer is one of the latest German youngsters to be making a name for himself in the footballing world. Meyer has been at Schalke since he was 14, a club that have a habit of producing talent with Mesut Özil, Manuel Neuer and Julian Draxler just a few of the players to have passed through the Gelsenkirchen academy.
Meyer won the best player at the 2012 Under 17 European Championships where he also finished top scorer. His playing style has been compared to Eden Hazard, Mario Götze and most notably Lionel Messi. This is down to his dribbling ability and incredible balance.
A very creative player, Meyer is able of changing a game with one of his trademark runs or a defensive spitting pass. The German is also versatile; he can play on the wing on in his strongest position being the striker where he picks up the spaces in the opposition defence. Meyer will be key if Die Mannschaft are to lift the title.
Sassuolo’s exciting attacking brand of football has earned many admirers. Domenico Berardi in particular has been key to this. Berardi is a versatile attacker whose game mixes skill with pace to make him a handful for opposition defenders.
Juventus identified his potential in 2013 and took advantage of Serie A’s co-ownership rules to purchase a stake in the Italian. In the top flight of Italian football he’s featured 61 times scoring 31 goals including 4 against AC Milan and a first half hat trick against Fiorentina.
Expect to see an intelligent player who’s willing to beat his man before completing the move with a goal or an assist. Manchester United have kept a close eye on Berardi’s situation however ‘The Old Lady’ are keen to hold onto the forward, and there is no doubt Massimiliano Allegri will be watching him this summer.