Five Young Talents You Should Be Looking Out For At Euro 2016


Summer tournaments are generally considered to be the biggest shop window for players looking for their next destination, and no-one can exploit this more than the potential stars of the future. Here are the top five that could light up Euro 2016.

Hjortur Hermannsson (Centre Back: Iceland and PSV)

Whatever happens in the next month Iceland will make history and cherish every minute at a major tournament. This is the first time the country, which has an estimated population of just over 330,000, has had June and July booked with competitive international football and anyone could be a hero.

Being an underdog for every game they play in France will give their defenders more opportunity to impress than most and 21-year-old Hjortur Hermansson may just fit that bill.

Hermannsson has also shown somewhat of a talent for finding the back of the net in his showings for the Icelandic development teams so could also be a threat from set-pieces which could be vital in Iceland’s attempts to upset the apple cart in Group F.

(Hermannsson can be seen here scoring Iceland’s Under-21 side second goal in a 3-2 win over France)

Ante Coric (Centre Attacking Midfielder: Croatia and Dinamo Zagreb)

Croatia are not exactly short of midfield talent. Options such as Ivan Rakitic and Luka Modric of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively will be the envy of most sides at the Euros and Ante Coric is the latest play maker off the seemingly never-ending Croatian conveyor belt.

Coric has been around the national side since Under-15 level, and earned himself a spot in Croatia’s final 23-man squad based on his domestic and development performances alone.

The 19-year-old was handed his first senior cap in the 1-0 warm-up match against Moldova and he was in action again during the 10-0 victory over minnows San Marino.

For his club, Dinamo Zagreb, the diminutive centre attacking midfielder has 10 goals in his 67 matches for the Croatian champions.

Leroy Sane (Winger: Germany and Schalke)

Germany’s failure at Euro 2000, where they went out at the group stages without winning a match, led to a complete overhaul of how the country looked at football both domestically and internationally and it is now rare to see a tournament squad without some real gems of young talent.

The class of World Cup 2010 are now matured, experienced and, in some cases, world champions and it is now down a new batch of stars with Leroy Sane perhaps being the biggest hope.

Sane has already played over 50 times for Schalke just two years after making his debut for the Gelsenkirchen club and is a big transfer target for mega-rich Manchester City as they look to rebuild under the incoming Pep Guardiola.

It will not be easy for Sane to get into the starting 11 ahead of the likes of Andre Schurrle, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil but if he is given the opportunity that youngsters before have then Germany may join the likes of France and Spain in winning the World Cup and then the Euros back-to-back.

Arkadiusz Milik (Striker: Poland and AFC Ajax) 

Poland possess one of Europe’s leading strikers going into the tournament in Robert Lewandowski and keeping him quiet will be difficult enough, but that might just open the door for an under-the-radar Arkadiusz Milik.

Milik, 22, is the latest in a long line of forwards to flourish in the open and expansive Eredivisie which regularly compliments strikers and the prolific Pole is currently up there with the best of the lot.

Ajax’s main man bagged 21 goals for the Dutch runners up last season and has been just as fruitful in-front of goal for his country with 10 strikes to his name in 24 matches.

In 2015 he was let go by Bayer Leverkusen for just 2.8 million Euros after failing to make a major impact in Germany, if he can do better in France then Leverkusen may rue dismissing him for such a paltry fee.

Breel Embolo (Striker: Switzerland and FC Basel)

He may be from Cameroon by birth, but Breel Embolo will be strutting his stuff for Switzerland in France thanks to being part of the set-up at the country’s top club, FC Basel, for the last six years.

Embolo made his professional debut at the tender age of 17 in March of 2014 and was already a first-team regular by the following season as he netted 10 goals in the 27 league games in which he featured for RotBlau. It made him the 10th top goalscorer in the Swiss Super League before he could legally buy a beer.

He was awarded his first Switzerland call-up just a year after being introduced to the nation, and to date has one international goal from seven caps

RB’s Leipzig looked to have secured Embolo’s signature for next season until about a week ago but now Manchester United look like a more likely destination for the 19-year-old. An impressive Euros though could provide further competition for his services.

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