Wednesday 7 December 2016

The top 10 U21 players in Europe

Tom Laforgue

Published 25/11/2015 | 15:51

Manchester United star Memphis Depay
Manchester United star Memphis Depay

Five Premier League players feature in the best U21 players in Europe at the moment.

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10. Kurt Zouma

The young prodigy from Lyon made headlines after his €14.6m transfer from Saint Etienne to Chelsea. He is a long term replacement for John Terry who is coming towards the end of his career but he has already put in solid performances for the club after giving Jose Mourinho welcome selection headaches.

9. Luke Shaw

The flying left-back was under huge pressure to perform after his €43m move from Southampton to Manchester United which made him the most expensive teenager ever. After a slow start, began to make his mark at the club before he was struck down with a season-ending injury against PSV in the Champions League.

8. Mateo Kovacic

Kovacic began his career at 16 with Dinamo Zagreb and became the youngest scorer in the Croatian league on his debut for the club.

Two league titles later he moved to Inter Milan. He performed well during his two years in Italy but the club was forced to sell him to Real Madrid last August because of financial fair play regulations. The midfielder made nine appearances for Croatia and has scored 16 goals in 231 games so far in his career.

7. Hakan Calhanoglu

He is undoubtedly Bayer Leverkusen’s young starlet. The free kick specialist that has been likened to Mezut Ozil and has been a key element of Leverkusen’s recent league form. At the age of only 21 the attacking midfielder has already scored over 60 goals in more than 180 appearances for club and country.

6. Jose Gimenez

This centre back was brought to Atletico Madrid from Uruguay in the summer of 2013 for €1m and that appears to have been a shrewd investment with the La Liga side valuing the player at €30m.

5. Domencio Berardi

This gifted young Italian striker made his debut for Sassuolo at the age of 18 and led the club to a promotion to Serie A in 2013.

He then scored 16 goals in 29 games to keep the club afloat the following season. Juventus signed Beradi on a co-ownership deal but he never played for them and they sold their shares a year later. The 21-year-old has scored 33 goals in 71 matches in Serie A over the course of the last three seasons. Has attracted interest from many big European clubs including Liverpool.

4. Memphis Depay

Manchester United’s €35m signing this summer is regarded as one of the best young prospects in the Premier League. Has struggled at times but is beginning to show the kind of form that made him one of the hottest properties in European fotball.

3. Marquinhos

This young Brazilian centre back was transferred from Roma to PSG in 2013 for €31m but has often struggled to break up the preferred partnership of David Luiz and Thiago Silva. Chelsea had two bids refused last summer and the 21-year-old will be top of many wishlists again when the transfer window re-opens.

2. Anthony Martial

The most expensive teenager of all time made a brilliant start to his career in the Premier League after his shock move from Monaco. Has earned call ups to the French team and was shortlisted for player of the month in September after a debut month to remember, though the goals have dried up somewhat since that blistering start.

1. Raheem Sterling

One of the fastest and most skillful players in the Premier League, Sterling offers a serious goal scoring threat as well as being able to assist his teammates. Manager Manuel Pellegrini lauded the player after his contentious move from Liverpool and will be instrumental to City's challenge for league honours.

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