Top Five Teen’s to Watch in World Football

Most of those who will read this are college students, preparing themselves to make the jump into the world of employment, hoping to make some money and enjoy your career.  Here are 10 kids that won’t ever have to worry about that, as they are already some of the most highly touted prospects around the world of soccer.  Millionaires they will be.  Their lives will be filled with fame and fortune, and for some of them it already is.  Here are some players to watch out for, and guys you should hope that your favorite team signs.  Their talent is undeniable, and some day they will make a club very very happy.

 

1)       Romelu Lukaku-Striker, Anderlecht (Belgian League), Belgium, 17 years old. 

This 6’3” freak of an athlete is already being touted as the next Didier Drogba, and the comparison may not be that far off.  He is nowhere near the Ivorian yet, but he shouldn’t be, he is SEVENTEEN.  Yes that is 17, born in 1993, should be a senior in high school, but instead he’s contemplating multi million dollar moves to some of the worlds biggest clubs.  Already able to play as a target man due to his large frame and good height, the kid is playing for Anderlecht’s first team in his home country of Belgium.  He has already scored 28 goals in 54 games for that club side, and astonishingly has already featured in Belgium’s full national team.  For that side he has scored twice in eight appearances.  Those stats are impressive for a seasoned pro, but when you take into account his age, Lukaku is a jaw dropper.  Size, pace, power, strength and an eye for goal are talents he posesses, and one day soon he will be showing them off to the world as he moves to a bigger club.  He has stated he’d love a move to the Premier League sometime soon, with Manchester City the favorites to land his very coveted signature.  Watch to see if he moves this summer, in what could be a great coup.

2)       Josh McEachran-Central Midfielder, Chelsea FC, England 17 years old. 

What kid could possibly dream of playing for one of the top teams in Europe?  Getting touches and connecting passes with the likes of Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.  Many may dream it, few will live it, and only one will get to do it before his 18th birthday.  Many think he will be the next Frank Lampard, but I would compare him more to a John Obi Mikel or Gareth Barry at this stage in his career.  Lampard is a guy who likes to streak forward making late runs into the box to score goals, where as McEachran is more of a fulcrum in the center of the park.  He does a great job of allowing Chelsea to keep posession, and links play very well while switching the ball from side to side.  His most striking quality has to be his composure on the ball.  For such a young kid to come in and look so relaxed on the ball when world class stars are the ones all around him, pressuring him, is something special.  He has already made 5 appearances for the Chelsea senior team, and is a youth international for England.  In the future look for those numbers to grow, and for him to become a full English international, possibly taking over the mantle from the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry.  With Obi Mikel, Lampard, and Michael Essien around him, he has some of the best in the world to learn from, and I predict this will aid his progress as he becomes a Premier League standout in the near future. 

3)       Gael Kakuta-Winger/Striker, Chelsea FC, France, 19 years old.

Kakuta is a wonderkid, simple as.  A quick trip to youtube looking up his name will leave you shocked and awed at his amazing skill on the ball.  Imagine the And 1 Mix Tape meets soccer, and this is the kid you get.  Making people look silly is something he does for fun, and his great pace makes his moves all the more effective as its one fake and he’s gone.  Impressing at all youth levels for France, Chelsea scooped him up somewhat controversially from Lens (a french side) and he has continued his development ever since, starring for the reserve side, and recently the full Chelsea first team.  After his first reserve team game along side German Captain Michael Ballack, the captain was quoted as saying “Go see the French lad, he is the star.”  Such praise is rare, and especially for a 17 year old at the time and it goes to show his obvious talent.  Look for him to feature more as a confident player who runs at people and gives outside backs nightmares for years to come in the world’s top league. 

4)       Jonjo Shelvey-Central Midfielder, Liverpool FC, England, 18 years old. 

Shelvey joined in the summer from Charlton Athletic in England’s lower divisions, after impressing for their first team from a very young age.  He was signed as one of the last acts of former manager Rafa Benitez, and has proved to be quite a good little parting gift for manager Roy Hodgson and now King Kenny Dalglish.  Dubbed the next Steven Gerrard, Shelvey has already slotted right into the first team, getting 7 appearnces for the first team in his first season at the club.  His bald head makes him easy to pick out on the field, and his tireless work rate and great passing range has already earned him some compliments from teammates as well as the coaching staff at England’s most succesful club.  Shelvey can play anywhere across the midfield, and his confidence is very impressive for such a young kid.  There’s a chance that one day Shelvey will play in front of McEachran in a very talented English midfield. 

5)       Sergio Canales-Central Midfielder, Real Madrid, Spain, 19 years old

After starring in the heart of the Racing Santander midfield he earned many plaudits from the press all over Spain.  When I was abroad this kid was on the news almost as often as Ronaldo and Messi, which is saying a lot considering their obvious prowess in the world of football.  His great play earned him a lucrative move to Real Madrid in the summer.  I personally am not a big fan of this move, but its most young Spaniard’s dream to play for the biggest club in the world, and he simply couldn’t say no.  He also made his decision before the signings of German World Cup Stars Mesuit Ozil and Sami Khedira, so he probably thought he had a better chance at featuring in a crowded midfield.  He only has 3 appearances for the La Liga giants, which is through no fault of his own.  It’s hard to get into a team of superstars, and even harder when you’re 19, but those 3 appearances should not be taken lightly.  The kid will come good as he is a truly great player.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see him eventually loaned, or sold with a buyback clause as Real Madrid has been known to do.  That would get him more playing time allowing him to better develop, and give Real the comfort of knowing they wouldn’t be losing their future star for good.  

If I missed someone, or you disagree with these selections, please feel free to comment.  I would have loved to include more players but this article was getting long so I had to cut it to five.  Look for more similar articles in the future, and prepare to see these guys playing on a regular basis sometime soon.  Get on the bandwagon now, and you won’t be sorry. 

 
First Post 01/24/2011