The 7 best young players to look out for at Euro 2020 this summer

International tournament football tends to focus on the household names we have been so well acquainted with, but this summer there are also several young players who could make a name for themselves.

This tournament could be their time to shine. And as such, we have decided to take a look at some of the brightest young stars who are more than capable of setting this much-anticipated Euro 2020 event alight.

Joao Felix (Portugal)

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Forward

Already a household name – and no wonder after being a key figure in Atletico Madrid's recent league title success – Joao Felix has been tipped to become one of the next big things in world football.

Often deployed as a second striker, he can be forgiven for only forging a rather modest 19 goals across two seasons for Colchoneros. Indeed, his dribbling, positional play and intelligence on the ball mark him out as a huge talent who should only soar to astronomical heights.

For Portugal, he's often deployed alongside Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch – either directly behind the Juventus star playing centrally, or to the left so Diogo Jota is allowed to feature on the opposite side.

Felix made his Portugal debut in 2019 and has scored three goals in 16 games. The La Liga star carries the weight of being the fourth-most expensive football transfer of all time – but Euro 2020 would be a great opportunity to show exactly why Atletico paid Benfica £113million for him.

Who do you think will be the best young player at Euro 2020? Let us know in the comments section below.

Phil Foden (England)

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Midfielder

When David Silva departed the Premier League champions, there were questions regarding who could possibly fill that roaming left-sided role at the Etihad. At that time, Phil Foden was a viable choice, but eyebrows were raised over his inexperience. This most recent campaign, however, he fulfilled that role superbly and he became one of the best forwards in the Premier League.

His technical ability not only suggests eventual attainment to world-class level (some would already argue that he has achieved that) – but also that he, along with the likes of Mason Mount, lead a new breed of English player. He has made six appearances for the Three Lions so far – scoring on two occasions – and you know there's plenty more to come.

Dejan Kulusevski (Sweden)

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Forward

Dejan Kulusevski has the unique capability of being agile and possessing super dribbling ability, despite his relative towering size of 6ft 2in. Naturally, given his physical frame and nationality, comparisons have been made to Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and yet Kulusevski is a much more versatile player who can deliver good performances, either on the wing or in central midfield.

He's an absolute workhorse and, while his ability to provide key passes is brilliant (he provided a total of 60 in 48 games across all campaigns for the Old Lady last season), he is also able to find the net, too. His 17 goals in the last three seasons isn't bad going for a player who is often asked to play so deep.

Kulusevski has made 12 appearances for his national side and has only managed to find the net once. But there will be more surely to follow.

Ryan Gravenberch (Netherlands)

  • Age: 19
  • Position: Midfielder

Winner of the 2020/2021 Eredivisie title, Ryan Gravenberch has been outstanding in the Dutch league – and his performances earned him last season's Ajax 'Talent of the Year' award and the Dutch Football 'Talent of the Year' accolade – a certain signal of his exceptional talent.

He's a large presence on the pitch, standing at a tad over 6ft 2in – but his size does not impede his ability to score goals and be creative in the final third.

Most key is Gravenberch's guile in finding teammates in dangerous positions from distance. His passing accuracy and temperament in possession is like an inadvertent nod to the namesake of the stadium he plays under at club level (Johan Cruyff).

He's only mustered four appearances for the Netherlands so far, but manager Frank de Boer has been utilising the Ajax player as the first port of call when substituting the likes of Frankie de Jong and Marten de Roon from midfield. He will no doubt get some minutes at Euro 2020.

Eljif Elmas (North Macedonia)

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Midfielder

Elmas will be better known for his games at Napoli, but there is a possibility to shine with the plucky underdogs of Group C. With the Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria to compete with, there's perhaps an outside chance that North Macedonia will progress.

The 21-year-old joined the aforementioned Serie A side in 2019 for £16.3million and has enjoyed 80 appearances so far. He might be young, but he has bags of experience already and could be the focal point of his nation's hopes of progressing from the group stage.

Elmas has been complimented for his determination and strong character, while positionally he is typically pushed forward just in behind the striker, or on the right side of midfield.

Dominik Szoboszlai (Hungary)

  • Age: 20
  • Position: Midfielder

Dominik Szoboszlai was snapped-up by RB Leipzig from Austrian Bundesliga outfit Red Bull Salzburg in December 2020 for a sizable €20million. That move means he's now the most expensive Hungarian player of all time.

He was not eligible to feature at his new side until January 2021 – and then he suffered an injury blow that's meant he's yet to make an appearance for the German club. But if anything was a testament to his ability, it would be that Hungary boss Marco Rossi has selected him as part of his nation's squad despite the youngster's lack of games.

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Alexander Isak (Sweden)

  • Age: 21
  • Position: Forward

At a towering size of 6ft 4in – sometimes such height means players struggle to do anything other than emerge victorious in aerial battles – but Alexander Isak puts paid to that idea. For La Liga's Real Sociedad last campaign, he only scored three goals out of the 17 he totalled using his head.

His ability speaks more of being a great dribbler and free-kick taker – he has scored 33 goals across two seasons for the San Sebastian club. But such prolificity in front of goal cannot be said for when playing for Sweden. With his nation, his goals have been a little dry; only scoring twice in the past two years – and a total of six goals in 21 games.

That said, there is much expectancy around his great talent and considering his age, it's just a matter of time for the Stockholm target to fulfil his potential.

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