Undrafted – The Network

Euro 2020 – Best Young Player? The Underdogs

With the Euro’s rapidly approaching, a lot of talk has turned to the younger generation coming through for each country.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robert Lewandowski not getting any younger, a new bunch of stars are coming for their crowns.

Erling Haaland’s Norway didn’t manage to qualify for this years competition, and Ansu Fati is currently a major doubt for Spain due to injury.

In this article, we will look at the handful of youth prodigies that will be heading around Europe for this summer’s championship.

Pedro Goncalves – Portugal

Credit; Goal.com

Pedro Goncalves has had a phenomenal season to say the least. A 23 goal campaign from Goncalves helped Sporting Lisbon to the Portuguese title.

He’s undoubtedly talented, however he has a lot of competition in the Euro 2020 squad. Cristiano Ronaldo has to start. Then it’s between Goncalves, Joao Felix, Diogo Jota and Andre Silva.

If he does manage to force his way into the starting line up, Goncalves definitely has a big chance of Young Player Of The Tournament.

Pedri – Spain

Credit; Planet Football

With Las Palmas being my favourite Spanish side, I’ve known about Pedri for a while. During his time with Las Palmas, his talent was clear for all to see, and many inside the club realised how special he was.

Barcelona came calling, and Pedri was soon making a name for himself at Camp Nou, even being compared to club legends Xavi and Iniesta.

At just 18, he’s a regular starter for Barca, and his performances earned him a call up for Spain.

With the Spanish national side in a transition period, it really wouldn’t surprise me to see Pedri starting in their opening clash against Sweden in Bilbao.

Florian Wirtz – Germany

Credit; Bundesliga

When Kai Havertz made the switch from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea, there was an enormous gap to be filled. However, fellow German Florian Wirtz soon stepped up to the plate.

Wirtz only turned 18 last month, and played in 37 games for Leverkusen during the 2020/21 campaign, scoring 8 times.

His fearless attacking style of play has been a big threat in the Bundesliga, and despite him not having much chance of starting, there’s no doubt he’ll make a massive impact for Germany off their bench during the European Championship.

Ryan Gravenberch – Netherlands

Credit; The Boot Room

Young Ajax midfielder Gravenberch has just won the Eredivisie for the second time, at just 19.

A holding midfielder, Gravenberch has often been compared to Paul Pogba, and seemingly will be a starter for the Netherlands during the Euro’s.

Netherlands need a new star in their developing squad, and I believe Gravenberch could be the key.

Jeremy Doku – Belgium

Credit; Talk Sport

With Belgium another of the ageing squads, young Jeremy Doku has earned numerous recent call ups for his nation.

Another rising Rennes star, Doku is a pacy, direct winger, who causes issues for any full-back he faces.

With Eden Hazard having an injury prone season, and 34 year old Dries Mertens lacking the clinical pace he used to have, Doku starting for Belgium wouldn’t surprise anyone.

It’ll be interesting to see if the 5 players I’ve highlighted will firstly make the squad for the Euro’s, and if they do, whether they play many minutes.

I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out, and if they do shine at the tournament, I may turn my attentions to scouting!

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