From Simons to Yildiz: 10 young stars ready to shine at Euro 2024

Ten young players who are poised to shine at the Euro 2024 tournament, from Simons to Yildiz

Many newcomers will perform. This article covers 10 players in four categories to follow before the competition.

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham (England, 20) is a superstar.

Birmingham’s choice to retire Bellingham’s shirt was mocked, but it makes sense now. That the England midfielder is 20 seems ludicrous. How did he move from three fine seasons at Borussia Dortmund to instant superstar at Real Madrid? Bellingham is a rockstar in Spain due to his winning mindset and leadership. He has scored 20 goals in all competitions. Is he more influential than Harry Kane this summer?

Major players
Florian Wirtz (20, Bayer Leverkusen offensive midfielder) The 20-year-old makes football look easy. He reads the game better than most and can effortlessly execute difficult passes. Wirtz, the Bundesliga’s brightest talent, learns from Xabi Alonso. He currently has 15 assists in all competitions, the most in Europe’s top divisions. Julian Nagelsmann must now create the national team around him. Germany exited the 2022 World Cup group stage, although Wirtz missed it with a knee injury. Avoid betting against hosts when they’re hosting.

Xavi Simons (20, Netherlands, RB Leipzig, attacking midfielder).

This Xavi was born in Amsterdam but grew up in La Masia. Simons embodies the Dutch-Catalan style Johan Cruyff would have longed to see. He lives Total Football, making his position difficult to define. A playmaker, winger, second striker, or center midfielder? Simons rushes around the pitch and causes chaos, so nobody knows. While playing for RB Leipzig on loan from Paris Saint-Germain isn’t romantic, purists love him, especially when he wears the orange shirt. Simons could be crucial for this country in July.

António Silva (Portugal, Benfica, centre-back, 20) is a regular international.

“Rúben Dias is my role model,” Silva stated after joining Benfica’s senior squad in summer 2022. The centre-back was thrilled to join the Manchester City star in the national team a few months later after quickly establishing himself at Estádio da Luz. He was a substitute in the 2022 World Cup, but his moment is now and the pair will form a delicious relationship at Euro 2024. They share leadership, composure under pressure, tactical understanding, and physical power, which is fine. Silva might be Benfica’s next major transfer after the tournament.

Italian centre-back Giorgio Scalvini (20, Atalanta)

Giorgio Chiellini was a hero as Italy won the 2021 European Championship. Giorgio, a new centre-back, may compete for the Blues this summer after retiring. Scalvini is taller, more elegant, and enjoys building play and attacking techniques. He’s thrived at Atalanta for two seasons, and Luciano Spalletti likes that kind of defense. Scalvini’s summer pairing with Internazionale’s Alessandro Bastoni may be intriguing, and Chiellini would be happy to see it flourish.

Slovenian RB Leipzig forward Benjamin Sesko (20)

Slovenia’s biggest stars this century are goalkeepers Samir Handanovic and Jan Oblak. Most football fans can’t name an attacking player from abroad since Zlatko Zahovic, who is 53. Things are about to change for Sesko, who might become a world-class striker. He is strong, can position himself in the penalty area, and has a deadly instinct in front of goal. Sesko is eastern Europe’s Erling Haaland equivalent. The Slovenian will play in Euro 2024 after scoring five goals in the qualifiers. His record for RB Leipzig suggests he feels at home in Germany. Norway did not qualify.

Warren Zaïre-Emery (17, France, PSG, midfielder) is poised for fame. France has a strong roster, therefore Didier Deschamps may not play the 18-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star. Despite being an automatic starter for Luis Enrique in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, Zaïre-Emery has earned vital experience. In addition to his technical and physical skills, he is a complete midfielder tactically. He is strong in tackles, neat in possession, and a good passer who likes to keep things simple and score goals. Scoring on his international debut against Gibraltar was promising, and the youngster could star for France, but competition is stiff.

Belgian midfielder Arthur Vermeeren (19, Atlético Madrid)

Vermeeren is remarkable compared to Andrés Iniesta and Andrea Pirlo in Belgium. He could be Kevin De Bruyne’s long-term successor due to his midfield agility and passing. The youth, who debuted midway through the 2022-23 season, helped Antwerp win its first title since 1957. In January, he joined Atlético Madrid after scoring against Barcelona in the Champions League. Vermeeren is the most exciting new Belgian player, but Diego Simeone may not give him enough playing time to start at Euro 2024. The competition is fierce.

Barcelona winger Lamine Yamal (16)

The youngest Barcelona and Spain player and scorer will turn 17 a day before the Euro 2024 final. Could he help the national team reach the final as a gift to himself? A few months ago, such a scenario seemed absurd, but Yamal has become a club leader. His leadership and right-wing decision-making are impressive for a player his age, and his drive and self-belief could help him replace the injured Gavi throughout the tournament.

Juventus forward Kenan Yildiz (18) is Turkish.

Yildiz was devastated to miss the 2022 European Under-17 Championship due to injury, but he is now Turkey’s top senior hope. The dynamic attacker emerged in December as one of Serie A’s most exciting attackers after leaving Bayern Munich for Juventus’ academy. Yildiz scored his first senior goal in a November 3-2 triumph against Germany in Berlin after growing up in Bavaria. That was a friendly, but he should be ready to thrive in his home country’s competitive setting this summer.

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