Wonderkids, stars in the making
At the start of every calendar year, the footballing world looks at the new crop of youth players in their teenage years, our wonderkids. The excitement of new world class players in the making has all of us football fans drooling. We all remember marveling in 2003 at a teenage Cristiano Ronaldo, a few years later we had the privilege of seeing Lionel Messi blossoming into a world beater, and back in 2010 Hazard took the Ligue 1 by storm to seal a transfer to Chelsea FC. Some of the most exciting times in a fan’s journey lie in seeing his team stacked with exciting young players. Indeed, we’re sure Borussia Dortmund fans can relate.
The top five European leagues promise to be a battleground for the coming year. And so, for the coming few days, we will be counting down the hottest new rising wonderkids. let’s hope we’ll be seeing some new “Ballon d’or” winners being born!
In the last month of 2016, let’s look back at the last calendar year. Indeed, we saw some exciting young players rise to the occasion. Martial at Manchester United, Bellerin at Arsenal, Zouma at Chelsea, Weigl at Borussia Dortmund, and Kimmich at Bayern Munich just to name a few. It’s clear to see, 2016 was a year to be remembered to say the least. Moreover, Youth players now cost premium amounts year after year. And so, they are expected to deliver directly. Long gone are the days of slowly easing youth into the starting 11. From now on, it’s perform or be benched.
2017, stars will be born!
Last transfer season saw hundreds of millions spent on young players. Manchseter United shelled out a record breaking premium to bring Paul Pogba, Bayern Munich around 40 million euros on Renato Sanchez, while Dortmund went around silently buying & promoting the best of the best at discount prices (including Ousmane Dembele, Emre Mor, Merino, & Pulisic).
Without further overdue, let’s start with our countdown!
Number 10: Leroy Sane
Position: Left Winger (Also adept as RW and CAM)
Preferred Foot: Left
A lot of us know Leroy Sane as the young curly headed german youngster Pep Guardiola was adamant on bringing to Manchester City. Indeed, the German international was on top of Guardiola’s wishlist upon joining the citizens. Nevertheless, before plying his trade in the blue side of Manchester, Sane was expected to achieve great things for his native team, Schalke.
Schalke 04, “The Beginning “
Sane started his professional career at “Schalke 04”. There, he broke through the youth ranks at a frightening pace and earned himself a call-up to the senior side in the 2013/14 season at the young age of 17. The 2014/15 season was a breakthrough season for the youngster, at barely 18 he managed to stack up 14 games and contributing 4 goals and 1 assist, not bad at all! From that point on, all eyes were on the German starlet. Nevertheless, instead of buckling under the pressure, Sane kicked off his final season with Schalke at a blistering pace. The 2015/16 season was his best by far, and announced him as a top prospect. Indeed, he played a grand total of 42 games scoring 9 goals and assisting a further 7 goals. Clearly, this was a phenomenal return for a 19 year old youngster enjoying his first full season of senior football.
Manchester City, “New Challenges Lie Ahead”
In the summer of 2016, Leroy Sane earned himself a 50 million euros big money transfer to Manchester City, to join the new “Guardiola Project”. So far, Sane has featured 6 times for the citizens, scoring no goals and assisting only once. Nevertheless, any player changing league needs some time to adapt and there’s little doubt Sane will be lighting up the EPL for years to come!
Tomorrow we will be continuing our series of the top 10 wonderkids of 2017, Stay tuned!
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