10 players who will become household names in 2018
2017 was an exhilarating year of football.
Ronaldo won his 5th Ballon d'Or, breaking quite a few records on the way, and then Harry Kane went on to score back-to-back hat tricks to finish the calendar year as top scorer ahead of both Messi and Ronaldo.
Even as Barcelona were mercilessly taunted on social media after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain and signing Paulinho for €40 million, they completely changed the dynamics of La Liga to end the year with a humongous 14-point lead over bitter rivals Real Madrid, and a 9-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.
In that sense, 2017 has truly been a year of contrasting fortunes. Barca have turned the tables on Los Blancos, and Pep Guardiola has proven his critics wrong (in style), having built a team that is easily the strongest in Europe right now.
But perhaps, more importantly, 2017 was the year of breakthroughs for several young stars (as well as a few older players fans had written off for good). Kylian Mbappe has led a generation of youngsters who have taken the footballing world by storm, ushering in a new era as the two best players in the world right now enter their thirties.
And there will be even more such youngsters making their way through the harsh, unforgiving conditions of the European top flights in 2018. That being said, here is a list of such players who are beginning to catch the attention of several European giants already:
#10 Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
The only player on this list born in the current millennium, Ryan is a 17-year-old left-back and is also the cousin of former West Brom midfielder Stephane Sessegnon.
Being a fullback in a top European league is not easy these days, but the Fulham youngster has already established himself as the first choice after breaking into the first team last season.
He has also already represented England at U19 level, helping them win the UEFA Euro title earlier last year.
His versatility also enables him to play on the left wing (a trait that has evoked comparisons to David Alaba), and he even scored a hat trick against Sheffield United, becoming the first seventeen-year-old since Dele Alli to do so.
Sessegnon is reportedly a £25 million target for Manchester United, as Mourinho aims to add more depth at left back. Real Madrid and Chelsea are also reportedly sniffing around the teenager, and it's really only a matter of time before he moves to a bigger club, and becomes a bigger phenomenon.