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5 wonderkids who deserve more attention in world football

Rupam Nag
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
1.86K   //    14 Jan 2019, 19:26 IST

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have taken European football by storm
Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong have taken European football by storm

We all watch, and talk about the pace of Kylian Mbappe, the movement of Gabriel Jesus, the reflexes of Gianluigi Donnarumma and the touch of Marcus Rashford. The world of football has a bunch of well-known young guns who let their feet do the talking, and we observe in awe. The media raves about them, the fans compare them to greats from the yesteryear, and what not. It seems as if though these young players have got everything going for them.

Having said that, there exists a still larger group of extremely talented youngsters who don't get the coverage they deserve, perhaps due to the fact that they don't play for the European elites, or are yet to break into their nation's senior side and take international football by storm.

On that note, let's have a look at five such youngsters who deserve more limelight than what they currently account for.


#5 Alban-Marc Lafont (Fiorentina)

Lafont is a commanding figure in the box
Lafont is a commanding figure in the box

Position: Goalkeeper

Nationality: French

Age: 19

Market Value: €13 million

Looking for a solid, young player to guard your goal? Not willing to risk having to break Kepa Arrizabalaga's record to bag Donnarumma? Look no further than Fiorentina's 19-year-old sensation Alban Lafont.

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The Burkina-Faso born goalkeeper had to play for just over a year for Toulouse's youth side, before first-team manager Dominique Arribage handed him his first Ligue 1 start in November 2015, thereby making him the youngest goalkeeper to play in France's top division.

Lafont was largely responsible for saving his club from being relegated that season with 8 clean sheets in 24 appearances. Toulouse built on that season and survived comfortably in 2016/17, finishing 13th.

However, they needed a playoff win to survive relegation in 2017/18, and it became clear that Lafont needed to find greener pastures in order to develop into the footballer he aimed to. A number of clubs were interested, but the teenager chose to move to Florence, Italy.

Since signing for Fiorentina, he has been a regular for them. He now has 41 clean sheets in 123 senior games.

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ANALYST
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