Copa America 2019: Top 6 young players to Watch out for
Copa America 2019 is almost upon us. South America's premier competition will kick-off this Saturday as all the 12 teams set to feature in the competition have wrapped up their preparations with a pair of friendlies.
Barring Neymar, who was ruled out after sustaining another dreadful injury in the friendly game against co-participants Qatar, the competition will feature several household names who will make this tournament a glamorous affair.
However, there are also a few young guns who're touted to take the competition by storm. Or at least, leave a mark for everyone to mull over.
These youngsters are coming off the back of a promising season and have shown enough potential to believe each can turn over a new leaf in Brazil.
Let's look at the top six young players to watch in the tournament proper:
#6 Ritsu Doan (Japan)
After impressing in his loan spell with Dutch side Groningen, Doan received his first international call-up last September and hasn’t looked back since.
He effectively announced his arrival at the big stage with a memorable campaign for Japan in the competition, creating 11 chances and also netting twice, including the match-clinching penalty over Vietnam in the quarter-finals.
A right-winger by trade, Doan was always effective in counter-attacking situations. His ability to cut inside opened up avenues for the Blue Samurais while the 20-year old's link-up play with strikers Yuya Osako and Takumi Minamino make Japan a formidable outfit.
He sharpened his attacking blades for the competition with a fine performance in the 2-0 win over El Salvador in a recent friendly, cutting open La Selecta's defence with his nimble feet and intelligent movements.
Drawn alongside holders Chile and Uruguay, the odds of Japan progressing through to the next round are pretty slim. But Doan could help ensure the Blue Samurais won't go down without ruffling a feather or two.