The upcoming Confederations Cup is regarded by many as a dress rehearsal for the FIFA World Cup, with most teams sending inexperienced youngsters and resting major players for the off-season. The quadrennial championship that pits various continental champions against each other, will feature talented younglings from Portugal, Chile, Germany, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Australia and Cameroon.
Many superstars had first burst into the limelight at the Confeds, including a certain Ronaldinho, who was awarded the Best Player title in the 1999 edition when he was just 19! first burst into the limelight at the Confeds, including a certain Ronaldinho, who was awarded the Best Player title in the 1999 edition when he was just 19!
Defending World Champions Germany recognise this opportunity to develop their youngsters and are resting first team regulars like Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels etc and sending an inexperienced side, captained by 23-year-old PSG attacker Julian Draxler.
Thus, what the tournament ensures is a stage for youngsters to grow and show their worth, especially as Premier League scouts are sure to be present in numbers looking to recruit talents. Also up for grabs is a golden opportunity to impress their managers and ensure a spot in their respective nations’ World Cup squads.
Here are the top 5 younglings that are likely to secure a dream move to the EPL, provided they show their mettle when the games begin in Russia.
#1 Gelson Martins (22, Portugal and Sporting Lisbon)
With top Portuguese sides like Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon churning out one talented youngster after another, it is no wonder that rumour mills are working overtime associating Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins with top EPL sides.
Further fuel was added to the fire after the staggering £30 million swoop by AC Milan for Portugal’s golden boy Andre Silva. If reports by the BBC and The Sun are to be believed, the 22-year old striker is being considered by Liverpool as a fallback option in case a deal for AS Roma’s Mohammed Salah falls through.
Gelson is fresh from a standout season with Sporting Lisbon, having recorded 6 goals and 9 assists. He was also the lone spark in an otherwise forgettable Champions League campaign for the Lisbon side, with the youngster having averaged 2.5 successful dribbles per game.
Despite his best efforts, Sporting finished outside the UEFA Champions League qualifying spots. The financial stress that comes along should push down Sporting’s asking price of £50 million for their prized asset.
Having got his first senior Portugal cap only in September 2016, the young striker will also be eager to impress manager Fernando Santos to ensure a spot in the 2018 World Cup squad.
|Competition||Goals||Assists||Key Passes Per Game||Dribbles Per Game|
|UEFA Champions League||0||0||1.7||2.5|