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UEFA Champions League 2018/2019: 5 U-23 stars to watch out for

Omene Osuya
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
4.00K   //    14 Sep 2018, 19:06 IST

Real Madrid Celebrate After Victory In The Champions League Final Against Liverpool
The 2018/2019 UCL promises lots of entertainment

After a few months’ hiatus, the UEFA Champions League will return next weekend. Although a lot of qualifiers have already been played, the main course begins next week.

The groupings have been made, the transfer market has been concluded and everything looks set for another rollercoaster season.

All eyes will be on Real Madrid and how the defending champions cope with the losses of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. Madrid is not the only big side under new management though (PSG, Borussia Dortmund are others).

This season’s UCL will see the return of some old favourites like Inter Milan and Valencia after a few years out of the competition. With the amount of transfer money spent by clubs on players, it is expected to be one of the most competitive in history.

As always, the players will be the main stars of the show. There is now a genuinely large group of players aged 23 or below who have become legitimate stars in their clubs, some of them may play starring roles in this season's UCL.

Here is a look at 5 such youngsters who may shine brightly this season:

#5 Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

Borussia Dortmund v Benfica - International Champions Cup 2018
Pulisic may be decisive for BVB in the UCL

The most promising talent to emerge from the United States in a while, Pulisic’s career has been on an upward trajectory ever since he made his debut for Dortmund in January 2016.

The 19-year-old like most players with his type of physique is a diminutive player blessed with skills, pace, close control and the ability to make things happen.

Possessing pace for days, his style of dribbling relies more on speed than body movement. His biggest strength is his clever use of space mixed with a running style designed for forward momentum at all times. It will be of benefit to Lucien Favre’s team as they seek to navigate a tough group which includes Atletico Madrid

The upheaval at the Signal-Iduna did him no favours last season: in 42 games, he scored a paltry 5 goals and made 7 assists. He has started one game so far this season as Marco Reus has been preferred by coach Favre.

However, Pulisic is highly regarded by everyone at Dortmund. If Die Schwarzgelben (The Black and Yellows) are to do anything in this season’s Champions League, he could play a key role. He has appeared in 15 UCL games recording a solitary goal and 3 assists

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Omene Osuya
ANALYST
Well, I love football (a look at my body of work tells a better story). However, I also love other sports and from time to time, pen articles concerning basketball, tennis, boxing, and e-sports. I follow these sports as much as I can, this explains why I write on a lot of different topics ranging from analysis and tactics to transfers and a whole lot more (reviews, previews and everything in between). Real Madrid is the team closest to my heart (same goes for Rafa Nadal, Raul Gonzalez, Mike Tyson, Mortal Kombat and the San Antonio Spurs).
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