With the season more than halfway over, rumors are starting to swirl as supporters fantasize about the potential future superstars that could be coming to their club. This article examines the top defenders and midfielders in Europe under the age of 24, who have a good chance of being bought this summer.
Ryan Sessegnon – LB/LM/LW, 17, Fulham
Ever heard of a 17-year-old leading his team in goals? Well, meet Ryan Sessegnon. This electric teenager has arguably been Fulham’s best player this season. This is even more remarkable when you consider that he’s played at left-back for most of the season, however with Fulham bringing in Matt Targett on loan in January, he’s been playing in a more advanced role recently.
Sessegnon can play every position down the left-hand side of the field, but regardless of where he plays, he has the pace and stamina required to be involved in the attack, and still get back to help and defend. I fully expect Fulham to cash in on him big time this summer.
Also, if you’re interested in a more in-depth tactical analysis of Sessegnon, check out this video from Tifo Football.
Kieran Tierney – LB, 20, Celtic
Tierney has really broken out this season and established himself as a staple in Brendan Rodgers’ back line, which has allowed just 18 goals this season in the Scottish Premiership. As left back is such a sparse position, I fully expect a Premier League club to snatch him up this summer. His pace allows him to get up the field and beat opposing full-backs with ease, and he has great vision to pick out a pass from the left wing, which is why he’s currently leading Celtic in the assists category.
Alejandro Grimaldo – LB, 22, Benfica
Grimaldo was never able to get the call-up to the first team at Barcelona, so he was sold to Benfica for 1.5 million euros in January of 2016. Since then, he’s been nothing short of incredible. The young left-back was given the starting role in the 2016-17 season, and he took it and ran with it (literally). He loves to use his pace to bomb forward and get himself involved in the attack, but also has the ability to track back and help defend.
I’d like to see how he fares on the defensive side against superior competition in a better league, but he definitely has all the tools to become a fantastic player. He’s been linked with a move to Napoli this summer for around 30 million euros, which would be pretty good business for Benfica considering what they bought him for.