Karim Adeyemi, Antony, Yeremi among U21 stars who could shine in Qatar


There is now less than a year until 2022 Fifa World Cup start in Qatar on November 21, several teams have already confirmed their participation in the recent international break.

The World Cup often offers young players a chance to shine on everyone’s biggest stage and Qatar will be no exception. Here are nine players under the age of 21, from some of the qualifying nations, who could announce themselves next year at the start of the action.

Dusan Vlahovic, 21, Fiorentina / Serbia

Already an established Serie A striker with Fiorentina, the Serbian international helped his country automatically qualify for the World Cup in the 2-1 win over Portugal and, if its development continues at its current rate, the Balkan nation might even have a potential Golden Boot winner in its ranks.

Although Vlahovic’s progress has gone unnoticed to a global audience, he scored 21 Serie A goals last season, played 12 in 14 games this season and honed his game to arguably become one of the top 10 forward. – European football centers.

In addition to his excellent finishing abilities, he can score from any distance or position in or around the penalty area, Vlahovic has also improved his linking game and general involvement in the preparation phase (protecting and making getting around the ball, earning a free kick while falling deep.) His contract dispute with Fiorentina may become complicated before his term expires in 2023, but his position as the focal point of Serbia’s attacks makes no difference doubt.

Karim adeyemi, 19, FC Salzburg / Germany

Born in Munich to Nigerian and Romanian parents, the 19-year-old is one of the most exciting young strikers in European football. After playing for a few years at the Bayern academy, he joined fourth tier SpVgg Unterhaching for six years and several clubs (including Bayern and Chelsea) missed his contract when he signed for Austrian side FC Salzburg in 2018.

Adeyemi has good balance, finishing skills, and the ability to position himself well for rebounds, but it’s his remarkable pace and frankness that inevitably attracts the most attention. Extremely fast at the start, he also accelerates when he catches the ball and almost always seems to have another speed. With a powerful left foot, quick changes of direction and calm finishing skills, the striker has every chance to stand out in Qatar based on his 14 goals in 18 games this season. He has already scored his first senior goal for Germany, marking his September debut against Armenia, and many top clubs are watching him again.

Antoine, 21, Ajax / Brazil

First called up to Brazil’s senior squad in October after a strong performance at the Olympics and a strong start to the season with Ajax, Antony is getting better and better.

He’s a left-handed winger who usually lines up on the right side – although he prefers to fall back on his stronger foot – equipped with very fast feet and able to beat his full back with his cunning and moves. Always positive in his game – whether he is looking for quick rallies, overlaps, touches or a shot from outside the penalty area – his progress has been rapid this season. However, he still tends to run out of energy towards the end of matches and may struggle to line up properly with his teammates for long periods of time. Brazil have plenty of attacking options, but Anthony could be a superb impact player off the bench.

Charles De Ketelaere, 20, Club Brugge / Belgium

Rewarded with his first start for Belgium against Estonia on November 13, the multifunctional striker makes a somewhat atypical figure for a modern 6-foot-3 striker. But once you see him moving around the pitch – whether as a reverse winger on either side, center attacking midfielder, or up front – it’s obvious the 20-year-old is more of a question. of flair, intelligence and movement than protection or direction. the ball (although he can do that too.)

Despite his size, De Ketelaere has impressive balance and body control, often avoiding challenges with quick changes of direction or a disguised blow. He also has a good pace, especially when he finds space in wide areas where he can leave full-backs in his wake. As the striker is developing rapidly, he may not be at Club Brugge at the end of January, but is expected to play a role for Belgium next year.

Julien alvarez, 21, River plate / Argentina

Alvarez has been considered Argentina’s best attacking prospect for some time, but it’s only now that the River Plate striker is starting to produce the numbers that could allow a European giant to try his luck. Indeed, with 19 goals in 40 games this season, there is a good chance that a club will pay its release clause of 25 million euros in January.

Now that he’s in a more central position, Alvarez has started scoring more consistently and has recently found the net four times in a league game against Patronato. Along with his technical abilities, pace and powerful shot, it’s his positioning, opportunism and instinctive one-touch finish that makes Alvarez special. A member of Argentina’s Copa America-winning squad, he came off the bench in the World Cup qualifiers against Brazil last week and should have more chances to shine soon.

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Ryan cherki, 18, Lyonnais / France

Although Cherki’s first priority is to claim a starting spot for Lyon and the France Under-21 squad, based on his recent performances, it may only be a matter of months, or even weeks, before the attacking midfielder makes his entry. He’s always inclined to try one too many and a trick that borders on showboating – which will surely need to be corrected before France coach Didier Deschamps offers him a look-in for the senior squad – and he often seems that he’s so full of ideas he’s left in two minds as to what to do next.

However, the ball tends to get stuck to his foot and he can change the course of a game with a decisive penetrating pass or a quick and well executed one-two, either by cutting from the right on his favorite left foot (well. that his weaker right foot is so strong that he even uses it for direct free kicks) or plays a more central role. A player with suitable superstar potential who could be an interesting wildcard choice as France strived to become the first men’s national team in 60 years to retain the World Cup.

Yeremi Pino, 19, Villarreal / Spain

Another of the many young prospects like Ansu fati, Gavi and Pedro who are the future of the Spain national team, Yeremi had a chance to shine for Spain when some of their senior players were forced to drop out of the team due to COVID-19 in June and have made his Nations League semi-final debut against Italy last month.

He scored seven goals for Villarreal last season as he made his breakthrough for their first-team and, unlike some of his contemporaries, the 19-year-old stands out for his practical interpretation of football. He plays with his head held high, always scanning and preparing his move before receiving the ball, which often results in a positive one or two touch pass or, if necessary, a quick dribble to gain space or get out of it. a difficult place.

Until recently, Yeremi was primarily used as an impact surrogate to change the pace of the attack or add unpredictability, but with the improvement in his defensive contribution, he is regularly given a starting spot for them. Champions of the Europa League, where he recently signed a new contract.

Mohammed daramy, 19 years old, Ajax / Denmark

Within a year, Daramy went from an ongoing project at FC Copenhagen to a € 12million move to Ajax and his full senior debut for Denmark in September. Operating primarily on the left wing, he’s exceptionally dangerous when the gap opens up in transition situations, but he’s also able to beat a full-back from a more static starting point, either through quick body feints, or simply by pushing the ball in front of the defender. and charge passed.

Even more impressive, Daramy plays with great intensity in his game, both attacking with the ball and looking for one-two or combinations, while his pressing game is also good. Given his recent progression and Ajax’s legacy of polishing talent, he is expected to improve next year under Erik ten Haag to become even more important for Denmark in 2022.

Luka Sucic, 19, FC Salzburg / Croatia

Can you say that Austria-born Luka Sucic grew up watching Croatian midfielder maestro Luka Modric. Although somewhat taller than his namesake at 6ft 1 and left-handed, he shares the same clear ambition as Modric, who established himself as the No.10.

Sucic’s positive passing play, efficient ball carrying and the confidence with which he executes his long passes and changes of play are impressive for a 19-year-old. He’s also quick in the turn, wiggling and pulling away from his markers often. Susic, who first joined the Croatian senior squad in October, also has excellent shooting technique. He often starts on the right side of FC Salzburg midfielder, but probably sees his future in a more central role as his idol.



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