Liverpool's Sterling has been on the radar for a while now, here he features alongside four other players to watch, get excited about and then sign on Football Manager...
Raheem Sterling - England
Despite a talent gap between the ages of 19-22, Liverpool possess a fearsome amount of young attacking talent and Sterling is the pick of the bunch. Signed from QPR last year, he followed a series of promising performances with five goals against Southend in the FA Youth cup, has spent time with the senior squad in Europe and announced himself to the world with an absolute screamer in England’s opening game against Rwanda. Quick, full of tricks and able to play on either side or through the middle, Dalglish is said to be highly impressed with his ability and it would be a surprise if he doesn’t make his senior Liverpool debut next season.
Samed Yesil- Germany
For an illustration of how Germany got the structure of academies right, look no further than Yesil. At least 12 players from each intake to the centrally-regulated club academies have to be eligible to represent Germany and the performances of the Turkish Yesil (along with the phenomenally talented Emre Can) should at least get the FA thinking of a complete overhaul of the system. Nicknamed ‘Gerd’ by his teammates, the number nine with a haircut that Robert De Niro would’ve been proud of has scored 15 goals in 15 games for the u-17s, with two coming in Germany’s 6-1 win over Ecuador. Comfortable playing up front on his own, he shows all the signs of being a complete striker. Good with his back to goal, competent in the air, electrifying in the channels and deadly in the penalty box, the Bayer Leverkeusen youngster is rumoured to be attracting interest from Europe’s finest.
Yesil v Ecuador- 10s and 1m40s
Ademilson - Brazil
Whether you're a gelding from Guadalajara or a teenager from Tokyo it is nigh-on impossible to be an unknown quantity in football these days, what with the all-powerful internet and labyrinthine scouting networks. Just ask Denmark coach Thomas Frank who, after watching Ademilson score two and create the other in Brazil's 3-0 win his side, said this. "It was a big surprise, we would have liked to have had some DVDs of him." Recommended to coach Emerson Avila by his Sao Paulo team-mate, the highly regarded Lucas Piazon, Ademilson had never played for Brazil until his match-winning performance, yet impressed in the pre-tournament training camp and was handed the number 9 shirt. He's now being compared to Romario. “You have to keep a sense of perspective but there are times when he reminds you of Romario, with his speed and quick passes, and he’s a great finisher too.”
The second goal, in particular, with his stop-start movement and shot illustrates this point.
The Ademilson show v Denmark
Yassine Benzia - France (3s) 1m02s
Scorer of 36 goals for Olympic Lyonnais U-17s last season, Benzia is currently riding the wave of an inexorable rise that his seen him go from playing for the Quevilly (think Stockport) youth team a year ago to being feted, alongside Sebastien Heller, as the future of French football. The little to Heller’s large, Benzia is a study in perpetual movement and has a bit of the young Robbie fowler about him in his ability to fashion shooting chances from nothing and then finishing without a large back-lift. Don't don’t be surprised if the boy who got a brace against Argentina in the opening match starts to appear on the bench for Lyon next year.
Benzia v Argentina 3s and 1m02s
Juan Cruz Mascia - Uruguay
With Uruguayan strikers increasingly popular across Europe, the free-scoring Mascia has to date spent time with Athletico Madrid and been heavily-linked with Chelsea since topping the South-American qualifying charts with six goals. Tall, powerful and great in the air, the Miramar striker has been likened to a young Fernando Morientes and has one goal for the tournament so far, a flicked header. Due to his size and strength, expect a Premier League club to pay the £1million asking price for his services and allow him to develop in the reserves and Carling Cup.
Mascia v Canada - first goal
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