International Soccer

The best young players at Euro 2024

Euro 2024 is just around the corner, so it’s the perfect time to get acquainted with some of the best young players heading to the competition.

As part of our 24 for 24 series, 90min have handpicked the 24 young players (aged 21 and under) we expect to cause a stir in Germany this summer – the likes of Jude Bellingham, Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala among the standout names.

So without further ado, here’s the starboys to sit up and take notice of over the next month.

Georgiy Sudakov

Ukraine international / Mateusz Slodkowski/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Ukraine

Sudakov recently told 90min that “playing in the top five leagues’ is his footballing dream”, and if he performs as expected at Euro 2024, we’re backing him to get his move.

The 21-year-old’s dynamism and quality on the ball will be key to Ukraine’s hopes, and will also likely catch the eye of some of Europe’s elite clubs too.

Adam Hlozek

Leverkusen star / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Czech Republic

Hlozek made our previous iteration of this series ahead of Euro 2020, and a few years later he’s still young enough to make the cut.

The now-21-year-old has become a regular since the last Euros for the Czech Republic, bagging 31 caps thus far at senior level.

If he can put in performances like his three-assist showing for Leverkusen against Frankfurt this summer, then the Czechs might surprise some people this summer.

Nico Williams

Linked with a move / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Spain

Chelsea fans will likely be on ‘Nico Williams watch’ this June, and we’ll guess that they’ll be impressed by what they’ll see.

The Athletic Club star is a wonderfully dynamic and tricky wide player who will inject Spain’s forward line with some much needed pace at the tournament.

Fermin Lopez

Regular at Barcelona / Fran Santiago/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Spain

If it’s effort and energy that Luis de la Fuente wants in his midfield trio at Euro 2024, then surely he has to start Fermin Lopez.

The young Barcelona star is a willing runner in the middle of the park and has a surprisingly good eye for goal too.

He could be the perfect Gavi replacement for Spain at Euro 2024.

England v Bosnia & Herzegovina - International Friendly

Breakout tournament? / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Age: 20
Nation: England

Six months ago, not too many people even knew who Adam Wharton was.

Now, heading into Euro 2024, he’s being tipped by many to be England’s breakout star of the tournament.

That rapid ascent has been thanks to his wonderful form at club with level Crystal Palace, where he’s become one of the most adept ball-retaining midfielders in the country under Oliver Glasner.

Kenan Yildiz of Turkey looks on during a friendly football...

Juventus starlet / Insidefoto/GettyImages

Age: 19
Nation: Turkey

Kenan Yildiz is now so famous in Turkey that he’s starring in Gillette razor ads despite not having a beard.

That is weirdly impressive.

It’s easy to see why Turkish football fans are so excited about the 19-year-old, as shown at both international and club level in the last 12 months, Yildiz is a bonafide match winner on his day.

Don’t be surprised if he pops up with one of the goals of the tournament this summer.

Nuno Mendes

Flying full-back / Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Portugal

Injuries have stunted Nuno Mendes’ growth over the last 12 months, but now back fully fit after successful hamstring surgery, the full-back could be set to play a huge part in Portugal’s Euro 2024 plans.

Mendes is one of the most impressive attacking full-backs heading to the tournament, and will cause problems out wide against any team that Portugal face at the tournament.

Bart Verbruggen

Dutch number one / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Netherlands

Despite competition from Brentford’s Mark Flekken, it’s young Brighton goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen who has secured the Dutch number one jersey for Euro 2024.

And considering his recent performances for the national team in friendly wins over Iceland and Canada, it’s well deserved.

Bradley Barcola

A new option for Deschamps / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: France

While Bradley Barcola won’t be a starter for France this summer, he will be one of the most exciting ‘heat check’ players available to any nation at the tournament.

The tricky winger will likely come off the bench in the final 15 minutes of most Les Bleus’ games and cause tiring defence a boatload of problems.

Arda Guler, Jakub Kiwior

Guler is a Champions League winner / Mateusz Slodkowski/GettyImages

Age: 19
Nation: Turkey

After an injury-riddled first half of his maiden Real Madrid campaign, Arda Guler finally started to show what all the fuss is about in the final few weeks of the 2023/24.

The attacking midfielder’s six goals at the tail-end of the season were certainly impressive, and certainly proved that he is bang in-form heading into this summer’s Euro 2024 – which is great news for Turkey.

Antonio Silva

Highly rated / Octavio Passos/GettyImages

Age: 20
Nation: Portugal

Having already played nearly 100 games at senior club level for Benfica, it’s fair to say that Antonio Silva is much better than he should be at 20 years old.

The centre-back is dominant way beyond his years, and would be a perfect replacement for the tired legs of Pepe at times this summer.

Expect every single top club in Europe to be after him following Euro 2024…if they’re not already.

Johan Bakayoko

One to watch / Tim Clayton – Corbis/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Belgium

With Belgium’s golden generation winding down, the nation have been in need of a fresh crop of talent to come through the ranks.

And while there’s plenty of good young players that are joining the senior set-up, Johan Bakayoko is undoubtedly the pick of the bunch.

The 21-year-old enjoyed an outstanding 2023/24 campaign with PSV in which he hit double figures for the first time in his career, and will be hoping to bring that goalscoring touch with him to Euro 2024.

Next. Euro 2024 sweepstake. PLAY: Our Euro 2024 sweepstake (UK only). dark

Benjamin Sesko

Linked with a number of big clubs / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Slovenia

Having now committed his future to RB Leipzig (for another season anyways), Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United fans perhaps won’t be as interested in how Benjamin Sesko performs this summer.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be brilliant though, because if his run of seven straight goalscoring outings for Leipzig at the end of the season are anything to go by, then he most certainly will be bloody brilliant.

Rasmus Højlund

Denmark’s main man / Stuart Franklin/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Denmark

Rasmus Hojlund showed glimpses of genuine brilliance during a tricky first season at Manchester United, but will be hoping to be a more consistent threat for Denmark this summer.

Judging by his previous record for the Danes (seven goals in 14 appearances) we’re not going to bet against him doing so.

Kobbie Mainoo

England starter? / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

Age: 19
Nation: England

It’s easy to forget that Kobbie Mainoo wasn’t even supposed to be a regular at club level, never mind senior international level, at this point in his career.

And yet here we are.

The 19-year-old has wrestled his way into both Erik ten Hag and Gareth Southgate’s plans over the last six months, and is almost certainly going to impress with England in Germany.

Joao Neves

Will command a huge fee / Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

Age: 19
Nation: Portugal

Every single top club is currently looking at Joao Neves.

For good reason too.

Despite being just 19 years old, the holding midfielder is a complete modern number six already, possessing an ability to win possession back for his team and then retain it too.

He’s top class.

Pedri

Top player when fit / Rafa Babot/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Spain

If Pedri wasn’t rather injury prone, then chances are he’d be at the top of this list.

He is though…which is a bit of a problem.

Pedri is at least fit right now heading into Euro 2024 and, if by some miracle he can stay fit throughout the tournament, Spain are in with a real chance of winning the whole thing. That’s how good he is.

Xavi Simons

Dynamic wide forward / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Netherlands

With Frenkie de Jong and Teun Koopmeiners unavailable for the Netherlands at Euro 2024, the creative onus could fall on the shoulders of Xavi Simons.

If you watched the youngster bag himself 23 goal contributions with RB Leipzig in 2023/24, you’ll know he’s up to the task.

Warren Zaire-Emery

Key for France / Catherine Steenkeste/GettyImages

Age: 18
Nation: France

It seems like Warren Zaire-Emery has been around for a lifetime, and yet he’s only 18 years old.

The Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid has been a near ever-present for the last two years at club level, and now looks likely to be a key player for Didier Deschamps and France.

Eduardo Camavinga

Regular at Real Madrid / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: France

See what we wrote about Warren Zaire Emery? Well, the exact same can be said about Eduardo Camavinga.

We honestly had to quadruple check his age to make sure that he was actually only 21.

Due to his ability to play as a central midfielder, centre-back, and a full-back Camavinga is every international manager’s dream player.

Lamine Yamal

Wonderkid / Rafa Babot/GettyImages

Age: 16
Nation: Spain

Yep, Lamine Yamal is 16 years old.

It’s ridiculous.

He’s ridiculous.

And he’s going to break every ‘youngest player to [do something amazing] at the Euros’ record going this summer.

Florian Wirtz

Leverkusen’s star man / Lukas Schulze – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Germany

There’s a serious case to be made that Florian Wirtz was the best player in Germany during the 2023/24 season.

The youngster was instrumental in Leverkusen lifting their first ever Bundesliga title, bagging 22 goal contributions throughout the successful campaign.

If he puts in similar performances for the host nation this June and July, Germany could be in for quite the tournament.

Jamal Musiala

Top talent / Lukas Schulze – GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Age: 21
Nation: Germany

Another German 21-year-old attacking midfielder makes the top three.

Seriously, Germany are going to be quite good at Euro 2024.

And they will be because of the quality players like Jamal Musiala possess. The youngster is a game-winner, and can provide Julian Nagelsmann’s side with a real spark in attack.

Jude Bellingham

One of the best in the world / Jonathan Moscrop/GettyImages

Age: 20
Nation: England

Arguably the best player in the world and only 20 years old.

Yes, of course Jude Bellingham tops this list.

The attacking midfielder has become a genuine footballing megastar in the last 12 months, and could secure the Ballon d’Or if he drags England to a first ever Euros win.

READ MORE EURO 2024 NEWS, GUIDES AND PREVIEW CONTENT

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Most Popular

To Top