Future of football elite – Part 1

Colombia's player Juan Hernandez celebrates his goal against Argentina during their South American Championship U-20 football match in the Olimpico Atahualpa stadium in Quito on February 2, 2017. / AFP / JUAN RUIZ (Photo credit should read JUAN RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images)

This article aims to cover players that maybe have not had such a big media coverage as your Mbappe’s but are still players making a name for themselves.

Malcolm – Bordeaux, 20 years old, Winger

Malcolm, an English name for a Brazilian star. Malcolm is definitely going to be Bordeaux’s most expensive export apart from their world-famous wine. The Brazilian is a tricky winger with a final product. His style of football is what you expect from a Brazilian, fun to watch, dazzling feet, low centre of gravity, small and lightweight but very quick and agile; a pain for full backs. Malcolm in this year’s Ligue 1 has got 7 goals and 5 assists in 17 games for a team that sit 15th in the league. The Brazilian is strongest with his left foot and has already scored Ligue 1’s goal of the season. He loves a free-kick too with more often than not creating danger or even going in. Inside the box he is a good finisher with either foot. If people reckon Richarlison has earnt the right to a call up for Brazil, then Malcolm is already on the plane to Russia. Recently linked with Manchester United, the world is his oyster.

Pedrag Rajkovic – Maccabi Tel Aviv, 22 years old, Goalkeeper

Rajkovic is a Serbian goalkeeper known by many Football Manager players for sure. As in game he grows to be one of the best goalkeepers around. Standing at 6ft2 and with already 7 caps for his country is a player that I can see becoming a world class keeper. He achieved great things with Serbia’s youth teams by winning the U20 World Cup and U19 European Championship. He opted to move to Israel from Serbia to develop his football somewhere with less pressure whilst still gaining valuable experience in the Champions League. A very mature decision for such a young guy. With the World Cup approaching he will be battling for a starting place with the experienced 34-year-old Vladimir Stojkovic, but if he does win that battle then I can see some top teams throughout Europe trying to snap him up. Arsenal were linked with him as they are trying to find a long-term replacement for Petr Cech.

Rodrigo Bentancur -Juventus, 20 years old, Centre Midfielder

Juventus snapped up Bentancur in April for a mere £9.5 million from Boca Juniors. Rodrigo is tall, athletic and technically gifted. The complete characteristics for a box to box he definitely has. He is reliable defensively but its at keeping the ball he excels with an average of 89% of completed passes. He is so good at ball retention that it made a sports commentator describing giving the ball to him the same as putting it in a bank. He does need to improve his numbers when he comes to goals and assists to become a top elite player. However, with all his characteristics he has all the tools that can take him to the elite of world football. Described by some as the Uruguayan Paul Pogba, the Old Lady maybe be the best place for him to continue his progress.

Nikola Moro – Dinamo Zagreb, 19 years old, Centre Midfielder

Croatia seem to be that country that can’t stop producing good midfielders. Nikola Moro is one that is likely to carry on that tradition. The teenager plays for Dinamo Zagreb, another great Croatian midfielder that has came from that side is Luka Modric, so the comparisons have started. Moro has been capped 4 times already for Croatia, an indication of how good he is. He makes good decisions on the ball, likes to shoot, keeps the ball and has great vision too. Another great fact about this youngster is that he was born in Split and supports Hadjuk Split whilst playing for Zagreb. That shows great character strength admitting to supporting one of your rivals but still doing your very best and being one of your team’s best players. Croatia can rest assure when it comes time for Luka Modric to retire they will be in safe hands under Moro.

Juan Camilo Hernandez – Huesca (on loan from Watford), 18-year-old, Striker

Juan Camilo Hernandez is probably an unknown to many but the people that do know him cannot speak of him highly enough. He rose to fame when he was playing for Desportivo Perreira and was Colombia’s second division top goal scorer despite only being 17 as well as club captain. The Colombian was then signed to Granada but now his federative rights belong to Watford FC, what a surprise. Currently on loan at Huesca he is doing what a striker should do which is score goals. Juan has 10 goals already and has helped Huesca to the top of the Spanish second division. Whilst he may not be the biggest name out there he may be the next Colombian elite striker.