Three Most Talented Players who are 21 or Under

All around the world there are many emerging football stars. Whether they are dazzling for club, country or both, they have very high potential. Here you will find five of the best players aged 21 or under.

Paul Pogba

 

Already one of the best midfielders in the game, it is astonishing that the Frenchman is still just 21 years of age. The former Manchester United reject is now thriving at Juventus, leading their charge for multiple pieces of silverware this season. Pogba has recorded eight goals and three assists in 24 matches so far this season for the Bianconeri. While these aren’t the most astonishing stats, Pogba has been contributing enormously with his playmaking and defending. The Frenchman is so in demand that some are even speculating that he may be football’s first 100 million pound transfer. At the moment, Pogba is probably the best young player in Europe and the world who is aged 21 or under.

Raphael Varane

 

Another 21 year-old Frenchman, the Real Madrid defender is the best young defender in the world. Playing with maturity well beyond his years, his passing is out of this world, a trait not often seen in young defenders. So far this season Varane has an unreal pass accuracy of 90.5%. In addition to his passing skills, Varane is very talented at tackling opponents and winning the ball. Varane plays with great discipline, too, having made 18 appearances for Los Blancos this season and not having been booked once. Real Madrid believes in their young defender so much that they recently inked him to a six year deal.

Raheem Sterling

 

The 20 year-old electric winger recently won the Golden Boy award for the best player in Europe under the age of 21, won by Pogba the previous year. The England international who was born in Jamaica has been linked to top clubs such as Real Madrid. However, the Liverpool man is currently in contract negotiations with his club. Sterling has played for Liverpool 37 times this season, registering 10 goals and six assists. One of Sterling’s greatest traits is his versatility; he can be deployed in any attacking position.

Best Midfield Options for Manchester United

Although in third place, Manchester United have been visibly struggling this season. The area of the pitch where they lack the most talent is their midfield. Angel di Maria has been utilized as a central midfielder more than any other position this season, and has thrived there, registering three goals and assisting three more while playing in the center of the park for just five matches. However, this is not his natural position and he may be needed elsewhere at any given time. The Red Devils must sign at least one world-class central midfielder before next season. Below you will find viable options.

Paul Pogba:

One of a few dream signings that will feature here today, the Frenchman joining would undoubtedly delight the Old Trafford faithful. After leaving United themselves to join Juventus on a free transfer in 2012, the hierarchy at the club want to bring back the player who was once deemed surplus to requirements. Pogba’s market value is a whopping 50 million euros but the Glazer family has given Louis van Gaal a transfer budget with essentially no limit. The Frenchman would also be a great investment for the future as he is only 21 years of age. Pogba has tallied up seven goals and two assists this season for the Bianconeri and his performances have been vital to his club’s Champions League knockout round qualification and for their domination of Serie A. The strongest part of Pogba’s game are his dribbling and his shots from range. Pogba has been insisting that he will not be leaving Juventus anytime soon, but when United comes banging down his door, who knows?

Koke:

Another dream signing, the 23 year-old Spaniard, dubbed the “Next Xavi” has been improving rapidly. He was linked to United last January but the move fizzled out when he signed a new deal with Atletico Madrid, keeping him at the Calderon until 2019. Koke has represented his country 15 times at senior level despite being so young. Koke’s release clause is officially 63 million euros, but Atletico could possibly accept a lower bid. Koke has registered three goals and twelve assists so far for Atletico this season. Koke is one of the very best players in the world when it comes to delivering the final killer pass, averaging 5.1 key passes (a pass that leads to a shot) per game. Koke, like Pogba, is adamant that he won’t leave his current club, but the bright lights of Old Trafford could very well persuade him to leave the Spanish capital.

Axel Witsel:

A slightly more realistic option, the Belgian midfielder who is currently plying his trade is with Zenit St. Petersburg, would only cost about 15 millions euros. Witsel is a different kind of midfielder than Pogba and Koke, he is not quite as much of a playmaker but is very talented in the tackle and at shielding the defense.

He shone for Belgium at the World Cup this summer in Brazil and has previously been linked to the Red Devils. Don’t be surprised if Witsel ends up signing for United.

Joao Moutinho:

The Portugese midfielder has not fit in very well at current club Monaco. However, from past performances with Porto and still with Monaco, there is no doubt over the huge amount of talent Moutinho possesses. He plays in a sort of advanced playmaker role and is a complete midfielder, his passing and defending are both very strong. While he is far from the world’s best finisher, United’s array of talent up front should make up for his lack of finishing skill. Moutinho would probably be available for 25 million euros.

*All statistics were obtained via WhoScored.com and transfer values via transfermarket.com