Jun 10, 2018
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World Cup 2018: Younger gamers to look at in Russia – together with

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World Cup 2018: Younger gamers to look at in Russia – together with

Clockwise from prime left: Hirving Lozano, Andre Silva, Breel Embolo, Youri Tielemans, Maxi Gomez and Cristian Pavon are among the many younger stars to look at on the 2018 World Cup
World Cup 2018 on the BBC
Host: Russia Dates: 14 June – 15 July
Dwell: Protection throughout BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport web site with additional protection on Pink Button, Related TVs and cellular app.

We already know concerning the superstars who might gentle up the 2018 Fifa World Cup, however what concerning the subsequent era of expertise?

Few of the 736 gamers who might function in Russia could be classed as complete unknowns however there’ll nonetheless be some unfamiliar faces trying to announce themselves on the worldwide stage.

Right here, BBC Sport’s TV and radio World Cup commentators pick the 15 younger gamers from outdoors the Premier League who’re price watching out for this summer time.

1. Hirving Lozano (Mexico)

Age: 22 Place: Winger Membership: PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Lozano was given his nickname ‘El Chucky’ as a toddler, when he would conceal underneath the mattress and attempt to frighten different boys. He hit 4 targets in Mexico’s qualifying marketing campaign and was named considered one of Fifa’s younger stars of 2017

Steve Wilson: With 19 targets and 11 assists in 34 video games, Lozano’s statistics in PSV’s Eredivisie-winning season – his first marketing campaign in Europe – present the potential he confirmed at Pachuca is now being absolutely realised.

Having performed his approach into Mexico’s Confederations Cup group final summer time, he scored in a 2-1 win over Russia earlier than the semi-final defeat by Germany. His brace in a 3-Three attract Belgium in November was one other headline-grabbing efficiency from a ahead who can play on the precise or left of a central striker.

Jonathan Pearce: Lozano is a superb, fiery prospect and will effectively gentle up these finals – he has searing tempo and likes to roll in off the left to attain along with his favoured proper foot.

In addition to his targets at membership degree, he has seven strikes in 27 senior internationals for Mexico, which is an effective return for a younger participant.

There is a catch – he was despatched off twice for PSV this season and for Mexico on the 2016 Olympics – however he appears decided to make an influence a method or one other.

2. Cristian Pavon (Argentina)

Age: 22 Place: Winger Membership: Boca Juniors (Argentina)
Pavon loves to chop in from the left on to his proper foot and is exhibiting a promising understanding with Lionel Messi. Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli says: ‘Cristian is a participant who has very particular traits for speaking with Messi. He goes to area, he’s providing on a regular basis and he has an vital dynamic’

Man Mowbray: With such a stellar checklist of names forward of him within the Argentina facet, the Boca Juniors prospect may not get any recreation time in Russia – but when he does get off the bench it is an opportunity to indicate he’ll quickly belong in the most effective firm.

Pavon appears to be like set for a transfer to Benfica, following the European path trodden by Angel di Maria – an apparent participant for comparability, and one who may quickly make approach for the younger pretender.

3. Aleksei Miranchuk (Russia)

Age: 22 Place: Attacking midfielder Membership: Lokomotiv Moscow (Russia)
Miranchuk, who can play on the precise wing or up entrance, scored seven targets to assist Lokomotiv Moscow win the Russian Premier League for the primary time since 2004. His twin brother Anton is a midfielder

Conor McNamara: I’m commentating on the opening recreation of the World Cup, so I have been holding an in depth eye on Russia’s build-up. There’s a number of strain on the hosts, who will probably be hoping Miranchuk steps up as one of many stars. He may very well be their inventive inspiration.

Take heed to McNamara’s commentary of Russia v Saudi Arabia (kick-off 16:00 BST) on BBC Radio 5 dwell on Thursday, 14 June.

Steve Wilson: Russia are determined for somebody to galvanise the group to no less than a decent exhibiting as hosts.

That somebody might but be the long-lauded Aleksandr Golovin, who went to Euro 2016 with nice expectations that appeared solely to show a burden – or it could be the marginally older Miranchuk, who has simply helped Lokomotiv win the Russian title together with twin brother Anton, who can be within the squad.

An attacking midfielder with an eye fixed for purpose, Aleksei has developed effectively since his transient look in final summer time’s Confederations Cup.

4. Breel Embolo (Switzerland)

Age: 21 Place: Striker Membership: Schalke 04 (Germany)
Embolo was born in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon, and lived there till he was 5. After a yr in France, he moved to Basel and has had a Swiss passport since 2014. He’s a favorite of the Switzerland followers, who sing ‘Oh Embolo! Oh Embolo!’ (to the tune of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’)

Ian Dennis: I first noticed Embolo play 4 years in the past when his FC Basel facet beat Liverpool within the Champions League. As a young person, he was uncooked however had electrifying tempo to hassle defenders.

He left Switzerland in the summertime of 2016 to maneuver to Schalke however an ankle damage that October ended his first season in Germany prematurely.

Embolo nonetheless wants so as to add targets to his recreation however he is a strong striker and nonetheless solely 21.

5. Renato Tapia, Peru

Age: 22 Place: Midfielder, centre-half, right-back Membership: Feyenoord (Netherlands)
Tapia left Peru aged 16 for a trial with Liverpool in 2011 after they noticed him within the World Youth Cup however, in an interview he gave to Dutch journal Voetbal Worldwide in 2016, he claimed the Reds instructed him he was too brief – regardless of him being 6ft tall on the time. He has now grown an additional half-inch.

Radio 5 dwell soccer correspondent John Murray: Renato Tapia is a rising star, and a flexible one too. He has been schooled in Dutch soccer since he moved to Europe to hitch FC Twente in 2013 and is now at Feyenoord. Regardless of his age, he is a crucial a part of a Peru group going to the World Cup with kind and confidence – and is seen as a future captain of Los Incas.

6. Sardar Azmoun (Iran)

Age: 23 Place: Striker Membership: Rubin Kazan (Russia)
Often called ‘the Iranian Messi’ – for his dribbling capability – and ‘the Iranian Zlatan’ for his high quality within the air, Azmoun was closely linked with Liverpool in January 2016 however a switch by no means materialised

Alistair Bruce-Ball: Azmoun scored 11 targets in 14 video games in qualifying and has a implausible strike fee of 23 targets in 32 worldwide appearances.

Iran are superb defensively – Carlos Queiroz’s facet stored 9 consecutive clear sheets of their closing spherical of qualification video games – however, if they will progress in Russia, they should rating with the few possibilities that come their approach. Loads of that will probably be right down to Azmoun.

7. Achraf Hakimi (Morocco)

Age: 19 Place: Full-back Membership: Actual Madrid (Spain)
Hakimi was born in Getafe, Spain, however each his mother and father are from Morocco and he made his debut for the Atlas Lions on the age of 17, earlier than he made his senior debut for Actual Madrid

Steve Wilson: At 19, Hakimi already has winner’s medals from the Membership World Cup and Champions League. He performed at right-back in each Actual’s matches towards Spurs within the latter competitors this season – and made 17 first-team appearances in all – however might begin at left-back for Morocco in Russia.

Former Actual boss Zinedine Zidane preferred him a lot he was completely happy to promote Brazil worldwide Danilo to Manchester Metropolis. Sufficient stated.

8. Andre Silva (Portugal)

Age: 22 Place: Striker Membership: AC Milan (Italy)
Silva, who has scored 12 targets in 22 video games for Portugal, joined AC Milan from Porto for £33m in the summertime of 2017

Conor McNamara: Silva continues to be discovering his approach at AC Milan and was primarily used in its place final season in Serie A, however he was given extra of an opportunity within the Europa League and scored six targets in eight begins in that competitors in 2017-18.

To this point in his worldwide profession he has averaged a purpose each three photographs, and apparently Wolves and Huddersfield are desirous about bringing him to the Premier League subsequent season.

Wherever he finally ends up enjoying his membership soccer, Cristiano Ronaldo has already stated Silva could be his long-term successor as Portugal’s foremost goalscorer.

9. Rodrigo Bentancur, Uruguay

Age: 20 Place: Midfielder Membership: Juventus (Italy)
Juve provisionally signed Bentancur in 2015 as a part of the deal that noticed Carlos Tevez transfer to Boca Juniors. He ultimately joined the Italian facet for £8m in July 2017

John Murray: Good issues are anticipated of this tall, two-footed midfielder who has simply completed his first season with Juventus and solely made his senior worldwide debut in October 2017.

I am anticipating Uruguay to do effectively and, in the event that they do, Bentancur might effectively get his probability to shine.

10. Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Iran

Age: 24 Place: Striker Membership: AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands)
Jahanbakhsh scored 21 targets and made 12 assists for AZ Alkmaar and have become the primary footballer from the Center East or Asia to complete as prime scorer in a serious European league

Man Mowbray: It could be a shock if Carlos Queiroz can information Iran out of the group stage above both Spain or his native Portugal, however in AZ striker Alireza Jahanbakhsh he has a participant of high quality who’s being linked with a transfer to the Premier League.

Positive, the Eredivisie is not the highest degree today, however to complete as prime scorer continues to be no imply feat – he is following some main gamers to the honour.

A purpose towards one or each of the large weapons in Group B may not get Iran by way of to the final 16, nevertheless it may get his Dutch membership facet a number of extra million euros later this summer time.

11. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Serbia

Age: 23 Place: Midfielder Membership: Lazio (Italy)
Nicknamed the Sergeant, Milinkovic-Savic stands 6ft 4in tall. His mom was knowledgeable basketball participant and tall genes run within the household – his youthful brother Vanja is 6ft 8in is a goalkeeper who signed for Manchester United in 2014 however left after failing to safe a piece allow.

Steve Wilson: Born in Spain, Milinkovic-Savic has been an important success for Lazio – scoring 14 targets from midfield final season – and is reported to be on Manchester United’s purchasing checklist.

The 23-year-old has received each the Below-20 World Cup and the Below-19 European Championship along with his nation and is vying with Andrija Zivkovic of Benfica for the title of Serbia’s brightest younger factor.

Alistair Bruce-Ball: He solely has three caps for his nation as a result of the previous supervisor Slavoljub Muslin did not choose him, a lot to the chagrin of the Serbian followers. Russia may very well be his probability to shine.

12. Youri Tielemans, Belgium

Age: 23 Place: Midfielder Membership: Monaco (France)
Tielemans says enjoying judo from the age of 4 has helped him in his soccer profession, explaining: “It taught me so much as a result of it’s a must to assume. It’s a must to use your energy and play with the weak point of the opponent. It’s a must to use your head after which there’s this tradition of labor.”

Ian Dennis: This 21-year-old midfielder may go underneath the radar behind Belgium’s large names, solely 4 appearances in qualifying however has clearly been seen by a number of scouts.

I watched him play towards Manchester United within the Europa League final yr, when he was being tracked by Premier League golf equipment previous to his transfer to Monaco from Anderlecht. It’s simple to see why – he has all of the attributes, approach, imaginative and prescient and supplies actual drive from midfield.

13. Ismaila Sarr, Senegal

Age: 20 Place: Ahead Membership: Rennes (France)
Sarr is from the identical ‘Technology Foot’ academy in Senegal that produced Liverpool’s Sadio Mane. In addition to claiming he rejected Barcelona, Sarr was linked with Newcastle and Borussia Dortmund earlier than becoming a member of Rennes final summer time

Steve Wilson: A left-sided attacker who’s drawing inevitable comparisons to countryman Sadio Mane, Sarr has fought again effectively from a critical tendon damage in September 2017 to make the £15m Rennes paid Metz for him seem like cash effectively spent.

Sarr selected Rennes and common soccer forward of a transfer to Barcelona, which should have been a tricky however level-headed alternative. If he does in addition to many anticipate in Russia, then one other queue for his signature will probably be forming.

14. Uros Spajic, Serbia

Age: 25 Place: Centre-back Membership: Krasnodar (Russia)
Spajic joined Anderlect for £2m from French facet Toulouse in 2017, after spending a yr on mortgage with the Belgian facet

Ian Dennis: Spajic turned 25 this yr so is a little bit older than most on this checklist, however stays a superb prospect and I used to be shocked he lately headed east – he is simply signed for Russian facet Krasnodar for 7m euros from Belgian facet Anderlecht.

A reliable, courageous centre-back who is nice within the air, he’s a participant who’s alert to hazard and in addition completely happy to place his physique on the road.

15. Maxi Gomez, Uruguay

Age: 21 Place: Striker Membership: Celta Vigo (Spain)
Nicknamed ‘the Bull’, Gomez scored 18 instances for Celta Vigo within the season simply completed – together with strikes towards each Barcelona and Actual Madrid

Steve Wilson: With Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez round, getting enjoying time for Uruguay goes to be the issue for Gomez, who has been an enormous success in his first season in Europe with Celta Vigo.

An enormous-money transfer to Beijing Guoan which might reportedly have elevated his wages tenfold stalled in January as Gomez acquired chilly toes about China. He was clever to assume twice – additional fame and fortune are simply across the nook.

BBC Sport – Football

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