Under-17 European Championship’s 10
Players To Watch
The annual Under-17 European Championship kicked off in Hungary yesterday. The Hosts impressed in their first outing beating Wales 3-0, and defending champions France began their campaign with a 3-1 win over Scotland.
The Under-17 European Championship is a platform for some of the most talented young players in Europe to make their mark, similar to previous player of the tournament winners, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kross and Jadon Sancho.
Below is a list of 10 potential future superstars to keep an eye out for during the tournament that just might end up being another name to add to that list.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Noah Fenyo, Hungary
Hosts Hungary have a number of talented youngsters at their disposal that could make a name for themselves this month. The likes of Benedek Simon and Martin Kern to name a couple thoroughly impressed in their first outing yesterday.
However, captain for the Eintracht Frankfurt’s U17 side, Noah Fenyo, may just be the cream of the crop. Fenyo has made 24 appearances for the U17 and U19s this season, providing 2 goals and 4 assists from the midfield.
The 17-year-old Sits deep and pulls the strings, and has already been called up and featured for Frankfurts first team in their mid season tour of Japan.
An unbelievable 49 goals during the 2021-2022 season led to Rory Wilson’s transfer to Aston Villa last summer, where the forward has continued to produce with 15 goals in 20 games for Villa’s U18 and U21 squads.
Despite being blessed with the strength to hold off defenders and the speed to run in behind them, it’s Wilson’s movement and anticipation that allows him to stand out.
It hasn’t taken long for the 17-year-old to showcase his goalscoring talents already in this competition, scoring Scotland’s only goal yesterday in their 3-1 defeat to France.
Saïmon Bouabré, France.
Current holders of the U17 Euro Championship, thanks to the likes of Mathys Tel, Warren Zaïre-Emery and Désiré Doué, France have a conveyor belt of talent flowing through their youth groups.
Saimon Bouabre could be the next up. The attacking midfielder shined for Monaco in the Coupe Gambardella final scoring one and assisting another. The 16-year-old has an incredibly quick burst, reaching his top speed almost at the exact moment he starts running, and with the dribbling skills to match, Bouabre will be one of the most exciting players to watch throughout the competition.
Myles Lewis-Skelly, England.
Lewis-Skelly’s performances during Arsenal’s FA youth cup run has seen him begin to grow a strong fan base at the Emirates, and at only 16-years-old he is already a regular for the Gunners U21 side.
The midfielder is extremely composed on the ball and can dictate play when playing in a deeper midfield role, but at any moment he is able to glide the length of the pitch past defenders as if they weren’t there.
With the likes of Ethan Nwaneri and Kadan Young in the front line bound to occupy opposition defenders and draw them away, Lewis-Skelly and his run’s forward could prove to be a decisive X-factor for England.
Lamine Yamal, Spain.
Lamine Yemal’s name trended worldwide when he became the youngest player to represent Barcelona against Real Betis in April. Seemingly unfazed by the occasion the winger impressed in his short cameo earning himself a standing ovation at the final whistle.
Lamine is almost the perfect prospect, his footwork, change of pace, balance and just overall sublime technical ability makes him near impossible to stop one on one. Once this is recognised and team’s begin to double team, his combination play and playmaking skills begin to show and he then becomes his side’s primary creator.
His final ball and goal scoring abilities are also something to admire, with four goals in five appearances already for Spain’s U17 side, the 15-year-old is a player most will be eagerly wanting to keep an eye on.
Gabriele Biancheri, Wales.
Biancheri’s seven goals in 12 games for Cardiff’s youth teams this season gained the interest of many of england’s biggest clubs and led to his eventual transfer to Man United earlier this year.
The 16-year-old forward is known for his quickness, dribbling and passing ability and impeccable timing when running in behind the opposition’s defence.
Following Gareth Bale’s retirement, Wales are on the lookout for their next ‘superstar’ and if he reaches his potential Biancheri could one day be that guy.
Paris Brunner, Germany.
It’s not often a player playing for his team’s U17 side gains national attention, but with 16 goals in his first six games for Borussia Dortmund Paris Brunner did just that.
Despite coming close on a couple of occasions, the 17-year-old wasn’t able to get on the scoresheet for Germany in their 4-0 win against Portugal yesterday, but his 11 goals in his previous 12 games makes you hope it won’t be long before he does.
Nico Adamczyk, Poland.
Brunner isn’t the only Dortmund player hoping to star in Hungary. His teammate Nico Adamczyk decided to represent Poland going forward over Germany who’s U16 side he had previously featured for.
The 17-year-old came off the bench for the final 20 minutes of Poland’s 5-1 win over Ireland yesterday to shore up their defence, and looked calm and composed whenever called into action.
Mason Melia, Republic of Ireland.
Another one of few players in the competition to have made a competitive first team start this season is Mason Melia. The striker became St Patrick’s youngest ever League of Ireland player when he came on in their 3-0 win over Drogheda Utd, and even produced an assist.
Melia’s has a fairly complete skill set for a striker, his finishing and heading ability and ball striking technique is obvious to see and his physical frame allows him to play with his back to goal and drop deep to combine with his midfielders.
Melia was unable to get much service as Poland ran rampant against the Republic of Ireland yesterday, but if Ireland are able to cause an upset at some point during this competition you can expect it to come from the St. Patrick’s 15-year-old prodigy.
England’s first game tonight sees them go up against Croatia and one of the better defenders at Hungary in NK Osijek center back Ljubo Puljic.
Despite being only 15-years-old and already playing way above his age group, the Croatian remains one of the biggest, strongest and most physically dominant players on the pitch.
Recent years have seen Croatia produce some of the best young defenders in world football, most notably Josko Gvardiol and Josip Sutalo, and with a potential move to a european giant in sight Ljubo Puljic could be the next in line.