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UEFA U19 Championship

Tottenham's teenage goal machine, the Italian De Bruyne and the NXGN wonderkids to watch at the U19s Euros

10:00 GMT+3 18/06/2022
U19s Euros GFX

It may be the middle of the European summer, but for some of the continent's best teenage footballers, things are about to get serious.

The Under-19s European Championship kicks-off on Saturday, with eight teams vying for the trophy in Slovakia.

The tournament was last played in 2019 - due to the pandemic - and neither of the finalists from three years ago, Spain or Portugal, have qualified this time.

Perennial challengers at youth level, Germany and the Netherlands, have also missed out, making for an interesting line up of teams.

There are still a number of players, however, who have the potential to become stars of the global game and will be worth watching over the next two weeks.

GOAL, in association with NXGN, have picked out the best of the bunch...

  • Warren Bondo Nancy 2021-22

    Warren Bondo (France)

    A relative veteran with 34 first-team appearances before his 19th birthday, Bondo is the latest young French midfielder to have earned admiring glances from around Europe.

    Bayern Munich, Manchester United and AC Milan have all previously been credited with interest in the Nancy teenager, who has played regularly in the second tier of French football for more than a year.

    Most comfortable as a deep-lying midfielder, Bondo has the versatility to play as a box-to-box player, and France will likely look to build their team around him as they aim to replicate the success of their U17s side which won their European Championship in early June.

  • Jamie Bynoe-Gittens Borussia Dortmund 2021-22

    Jamie Bynoe-Gittens (England)

    Bynoe-Gittens is the newcomer in the England squad for this tournament, but much of that is owed to the injury problems which have plagued him over the past 18 months.

    Those fitness issues, along with Covid-19 cancellations, ruined the 17-year-old's first year-and-a-half at Borussia Dortmund, but the ex-Manchester City winger has wasted little time in getting back up to speed in Germany.

    He scored 10 goals in 17 games for Dortmund's U19s in 2021-22 before making four first-team appearances in the final month of the campaign, with the suggestion being he will be a fully-fledged member of the senior squad at Signal-Iduna Park next season.

  • Carney Chukwuemeka Aston Villa 2021-22

    Carney Chukwuemeka (England)

    Premier League fans have already seen flashes of Chukwuemeka's ability in his cameo appearances for Aston Villa, but this is a tournament where he has the capabilities to take over.

    The 18-year-old midfielder, with 14 Premier League appearances under his belt, will be expected to break the lines for England in Slovakia, with both his dribbling and passing capabilities reminiscent of Paul Pogba at his best.

    With just one year left on his contract at Villa Park, Europe's elite clubs are queuing up to get their hands on Chukwuemeka, with Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal and Bayern Munich all reportedly waiting to pounce once the tournament is over.

  • Liam Delap England 2022

    Liam Delap (England)

    This time last year, Delap was celebrating breaking the record for the most goals in a single Premier League 2 season after netting 24 times in 20 games for Man City U23s, with many expecting him to enjoy a first season of senior football - likely out on loan - in 2021-22.

    Injuries however wrecked Delap's campaign, and the 19-year-old son of Premier League cult hero Rory had to make do with just three appearances for the City first team.

    At youth level however, there are few strikers in Europe with a better strike rate than Delap, and as a player who has been likened to his new team-mate Erling Haaland in the past, he will be expected to contribute plenty for England over the next two weeks.

  • Yusuf Demir Barcelona 2021-22

    Yusuf Demir (Austria)

    Yusuf Demir kicked-off the 2021-22 season in the Barcelona team and looking set to nail down his place in the senior Austria squad having narrowly missed out on a place in their Euro 2020 squad.

    Instead, the 19-year-old's loan spell at Camp Nou was cut short after Barca conceded that they could not afford the €10 million option they had previously agreed they would pay to sign Demir permanently, and he returned to Rapid Vienna.

    The winger, who has previously been linked with a host of top European clubs, struggled for form upon his return to Austrian football, and it is now hoped that his tournament will provide Demir a springboard to get back to his very best.

    As one of the few players in the tournament with senior international caps to their name, 'The Austrian Messi' has the potential to be a star in Slovakia.

  • Rares Ilie Rapid Bucharest 2021-22

    Rares Ilie (Romania)

    Romania are the dark horses to win the U19s Euros, with football in the country showing potential for a resurgence after over 20 years in which the senior side has qualified for just two major tournaments, and not won a game on either occasion.

    Their form player coming into the tournament is winger Ilie, who in his last 13 games of the season for Rapid Bucharest scored five goals and laid on seven assists.

    The 19-year-old, who is most comfortable playing off the left but can also play centrally, has been tipped for big things by his club coach and Romania legend Adrian Mutu, claiming that "the world will see him as more than just a talent" in a year's time. Starring at this tournament will be a good start.

  • Marko Lazetic AC Milan 2021-22

    Marko Lazetic (Serbia)

    In January, AC Milan paid €4m to bring Lazetic to San Siro, having been impressed with the way the striker had taken to life in the Red Star Belgrade first team.

    Likened to his compatriot Dusan Vlahovic, the 18-year-old has only made one senior appearance for Milan thus far, but is expected to inch his way into Stefano Pioli's plans over the next 12 months.

    First however he will be leading the line for Serbia U19s this summer as they look to replicate the performance of their U17s, who reached the semi-finals of their European Championships.

  • Fabio Miretti Juventus 2021-22

    Fabio Miretti (Italy)

    Italy were regarded as the favourites to win the competition after qualifying, but the late withdrawal of star men Wilfried Gnonto and Giorgio Scalvini following their senior Azzuri debuts in the past fortnight has hit them hard.

    Much will now be expected of midfielder Miretti, who has already broken into the Italy U21s side this summer having impressed when brought into the Juventus line up in the closing weeks of the Serie A campaign.

    The 18-year-old models his own game on Kevin De Bruyne, and after Miretti was one of the star players in this season's UEFA Youth League, he is expected to be so at the Euros in Slovakia too.

  • Brooke Norton-Cuffy Lincoln City 2021-22

    Brooke Norton-Cuffy (England)

    Arsenal are short of talented youngsters at the moment, and another could be about to enter the first-team picture soon in the shape of Norton-Cuffy.

    The right-back caught the attention of Gunners fans after impressing during a loan spell at Lincoln City in the third tier of English football last season, and calls have now been made for Mikel Arteta to take a closer look at the 18-year-old.

    Labelled 'Norton-Cafu' by some, the physically imposing full-back possesses strong attacking instincts as well decent defensive traits.

  • Dane Scarlett England 2022

    Dane Scarlett (England)

    The top scorer in qualifying for the tournament with six goals, Scarlett has been a goal machine throughout his youth career for both Tottenham and England.

    The 18-year-old, who already has 10 first-team appearances for Spurs to his name, was described as being "phenomenal" by Jose Mourinho, and if he can translate his schoolboy form into the senior game, then the Portuguese coach will be proven right.

    Scarlett is likely to be England's main goal threat in Slovakia, and if he fires, the Three Lions may well be unstoppable.

  • Isaak Toure France 2022

    Isaak Toure (France)

    Before he even kicks a ball at the tournament Toure will stand out, given the giant centre-back stands at 6'9 (205cm).

    The 19-year-old is able to back up that physical presence with footballing ability, so much so that there are strong rumours that Manchester City will sign him after the tournament is over.

    Should that happen, Toure is likely to be loaned back to France, where he has made 18 first-team appearances for noted talent developers, Le Havre, in the second division.