Ethan Nwaneri, Lamine Yamal & 10 wonderkids to watch at the Under-17 European Championship

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The annual competition kicks-off in Hungary on Wednesday, but who are the top talents you should be looking out for?

International youth tournaments are where football fans tend to get a first glimpse of superstars of the future, and that's no more true than at the Under-17 European Championship, with the 2023 edition set to kick-off in Hungary on Wednesday.

Previous winners of the competition's Player of the Tournament prize include Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Toni Kroos and Jadon Sancho, and players from the 16 teams that have qualified for this year's tournament will be hoping of one day replicating the careers of those household names.

The defending champions are France, and their title-winning team of 2022 are a strong example of how this tournament can be a springboard to greater things. Star striker Mathys Tel moved to Bayern Munich for an initial €20 million in the wake of his heroics in Israel, while Warren Zaire-Emery and El Chadaille Bitshiabu have both played in the Champions League knockout stages for Paris Saint-Germain this term.

So who will be the breakout stars of this year's competition? NXGN has teamed up with GOAL to pick out some potential superstars of the future who will be strutting their stuff over the next few weeks...

  1. Gabriele Biancheri (Wales)
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    Gabriele Biancheri (Wales)

    Sixteen-year-old striker Biancheri has already made headlines in 2023 after completing a transfer to Manchester United in February having been a goal machine for Cardiff City's youth sides.

    United reportedly beat off competition from three other Premier League sides to sign Biancheri, and he marked his debut for their U18s with a goal.

    He will now likely lead the line for Wales as the Euro 2016 semi-finalists begin trying to find stars of the future as much of their 'Golden Generation' of the past decade begin to retire from international football.

  2. Paris Brunner (Germany)
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    Paris Brunner (Germany)

    Brunner's name became well known in German football at the start of the 2022-23 season when he scored 16 goals in Borussia Dortmund U17s' first six games of the campaign, with the striker tipped to be the next star to emerge from the club's famed academy.

    The 17-year-old has continued to score pretty frequently at U19 level, and Barcelona are reported to be scouting Brunner as they look to add potential superstars of the future to their youth ranks.

  3. Archie Gray (England)
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    Archie Gray (England)

    Gray comes from good footballing stock, with his father, grandfather and great-uncle having all played for Scotland at international level, but it is England who the midfielder currently represents.

    Having first appeared on the bench for Leeds United's first team as a 15-year-old, Gray continues to appear in matchday squads for the Premier League strugglers, and might have made his senior debut already were it not for a series of injuries.

  4. Mathis Lambourde (France)

    From Ousmane Dembele to Eduardo Camavinga to Mathys Tel, Rennes' academy has a growing reputation as one of the best in European football, and there is hope that Lambourde can be the next to emerge from the Ligue 1 side's talent factory.

    A wide forward who has been compared to Dembele in some quarters, the 17-year-old is already a regular for Rennes' reserve side, and a first-team debut in the next 12 months is not beyond him if he continues on his current trajectory.

  5. Myles Lewis-Skelly (England)
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    Myles Lewis-Skelly (England)

    One of the stars of Arsenal's run to the FA Youth Cup final this season, Lewis-Skelly is regarded as one of the top talents within the Gunners' famed Hale End academy.

    A ball-carrying midfielder with an eye for goal, the 16-year-old is a target for both Chelsea and Manchester City, but Arsenal remain confident of tying him down to a professional contract in the coming months.

  6. Ethan Nwaneri (England)
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    Ethan Nwaneri (England)

    The youngest player in Premier League history, Nwaneri is yet to add to his debut appearance against Brentford in September, but the 16-year-old Arsenal forward continues to impress at youth level.

    He shone for the Gunners as they reached the FA Youth Cup final, and scored six goals for England in qualifying for the U17 Euros, including doubles against Denmark and Northern Ireland in the elite round.

    Intensifying reports suggest he will leave Arsenal this summer, with Manchester City in pole position to sign him, but for now his focus is on leading the Young Lions to continental glory.

  7. Pau Prim (Spain)
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    Pau Prim (Spain)

    One of six Barcelona players to be called-up by Spain, Prim is a defensive midfielder who has captained his country at youth level previously and could be handed the armband again in Hungary.

    The 17-year-old has already trained with the Barca first-team squad this season having been picked out by Xavi as a talent worth watching - and he knows a thing or two about midfield talents!

  8. Rory Wilson (Scotland)
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    Rory Wilson (Scotland)

    Aston Villa paid £350,000 to sign Wilson from Dundee United in the summer of 2022, beating Manchester United to his signature in the process, and the 17-year-old striker has not disappointed during his first season in English football.

    Wilson has scored 15 goals in 20 games across U18 and U21 level, with his form having earned him a call-up to train with Unai Emery's first-team squad on multiple occasions through the second half of the campaign.

    Already an U21 international for Scotland, he has dropped back down the age-groups as he aims to fire his country to glory in Hungary.

  9. Lamine Yamal (Spain)
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    Lamine Yamal (Spain)

    The youngest player to ever represent Barcelona having made his first-team debut in April, Yamal has been spoken about as the best talent to come through La Masia since a certain Lionel Messi was emerging in Catalunya.

    The 15-year-old's performances suggest such a comparison might not be that far off being right, even if it is likely to be something of a burden for Yamal to carry over the next few years.

    His breakthrough at Barca is likely to mean he is the most talked-about player at these U17 Euros, despite being one of the youngest players on show in Hungary.

  10. Kadan Young (England)
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    Kadan Young (England)

    Young came to the attention of Aston Villa fans the break for the World Cup following some eye-catching performances in a run of friendlies before the return of the Premier League in December.

    One such display saw him leave Chelsea full-back Marc Cucurella in the dust, and he has since appeared in Unai Emery's matchday squads on a number of occasions, though the 17-year-old is yet to make his first-team debut.

    Likened by a former coach to Kylian Mbappe in terms of his style, the winger will form part of what looks to be a fearsome England attacking unit in Hungary.