Europe’s hottest prospects this summer

by James Clancy

Douglas Costa AmendedIt’s the time of year when scouts from clubs all across Europe are scouring the continent in the hope of acquiring the “next big name” or the player that can give their club a leg up come the start of the new season and acquire said player for as cheap a price as possible.

Yes there is also a transfer window in January. That window however tends to be filled by players who are unsettled at their clubs. The fact that players bought in during the summer transfer window generally have a chance to embed themselves at their new club, through pre season training etc. means that the summer transfer window is generally the (vastly) more productive window for the majority of clubs.

Here I will name my top three young players that are likely to be targets of some of Europe’s top clubs this summer.

DOUGLAS COSTA:  The 22 year-old Brazilian (pictured) plays for Shaktar Donetsk in the Ukranian Premier League. Costa, who started his career at the iconic Brazilian nursery Grêmio, is a naturally gifted wide midfielder/winger. He can take a ball, control it and finish in the space of a split second. In the final third is where this young man comes alive. His ball control is second to none and he in fact is faster running with the ball than without it when he gets into full flight.

JULIAN DRAXLER: The 19 year-old German is the typical modern day attacking midfielder. At 6’2″, he is powerfully built and very quick for such a big man, he is a full back’s nightmare. The Schalke 04 man has an eye for a goal and his movement off the ball is phenomenal. He can score a goal and has great feet. He already has four caps in what is a multi-talented German squad and the best is very definitely still to come from this young man. Still only approaching his peak, he would likely cost in the region of €10million though if he continues his progress at the current pace, in a few year’s time top clubs will have to pay a multiple of that figure to secure his services.

LUCAS DIGNE: The left back who turns 20 this month, currently plies his trade as a left-back with Lille in Ligue 1. He has caught the eye more for his attacking prowess than what he is capable of in the defensive third. He loves playing on the front foot and he is the embodiment of the mantra “The best form of defence is attack.” He has a good final ball from the left flank, can nick a goal but is also tenacious at the back and can get a good tackle in. At just 19 years-old, he has played at all underage levels for the French national team, but has yet to play for the senior side and could be a cut price acquisition for one of Europe’s top clubs.

 

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