20 | Midfielder | Paris St. Germain | Brazilian
Ok, this one might be a little obvious considering the fact that PSG shelled out a reported €45m to see off Manchester United for his signature, but there is a danger that players like Lucas Moura will get lost amongst the fuss over Neymar.
The 20 year old made his Ligue 1 debut in January and was a key figure in the team’s run to the semi finals of the Champions League. Some niggling injuries hampered the last few weeks of the campaign for Lucas but he showed enough to suggest that he will be a key player in the club’s bid to retain their title next season.
Lucas scored his most recent international goal from the penalty spot in Brazil’s comfortable 3-0 friendly win over France last weekend.
22 | Full back | VFB Stuttgart | Japanese
Japan have earned a reputation for producing some extremely talented attacking players over the last decade or so will the likes of Hidetoshi Nakata, Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa amongst the more household names.
However, they are also developing some excellent prospects at the other end of the pitch with Gōtoku Sakai a prime example.
The 22 year old impressed during a year long loan spell at VFB Stuttgart and the Bundesliga side exercised the option to sign him permanently from Albirex Niigata in January of this year and he played 40 times in all competitions during the 2012/13 season.
Our friends at InBedWithMaradona had their fingers on the pulse with this one as Sakai made their ‘100 for 2013’ list.
Diego Antonio Reyes
20 | Centre back | FC Porto | Mexican
A member of Mexico’s gold medal winning Olympic Games side from last summer, Diego Antonio Reyes completed his rise to prominence by securing a transfer to Portuguese giants FC Porto, although the move won’t take place officially until July 1.
Porto are believed to have shelled out €7 million for the defender who has impressed massively since making his debut for América as a 17 year old in 2010.
At 6ft 4ins, he is a commanding presence at the back and should be a mainstay in the Mexican side for at least the next decade.
19 | Centre back | Chelsea | Nigerian
Belgium seems to be the place to go for up and coming youngsters these days, and Chelsea took the opportunity to snap up Nigerian Kenneth Omeruo from Standard Liege in 2012.
The Stamford Bridge club, who are still trying to sort out the player’s visa issues, loaned him out to Dutch side ADO Den Haag for the 2012/13 season and he was a near ever present in the Eredivsie.
Omeruo was a surprise inclusion in the Nigerian squad for the African Cup of Nations in January but repaid the faith shown in him by coach Stephen Keshi by playing a key role in the Super Eagles’ tournament victory.
Reports in Nigeria this week suggest that Omeruo could finally feature for Chelsea next season with Jose Mourinho impressed by his AFCON performances.
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