Following impressive seasons, Ante Coric, Lautaro Martinez and Nordi Mukiele have recently been snatched up by bigger clubs.
With the summer transfer window still young, here are ten more youngsters who deserve a big move.
Perhaps the most surprising call-up to France’s World Cup squad, Stuttgart defender Benjamin Pavard was hugely impressive in the Bundesliga last term. A gifted technician, the 22-yea-old’s confidence and composure on the ball are what really stand out. Pavard is comfortable both at right back or in the middle and is reportedly attracting the interest of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Should he feature prominently for an exciting young French side this summer, Stuttgart will find it difficult to keep hold of their prize asset. The German club have stated their willingness to let the former Lille youngster move on if a sufficient offer from one of Europe’s ‘top ten’ arrives, and will likely demand upwards of £40 million.
Set to lead the line for Germany in Russia this month, Timo Werner has recently accepted that for him to become a world-class player he will ‘probably need to join a better team’. The pacy centre-forward scored 21 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions last season for RB Leipzig, cementing himself as Joachim Lowe’s preferred option up front for the national team in the process.
Rumours suggest Atletico Madrid may move for the 22-year-old should Antoine Griezmann leave the Spanish capital, while Bayern Munich may come calling if Robert Lewandowski departs. Interest from England has also been reported and if Werner can have a positive impact at the World Cup, a big money move is the most likely outcome for the ex-Stuttgart talent.
Another player expected to play a big role in his country’s World Cup efforts is Boca Juniors winger Cristian Pavon. Barcelona and Juventus are both rumoured to be heavily interested in signing the Argentinian international after his impressive displays in Buenos Aires. In 32 appearances this season, Pavon has scored 7 goals. More notably, however, he has laid on 11 assists for his teammates.
The 22-year-old excels at receiving to feet and using his trickery and pace to beat his fullback before providing a cross or a cut-back. His exciting style of play also reportedly attracted the interest of Arsenal in January as they tried to replace the outgoing Alexis Sanchez. Given his recent emergence for the national team, the time has probably come for Pavon to make the move to Europe and the talk is that Boca will demand around €40 million for their star man.
Back in January, Bordeaux hovered just one point above the relegation zone in the French premier division. Amid the club’s crisis, star player Malcom was the subject of intense interest from both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Feeling that he owed them something, the Brazilian decided to stay with Les Girondins for the rest of the season.
His 12 goals and seven assists helped drag is side up the table, eventually finishing 6th. While top clubs in England still retain an interest in the 21-year-old Brazilian, reports in Italy suggest he is on the verge of a move to Inter Milan.
Despite signing a new six-year contract back in October of last year, Celtic’s resolve will likely be tested this summer in their battle to keep hold of talented youngster Kieran Tierney. The left back is again the target of a number of clubs further south with Manchester United, Everton and Bournemouth all rumoured to be readying bids.
Having made his debut for ‘the Bhoys’ in 2015, has has gone on to win the young player of the year in Scotland’s top flight for three consecutive seasons. The 21-year-old’s pace and dribbling ability mean he fits perfectly the role of a modern fullback, but he is also comfortable at centre-half. A Scottish international, Tierney would likely command a fee in the region of £25 million.
Selected in the Spain squad ahead of Sergio Roberto and Hector Bellerin this summer, Alvaro Odriozola is quickly becoming one of Los Rojos most promising youngsters. The 22-year-old performed excellently for Real Sociedad last season and was arguably the best right back in La Liga.
His ability to carry the ball into the attacking third, as well as his pinpoint crossing, have attracted the attention of Spanish Giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Odriozola has a good chance of starting for Julen Lopetegui’s side in front of Madrid’s Dani Carvajal and Barca’s Roberto this summer and if he can hold his own on football’s biggest stage, a move to either club will come as no surprise.
Matthijs de Ligt
Yet another talented central defender to hail from the famed Ajax academy, Matthijs De Ligt made his professional debut back in August 2016, four days prior to his 17th birthday. By the end of that campaign, he found himself starting the Europa League final against Manchester United. His rise has continued this season and he made his international bow in March of this year, becoming the youngest player to represent the Netherlands since 1931.
De Ligt is typically excellent on the ball and reads the game exceptionally well despite his age. Rumours are abound that he will follow in the footsteps of fellow Ajax alumni Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez in joining Spurs this summer. However, with Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United all keeping an eye on the £50 million rated youngster, Mauricio Pochettino will do well to attract him to North-London.
After registering nine goals and six assists for Bayer Leverkusen last season, Leon Bailey appears to be on the shopping list of many of Europe’s biggest clubs. Still just 20, the skilful winger has shone over the past 12 months as part of a talented young side featuring the likes of Julian Brandt, Benjamin Henrichs and Kai Havertz.
Born in Jamaica, Bailey is also eligible to play for England by virtue of his grandparents having English passports. The former Genk youngster has previously stated his desire to play in the Premier League and with Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea all keen, he may just get his wish sooner rather than later.
Son of former Barcelona and Netherlands star Patrick, Justin Kluivert looks set to leave Ajax this summer after refusing to sign a new contract with his current deal expiring at the end of next season. The 19-year-old scored ten goals and recorded five assists for the Dutch club during the last campaign and has the likes of Roma, Spurs and Liverpool all vying for his signature.
Kluivert made his senior debut for the national team in March and is seen as one of the brightest talents to emerge from the country since the turn of the century. His speed, 1v1 ability and composure in front of goal are what stand out and at a cost of around £30 million, Europe’s top clubs would be foolish not to take a chance on the young winger.
Widely expected to leave Freiburg in this transfer window, Caglar Soyuncu is reportedly in talks with a number of Premier League sides. Arsenal appear to be the frontrunners for his signature with the Turkish international admitting last week that he knows of the Gunners’ interest. However, both Liverpool and Manchester City are rumoured to be keen on the £30 million rated defender.
Confident at taking the ball out of defence, Soyuncu was one of the most impressive young centre-backs in the Bundesliga last term despite his side’s struggles. In the end, the 22-year-old helped the Breisgau Brazilians remain in Germany’s top flight for next season. Like every young defender, Soyuncu does make errors from time to time but his fight, combined with his talent in possession, make him an ideal target for top clubs.