When working on the wonderkids list for Football Manager 2013, I realized that many of the players is rather unknown for the ordinary football fans, as they regularly play for reserve teams and/or in minor leagues, or is based in an foreign country, which you are not fully acquainted with.
For the coming days we will give you the chance to get acquainted with the top ten young talents in world football 2013; ones to watch. These young talents are already super stars; as they possess the right mix of raw potential and skills to be described as great wonderkids of world football! All of these players have the ability to become the next Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or Neymar, when it comes to fame and player success.
When trying to pick ten young talents out of tenth of possible choices, I have tried to sort the list by who have the most potential and their chances to become the next world class player, and how likely it will be for them to succeed on international or national level in 2013.
Follow us these days, and you will get the chance to know some of the brightest talents in football, and learn more about who they are, where they play and on which international level they are at.
We encourage you to leave your suggestions in the comments box below.
This article is not solely associated with Football Manager 2013, but is linked to the game as a player recommendation for all Football Manager fans. We have limited the list of containing players born after 01.01.1993, which makes them eligible for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship and UEFA European Under-19 Championship later this football season.
If you have come to this page to look for the best Wonderkids in Football Manager 2013, please check out our Wonderkids shortlist for FM13
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates on the next youth star, maybe there will be some suprises...
Kurt Zouma, Defender, France
Player information: Date of birth: October 27th 1994 (18) Place of birth: Lyon Club: AS Saint-Etienne Nation: France, Central African Republic National level: France U19 Position: Central Defender Preferred Foot: Right Height / Weight: 187, 85kg
France is well-known for producing quality talents. This time, there is no difference, by producing maybe one of the brightest talents in the football world at his age. Kurt Zouma is a young starlet with a shining future, and could be the next Marcel Desailly...
Image is provided by KevFB (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Kurt Zouma was raised in the outskirt of Lyon, and got his first lessons of football tutoring at a minor youth club, Vaulx-en-Velin. At the age of 15 he got spotted by AS Saint-Etienne, where he signed a youth contract. At the age of only 16(!) he got his debut against Bordeaux, and has recorded 27 appearances the last two years. For the 2012-2013 season, he has recorded 10 appearances in the Ligue 1.
Kurt Zouma is still a young player, but has immense strength and is regarded as a pure athlete. The towering defender, has everything he needs to withstand every sort of threat for the future. At his best he is good in positioning and heading, but what might stand out the most, is his passing, acceleration and speed, which is vital for a modern defender. Because of his young age, there are several areas of his defending play that needs to be improved, but Kurt Zouma has the professionalism to develop further. In additional to raw physic, which has impressed both fans and scouts, he has good leadership qualities (both on and off the pitch) and has excellent jumping.
Since breaking into the first team, he has been targeted by the best clubs in the world. Clubs like Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Manchester United is ready to cash in on this highly rated wonderkid.
At the moment, Kurt Zouma features in the Under-19 National squad of France, but got the most attention in 2011, when featuring in the Fifa Under-17 World Cup and UEFA European Under-17 Championship for France Under-17, where he has capped 17 matches in his career. He has also earned 6 appearances for France Under-16.
Lucas Digne, Defender, France
Player information: Date of birth: 20 July 1993 (19) Place of birth: Meaux Club: Lille OSC Nation: France National level: France U21 Position: Left Back, Wide Midfielder left Preferred Foot: Left Height / Weight: 178, 74kg
Maybe I'm soft for french footballers, but at these days I think France is one of the best nations in Europe to produce quality youngsters, just behind Spain and Barcelonas La Masia.
Lucas Digne is already an established member of the first team of Lille OSC, and could be the most obvious candidate to replace Gael Clichy or Patrice Evra for the France national team, in only two to three years ahead.
Image is provided by Liondartois (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.
Lucas Digne joined LOSC in 2005, only 12 years old, and have been nurtured in one of Frances best talent academies. In their past, LOSC have developed players like Kader Keita, Mathieu Debuchy and Mathieu Delpierre, amongst many interesting youngsters in the current youth setup. Lucas Digne got his first-team breakthrough in 2011 and is contracted to LOSC until 2017. In his entire playing career, he has recorded 33 matches for the first team, which 17 of the total appearances are from the current season.
Lucas Digne is also a familiar player to the youth levels of the France national team, and have experiences from France Under-16, U17, U18 and latest Under-19. He has recently been moved to France Under-21, but has not earned any caps for the squad, maybe beacuse of being one of the youngest players in the squad. He has recorded over 50 appearances since the debut for France U16, and who knows how many more he would get before moving to Les Bleus?!
Lucas Digne has because of impressive performances the last campaign become one of the most obvious candidates to succeed at the highest level of football in 2013. World class clubs like Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all monitoring this ambitious wonderkid, and it is no doubt why. Lucas Digne has already proved his abilities in a demanding position, where the modern day fullback should balance the team and support both when attacking and defending. Despite his age, he has the stamina and pace to conquer the left wing and is pretty good at positioning himself according to situations. When it comes to defensive qualities he has pretty much what he needs to succeed; good positioning, good tackling, very good heading and good vision / anticipation.
Lucas Digne has the abilities to play as a left midfielder or a winger if needed. He is also fairly good in attacking play by moving with the ball, dribbling and passing as his main strengths. He might lack a little bit in crossing, first touch and technique in addition to defending one on one. Rudi Garcia has earlier stated that Lucas Digne is a mature player, and we at My Passion for Football Manager believes he has the professionalism and ambition to improve and become a world class player already within this year.
Will Hughes, Midfielder, England
Player information: Date of birth: 7 April 1995 (17) Place of birth: Weybridge Club: Derby County Nation: England National level: England U19 Position: Attacking Midfielder (Right, Central) Preferred Foot: Left Height / Weight: 185, 73kg
Finally an English player on the list! This young wonder kid have already established himself in the nPower Championship, and is the next starlet coming through the ranks of Derby.
Image is provided by Matlock-Photo from Derbyshire, England [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
William James Hughes can almost be considered to be an local Derby player, as he moved with his family to Derby when he was just two years old. He started his youth career at Mickleover Jubilee and joined Derby County Under-18 squad in early 2011. He got quickly noted as a gifted player and amazed both coaches and players with his performances for Derby U18. After impressing for both Derby Under-18 and reserve team, he earned his professional debut in November 2011, at the age of just 16(!). Hughes scored his first ever goal, as a professional player against Watford on September the 1st 2012.
Will Hughes has recorded 31 caps for Derby County and have been a regular face in the Derby line-up this season (2012-2013 season), which makes it to 28 of 28 caps, as we speak. He has proved his talent by scoring two goals and serve two assists.
Despite his short professional career he has already been promoted from England Under-17 to the England Under-21 squad, but has only been trusted with 7 appearances, scoring one goal, for England U17 (6) and England U21 (1). The debut in November 2012, made him the second youngest debutant for England Under-21.
The left footed attacking midfielder has amazed football fans and scouts with intelligent moves, good technique and nice passes. As an admirer of Spanish football (read Barcelona), he has developed his skills to include good technique, impressive dribbling and great work rate. Will Hughes is regarded as an mature and professional player with good vision and creativity, and is excellent on creating spaces for his teammates (both with and without the ball). He could be described as an natural box to box midfielder, but also have the tackling strength to win the ball all over the pitch because of his stamina.
The future of this young starlet looks bright, as he is targeted by Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City and Barcelona. Perhaps he will make a surprise move already this summer, after good display in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship...?
Notable Achievements: - second youngest England under-21 debutant (November 2012) - voted "Young player of the month" in the nPower Championship for November 2012.
Victor Andrade, Attacker, Brazil
Player information: Date of birth: 30 September 1995 (17) Place of birth: Carmopolis, Aracajú Club: Santos FC Nation: Brazil National level: Brazil U20 Position: Striker, winger Preferred Foot: Right Height / Weight: 171, 60kg
It's a really hard task to select one Brazilian starlet out of many possible choices. Brazil is one of the top producers of youth talents and have exported players like Lucas Piazon, Phillipe Coutinho, Alex Sandro and Danilo to European top clubs just the recent years.
From the club who nurtured Edison Arantes do Nascimento aka Pele, we will introduce one of the brightest talents in Brazil.
Victor Andrade Santos joined Santos Futebol Clube at only 11 years old, when rejecting a move to European football and more precisely the Portuguese club Benfica. The talented youngster spend his first years at Santos Under-13 and Under-17 where he put in some good performances and scoring tenth of goals. At the age of 15-16 he got quickly noticed by his coach, Muricy Ramalho, who saw his huge potential. Victor Andrade was only 16(!) years old when handed the debut for Santos' first team, a team with many excellent players and promising talents. He got a lot of attention from football journalists around the world, as he signed a professional contract with a buy-out clause of astonishing €50Mill, (€5Mill more than fellow teammate Neymar), in the summer of 2012.
Victor Andrade has recorded 14 Brasileirão Série A appearances this season (2012), and has recorded two goals. Since the start of his professional career he has recorded 20 appearances, scoring 3 goals in the Serie A for Santos. Because of his young age, he has not yet debuted for the Brazilian national team, but has featured in an Eight nations tournament in South Africa for Brazil Under-20.
Santos' fans, coaches and teammates have much praise for this talented youngster and have drawn similarities to both Robinho and Neymar, might because of his excellent quickness, dribbling skills, eminent technique and first touch. As Robinho and Neymar he knows where the goal is, and has the ability to score goals from all over the pitch either by lobbing the goalkeeper or shooting from outside the area.
Much has happen for this young starlet in a short time, and world class clubs like Barcelona, Manchester City and Manchester United is all been linked to the player. Victor Andrades professional career has just begun, and despite of huge amount of pressure, we believe 2013 will be the kick-off on his national and international career, as he will feature in the Brazil Under-20 squad and play regularly for Santos in the Brasileirão Série A.
Note! Andrade will turn 18 years old this year (end of September), which makes him available to sign for foreign clubs.
Riechedly Bazoer, Defender, Holland
Player information: Date of birth: 12 October 1996 (16) Place of birth: Utrecht Club: Ajax Amsterdam Nation: Holland National level: Holland Under-17 Position: Central Defender Preferred Foot: N/A Height / Weight: N/A, N/A
Holland is also one of the top producers of Football talents with the famous Ajax academy as the main supplier. This time we want to introduce you to a young starlet partially developed at PSV, and with the potential to become one of the best Dutch defenders of International football.
Riechedly Bazoer is a young starlet born in 1996 in Utrecht, the birthplace of Wesley Sneijder. His youth career startet at USV Elinkwijk, a team known for producing top star talents such as Marco van Basten and Ismail Aisatti. At the age of ten Riechedly Bazoer joined the PSV youth academy. At the PSV academy he moved up the ranks very quickly and played under the leadership of Philip Cocu for a period. He got international experience at PSV by featuring in the NextGen series, a youth tournament with the same model as UEFA Champions League.
Riechedly Bazoer is an ambitious youngster and decided at the end of 2012 to enhance his career and join Ajax Amsterdam, where he was promised full backing and chance to earn a regular first team spot.
Riechedly Bazoer has made this comment of why he left PSV for Ajax Amsterdam; "I have chosen Ajax because here I think I can be a better footballer. I was very impressed with the sportive plan. Beside that it is very positive how they see the future with me. I'm very grateful to all the trainers and guiders at PSV for everything they have done for me. I have learned a lot and made many friends. But I think Ajax is currently the best club for me to make my dreams come true. PSV will always have a special place in my heart. But now I have chosen for my development".
Contrary to the previous players in this article, Riechedly Bazoer has not been handed any professional appearance for the first team of Ajax yet. But it is important to remember that he has only been at Ajax since 20 November 2012. He is tied to Ajax Amsterdam until 2016.
Riechedly Bazoer have also experience from international football, as he has featured in the Holland Under-17 squad, where he has recorded 8 caps only in the last year. Bazoer debuted for the Holland Under-17 national team in March 2012 and featured as the Holland captain in five matches in the UEFA European Championship 2012, where Holland won the final match 5-4 on penalties against Germany, a team full of promising youngsters such as Timo Werner, Julian Brandt, Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka. Bazoer played the whole match and put in a good performance.
Riechedly Bazoer could also be one of the stars and profiles for the coming Under-17 tournaments in 2013 (World Cup and UEFA European Championship).
Riechedly Bazoer is a versatile and cultured central defender, but can also play as a defensive midfielder. He is a player with good technique and dribbling, in additional to good leadership. Despite his young age he is an intelligent player with great physic and quickness. His playing style could be compared to Thiago Silva.
The future of this young wonderkid looks bright, as he is targeted by Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Newcastle, in additional to unknown Italian and Spanish clubs. We firmly believe 2013 could become the year of his professional breakthrough and succeed in both national and international football.
Watch out for the next Football Youth Star of 2013, or leave your suggestions below!