European football is replete with some world-class midfielders who orchestrate their team’s plays and help them take the next step. But along with the well-established ones, there are some up and coming midfielders who are all set to lead their teams in the coming years.
FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the five best young midfielders playing in Europe currently.
#5 Phil Foden
The Manchester City youngster hasn’t gotten as many chances under manager Pep Guardiola as he would have hoped for. However, that hasn’t stopped him from making a statement whenever he takes the field.
The 19-year-old central midfielder has made a total of 59 appearances for the City senior side and has scored 10 goals and provided another nine assists from them. Expect the English youngster to grow into one of the best midfielders in the game.
“He played so good and today as well. In every minute he takes, in every minute he plays is more experience for him and his future,” Guardiola said of Foden back in October 2019.
#4 Sandro Tonali
Another 19-year-old on the list, Brescia’s Sandro Tonali is one of the most promising midfielders in European football currently. The Italian has been a regular feature for the Serie A side this season and has made 22 league appearances for them this season.
Tonali made his Italy debut in October last year and has even been compared with some legendary Italian midfielders in Andrea Pirlo and Daniele De Rossi.
“It’s tough to pick one of those champions,” Tonali told Rai Sport after being compared to Pirlo, Gattuso and Daniele De Rossi shortly after making his Italy debut.
“Maybe a mix of all of them would be perfect. I guess there are similarities with Pirlo in a way but I also add a lot of a grit in there, so maybe more Gattuso,” he added.
#3 Federico Valverde
The 21-year-old Real Madrid midfielder has been a revelation this season. The Uruguayan has almost single-handedly solved Madrid’s midfield problems and has partnered Casemiro well in the middle of the park.
Zinedine Zidane’s side has looked much better with Valverde in the side. Expect the youngster to make one of the Real Madrid midfield positions his own for the years to come. He has also credited the club manager for his meteoric rise in European football.
“Coach Zidane gave me the confidence I needed, he’s uniting us as a team again. I’m calm, I’m trying to make the best out of the chances I’m given,” Valverde had said.
#2 Kai Havertz
Havertz’s “assist” of the season & proof that Lewandowski is human: 10 Things You Missed from Bundesliga MD6
The 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen star is currently one of the most sought-after midfielders in the market. The attacking mid has five goals and two assists to show for this season, and his form has attracted interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Whether he does make a move to a bigger team in the summer transfer window or not remains to be seen but Havertz is sure to grow into one of the most influential midfielders in the coming years.
#1 Frenkie de Jong
The former Ajax and current Barcelona star is undoubtedly the best young midfielder in Europe and easily one of the best around. After powering Ajax to the UEFA Champions League semi-final last season, De Jong joined Barcelona and is slowly getting used to his surroundings.
The 22-year-old has slowly developed into one of the most important players for the Catalan giants. De Jong has two goals and assists in the league this season but those numbers don’t quite do justice with the Dutchman’s quality. Undoubtedly the best young midfielder in the sport.
Lucas Moura set to lead line for injury-hit Spurs against RB Leipzig
Tottenham are without a recognised striker in the starting line-up against RB Leipzig, but Lucas Moura is set to move up front.
Lucas Moura looks set to lead the line for injury-hit Tottenham’s Champions League round of 16 first leg against RB Leipzig in the absence of Son Heung-min.
Son faces a spell on the sidelines after suffering a fractured arm in Spurs’ Premier League win over Aston Villa on Sunday.
With Harry Kane still absent due to a hamstring injury, Tottenham are without a recognised striker in the starting line-up to face Leipzig on Wednesday.
It appears Alli could move into a more advanced role, with Lucas up top and Steven Bergwijn also offering support along with Giovani Lo Celso.
Jose Mourinho has made two changes to his starting line-up for the clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Gedson Fernandes and Lo Celso coming into the side as Eric Dier drops to the bench
Timo Werner will provide Leipzig’s main attacking threat in a contest that will see Julian Nagelsmann become the youngest manager to take charge of a Champions League knockout match at the age of 32.
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 RB Leipzig: Timo Werner makes Spurs pay the penalty
Injury-hit Tottenham lacked a cutting edge in the first leg and RB Leipzig took advantage as they seized a Champions League 1-0 cushion.
Timo Werner gave RB Leipzig a richly deserved first-leg lead in their Champions League last-16 clash with Tottenham as the Germans turned on the style in London.
The Bundesliga title-chasers spurned chance after chance, including three big opportunities in the opening 90 seconds, before Werner’s penalty – his 26th goal of the season – early in the second half brought them a 1-0 victory.
Hamstrung by the absence of the injured Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, Tottenham had little bite in attack, with Lucas Moura ineffective in the central role, but they have a gem in Giovani Lo Celso who twice went close to an equaliser that would have flattered the hosts.
Tottenham’s hopes of another run to the Champions League final look bleak, but Jose Mourinho must know his team could have been effectively out of this tie already ahead of the March 10 second leg in Leipzig.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 19, 2020
At the other end, Peter Gulacsi had to stretch to turn away a curling shot from Steven Bergwijn that was heading for the bottom right corner.
Schick then headed no more than a foot wide from a corner as Tottenham, with their defence a nervy rabble, again came under siege. Memories came flooding back of their last encounter with German opposition at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a 7-2 unpicking by Bayern Munich in October.
Werner had a glorious chance in the 35th minute after being slipped in to the left of goal, but the Germany international prodded straight at Lloris.
Leipzig finally had an opportunity they surely would not spurn in the 56th minute when Ben Davies hacked down Konrad Laimer, and this time the prolific Werner beat Lloris, his skidding penalty finding the bottom-left corner.
Tottenham almost found a swift equaliser, Gulasci clutching well to keep out Lo Celso’s fizzing strike, before Schick missed an even better chance to make it 2-0 to Leipzig.
Gulasci made another fine stop to keep out a free-kick from Lo Celso, who was Tottenham’s most impressive outfield player by a distance, before Lucas headed over a glaring late chance.
The Premier League side got what they deserved though. And on a night when he became the youngest ever boss to lead a team in a Champions League knockout match, at the age of 32 years and 211 days, Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann saw his give themselves a great change of progressing.
What does it mean?
Spurs are just about alive in this tie, and they improved after going behind, but they were a shambles in defence for large stretches and had Leipzig’s haphazard finishing to thank for staying on level terms for so long. With Kane and Son out of contention for the second leg, it is hard to see any outcome but the Germans advancing to the quarter-finals.
Lloris keeps Spurs in it
French World Cup winner Lloris might have a clanger in him, but he made some vital saves for Tottenham here. He had a stroke of luck, arguably, when Angelino’s shot hit him and bounced to safety off the post, but Spurs will go to Germany with hope still thanks to their number one.
Schick and Werner might have buried sorry hosts
Leipzig will appreciate they should have capitalised on their first-half dominance, and it was one of those nights when their front two of Werner and Schick were always busy and giving the Tottenham defence a hard time, but without being able to find a finish in open play.
Tottenham have a big Premier League trip to Mourinho’s former club Chelsea on Saturday, with the hosts fourth in the table and Spurs sitting fifth. Leipzig have their eye on the Bundesliga title and travel to face Schalke on Saturday.
Timo Werner ‘very proud’ to be linked with Liverpool move
Timo Werner discussed reports linking him with a move from RB Leipzig to Liverpool.
RB Leipzig star Timo Werner said he was “very proud” to be linked with a move to Liverpool, labelling the Premier League side the world’s best.
Werner, 23, has been linked with the European champions after scoring 26 goals in 32 games for Leipzig this season.
The Germany international’s second-half penalty helped Leipzig to a 1-0 win over Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.
Speaking afterwards, Werner discussed the reports linking him with a move to Liverpool and the forward did little to play down a possible switch.
“Liverpool is the best team in the world at the moment and when you’re linked with that team it makes me very proud but in case of that it’s a pleasure,” he told Viasport.
“But I know that in Liverpool play a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn much more things to get on this level to play there.”
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) February 19, 2020
Werner’s 58th-minute spot-kick against Spurs in London has Leipzig on track to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
But the 29-time Germany international warned his side there was work to do against Tottenham, who produced a thrilling comeback away to Ajax in last season’s semi-finals.
“Tottenham is a good team, they showed last year that they have the mentality that they can come back in these games,” Werner said.
“We have to do the same like today and we have a good start for the first half [of the tie] and we will go on.”
Sergio Ramos equals Champions League record with another red card
Views: 3 Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos equalled a Champions League record after being sent off again. Sergio Ramos was...
David Beckham: Inter Miami have great opportunity to sign Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Views: 4 Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham addressed speculation linking the club with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. David Beckham...
Reports: Bundesliga star waiting for Liverpool as Manchester United, Barcelona register their interest
Views: 4 RB Leipzig superstar Timo Werner is on the radar of quite a few European clubs. The likes of...
Anything can happen in El Clasico – former Real Madrid captain Fernando Hierro
Views: 3 Fernando Hierro says it is impossible to predict the outcome of any meeting between Real Madrid and Barcelona....
Arsenal star urges Mohamed Salah to stay at Liverpool, cites Eden Hazard’s struggle at Real Madrid as example
Views: 3 Arsenal midfielder, currently on loan at Besiktas, Mohamed Elneny has opened up on his Egypt teammate and Liverpool...
Reports say Real Madrid in talks with Dortmund over Erling Haaland, PSG want Koulibaly
Views: 2 Is a move to Real Madrid on the cards for Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland? Everyone wants a...
El Clasico – Real Madrid vs Barcelona: 5 players to watch out for
Views: 6 Ahead of what could be a season-defining El Clasico on Sunday night, FOX Sports Asia takes a look...
SW Regional League: Day 5 action plus venues – Dynamic FC Buea on standby after conceding 22 goals in 4 games
Views: 17 Dynamic FC of Buea is the only club in pool A to have played all four matches in...
Cameroon Elite Two: Complete Match Day 23 Fixtures, Host Cities And Match Officials. Can Foncha Street Turn Water In To Wine Against Rainassance Fc Ngoumou?
Views: 37 The quest for Elite one tickets by clubs of Elite two has been so competitive in this year’s...
Cameroon Elite One: Complete Match Day 25 Fixtures, Venues, And Match Officials As Bamenda Hopes To Swallow Canon And Eding Sport In Nkwen
Views: 342 Cameroon Elite One Championship resumes hostilities this weekend with matchday 25 programmed by the Cameroon Football Federation Fecafoot...
Malaysia one of our biggest challenges in 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, says Vietnam boss Park Hang-seo
Views: 3 Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo has returned to work with the Golden Dragons as he begins preparations for their...
Maldives’ Maziya win play-offs on penalties to deny Bengaluru FC place in AFC Cup 2020
Views: 3 India’s Bengaluru FC will not feature in AFC Cup 2020 after they lost their play-off clash against Maldives’...
AFC Cup 2020: PSM Makassar notch first win after defeating Shan United
Views: 7 PSM Makassar got off the mark in AFC Cup 2020 on Wednesday after beating Shan United 3-1 at...
Chiangrai United’s ACL 2020 clash against FC Seoul postponed due to coronavirus threat
Views: 5 Thai League 1 champions Chiangrai United’s AFC Champions League 2020 tie against FC Seoul scheduled to be held...
AFC Cup 2020: Tampines Rovers stay unbeaten after being held by Kaya FC-Iloilo
Views: 3 Tampines Rovers maintained their unbeaten start to AFC Cup 2020 on Wednesday but were unable to claim a...
FC Khujand overturn first leg deficit against Neftchi to qualify for AFC Cup 2020
Views: 3 FC Khujand have recorded a 3-1 aggregate win over PFC Neftchi in the two-legged play-offs to secure a...
Qatar striker Almoez Ali set for Europe switch from Al Duhail SC – Reports
Views: 49 Qatar Stars League outfit Al Duhail SC have just completed the signing of Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic from...
Vietnam likely to miss the services of Doan Van Hau at 2020 AFC U23 Championship
Views: 32 Vietnam have suffered a huge setback ahed of next month’s 2020 AFC U23 Championship as they are set...
Indonesia star Saddil Ramdani linked with transfer to Belgian top division clubs
Views: 36 Indonesia star Saddil Ramdani has been in fine form in recent times and it looks like he has...
Southeast Asia’s two challengers for the Best Footballer in Asia 2019
Views: 36 The Best Footballer in Asia 2019 will soon be awarded to the continent’s standout individual over the past...