BEST YOUNG PLAYERS

Three Spanish players feature in The Guardian's ‘Class of ‘99’

The English newspaper has compiled their list of 60 of the most talented players born in 1999, in which Spain in particular, is well represented...

Three Spanish players feature in The Guardian's ‘Class of ‘99’

Today, English newspaper The Guardian published a list of 60 of the most talented players who were born just before the New Millennium – their sports journalists and stringers have selected the most promising players born in 1999 from five continents. Spain is well represented the list with three players – more than any of the other nations.

Alejandro Pozo (Sevilla)

Sevilla right winger Alejandro Pozo has caught the eye of The Guardian – and FC Barcelona who tried, without success, to poach him last season. “Pozito” has made one appearance for reserve team Sevilla Atlético and became the youngest Spanish player to debut in LaLiga 1|2|3, coming on as a late sub in the 3-2 win over Girona aged 17 years, 5 months and 28 days. He has been an international at youth level since he was 15 and last month was called up by the Under-19s. He’s the nephew of ex-Sevilla striker Rafa Pozo so football seems to run in the family. He will be one to look out for in this year’s UEFA Youth League.

Alejandro Pozo

Manu Morlanes (Villarreal)

Real Zaragoza must be kicking themselves for letting Manu Morlanes escape from their grasp in July 2012. The midfielder started out with CD Oliver before joining Zaragoza but left the Maños when he was barely a teenager to move to Castellón where he has flourished in Villarreal’s youth academy. He is now regarded as one of the bright young hopes of Spanish football. Morlanes was voted player of the tournament at the LFP Aspire Challenge in Doha in 2014 and has also been a regular in Spain’s various youth categories. He captained the Spain side which agonizingly lost to Portugal in the European U17 final in Azerbaijan back in May – his kick striking the post in the shoot-out. We’ll surely be seeing a lot more of him – Villarreal describe him as a highly talented midfielder “with great capacity to control and conduct the team’s attacking moves

Manu Morlanes

Brahim Díaz (Manchester City)

The third Spaniard in the Guardian’s list is Brahim Díaz a player who has been making football scouts do second takes since he was a 10 year old - that was when Barcelona’s scouting department first took note of a young boy, whose movements were reminiscent of a fledgling Messi in his Masía days. Díaz joined Manchester City from Málaga last season and featured for the Under-19s in the team’s UEFA Youth League campaign (playing against Real Madrid in the competition). He made an instant impact on Pep Guardiola - just last month he became one of the youngest players to play for City’s senior side when Guardiola brought him on for Kelechi Iheanacho in the 2-1 EFL Cup win over Swansea at the Liberty last month. Five days after that he penned a three-year extension with City. With Morlanes he was part of the Spain Under-17 that missed out on winning the European championships back in May

Brahim Diaz

Other names to keep an eye out for on The Guardian’s list are Mexico pair Edwin Lara and Paolo Medina, Argentina’s Ezequiel Barco and Maximiliano Romero, Chile’s David Salazar and Pereira striker Juan Camilo ‘Cucho’ Hernández who is already fighting above his weight with Colombia’s Under-20s.

See the full Guardian list here