Twenty 20-year-olds who will impress in 2020 (Part II)
The second installment (of four) as we look ahead and single out twenty talented 20-year-olds that we feel will make their mark on the game in the 2020s.
In the second of our four part series, we take a look at twenty exciting prospects from around the world, with each player being 20 years-old or celebrating their twentieth birthday during 2020. We feel each and every player is a solid candidate to stake a future place in the global footballing elite.
Part II (Players 15 through to 11)
15) Lincoln Corrêa dos Santos (19) Brazil/Flamengo
Lincoln was thrust into the limelight at the tender age of 16, making his Serie A debut for the Rio de Janeiro based side in a league match against Sao Paolo based Corinthians. The striker has been a regular feature for Fla’ in the past three seasons and has earned the trust of Portuguese manager Jorge Jesus so much that the veteran coach offered the teenage striker playing time at the end of the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup final as Flamengo faced Liverpool in Doha.
Winning a Brazilian Serie A and Copa Libertadores winners medal in 2019, a full team international call-up from Tite is a question of time for the player who is already generating interest from many of Europe’s major sides.
14) Boubacar Kamara (20) France/Olympique Marseille
20-year-old Kamara is a solid physical defender with a fine ability to read the game and displays a maturity on the pitch that defies his young age.
The Marseille born player made his official debut for the Ligue 1 side in a Coupe de la Ligue match in December 2016 but it wasn’t until the following season before he broke through to the Olympique first team. The French defender has impressed new OM boss André Villas-Boas and has become a regular in the starting line-up for the Ligue 1 outfit.
Kamara has over 30 under age caps for France and is a contender to secure a place in Didier Deschamps pre-Euro 2020 squad.
13) Nicolò Zaniolo (20) Italy/AS Roma
The spectacular breakthrough season of 20-year-old Nicolò Zaniolo has not gone unnoticed with several of Europe’s top clubs, including Real Madrid following the progress of the exciting attacking midfielder.
Despite Euro wide interest last summer, the Roma player was involved in advanced talks with Juventus but in the end the bid to move to Turin failed to materialise with the player remaining in the Italian capital penning a five-year deal with the ‘giallorossi’.
Dazzling displays for AS Roma contributed to Zaniolo securing his first senior Italy call-up in March 2019 and will be a key option for ‘Azzuri’ boss Mancini ahead of Euro 2020 next summer. The player’s current market value is estimated at around 50 million euro.
12) Callum Hudson-Odoi (19) England/Chelsea
Hudson-Odoi joined the Chelsea youth academy at the age of seven and his career has enjoyed a upward trajectory ever since. Impressing with the ‘Blues’ under age levels, the winger broke through to the Chelsea first team, making his Premier League debut in 2018 replacing Pedro in a home win over AFC Bournemouth.
New Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is an ardent admirer of the player stating: "He can show, right here at Chelsea, the team he came through the academy at, that he is going to be a world-class player, because I truly believe that”.
Hudson-Odoi has made strides at international level impressing England boss Gareth Southgate who has capped the winger on three occasions.
11) Vinicius Jr. (19) Brazil/Real Madrid (Spain)
Originally impressing in his native Rio de Janeiro as a futsal player, the young Vincius caught the eye as he was on trial for Flamengo’s indoor football team. From 2005-2017 he progressed through the ranks with Fla’s under-age teams before securing his Serie A debut in 2017. With his electric pace and ability to sweep by defenders, it was only a matter of time before international interest in the winger saw a big money move to Real Madrid. Originally intended to play with Castilla in the Spanish third tier (2B), Madrid’s coach at the time Santi Solari gave the Brazilian his first team debut in September 2018.
The Brazilian is now a regular in the first team under Zidane and also finally secured his first Brazil national team cap playing in a Los Angeles friendly against Peru in September this year (2019).
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