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15 players to watch out for in 2024

With 2023 finally at an end, it’s time to look ahead to what’s in store for next year in the world of football.

2024 is set to be a breakout year for some of the planet’s most promising wonderkids, a number of whom could be set to make spectacular and expensive moves to Europe’s elite clubs. Others are already there, ready to blossom on the big stage.

Let’s take a look at 15 players you need to watch out for in 2024.

Leny Yoro

Leny Yoro has been mightily impressive for Lille / Jean Catuffe/GettyImages

The 18-year-old centre-back has been pulling up trees in France this season already and is one of the key components behind Lille’s hugely impressive form and defensive record. Yoro has featured in pretty much every Ligue 1 game this season, exhibiting incredible maturity and composure for a teenager.

The French Under-21 international has been linked with some of the top clubs in Europe, including Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool in the Premier League, as well as Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain on the continent.

Johan Bakayoko

Johan Bakayoko has shone in the Champions League / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Bakayoko almost made the switch to the Premier League last summer, but rejected a £34m offer from Brentford. Instead, the winger has stuck around at PSV Eindhoven, sparkling in the Champions League this season with impressive outings against Arsenal in particular.

The tricky left-footed Belgian has already produced over ten goal contributions in Eredivisie this season, adding to the ten he managed last term. The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to Liverpool, eyed as a potential successor to Mohamed Salah.


Endrick has already sealed a switch to Real Madrid / Wagner Meier/GettyImages

Endrick’s future is already certain: the 17-year-old will be joining Real Madrid next summer. The two-cap Brazil international will continue with Palmeiras until the end of the European season, but will soon team up with the likes of Jude Bellingham and compatriots Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior.

The forward has been mightily impressive in South America, consistently producing goals for Palmeiras at youth and senior level.

Maximilian Beier

Max Beier has caught Liverpool’s eye after his recent showings / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

One of the Bundesliga’s brightest talents, Beier’s performances with Hoffenheim this season have caught the eye. The German forward’s six goals and four assists from his opening 15 matches have impressed, with the 21-year-old capable of playing up front or cutting in off the left flank.

Liverpool have been touted with an interest in the youngster as they continue to explore the Bundesliga market, and Beier reportedly has a release clause of just £26m inserted in his current contract.

Valentin Barco

Valentin Barco has been linked with some of the world’s biggest clubs / Rodrigo Valle/GettyImages

A left-sided midfielder capable of playing as a left-back, Barco appears to be yet another Argentinian gem. The 19-year-old’s stock has risen over the past year as he continues to blossom in Boca Juniors’ first team, even featuring in the most recent Copa Libertadores final against Fluminense.

The promising prodigy has a ridiculously low £8m release clause in his contract, and as such Boca currently trying to tie him to a new contract in order to maximise the fee they receive. However, such a valuation has interested the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Brighton, all of whom are eyeing a move for Barco.

Roony Bardghji

Roony Bardghji scored the winner against Man Utd this season / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages

A player who was already idolised by Football Manager players across the globe, Bardghji truly announced himself to the world with a dramatic late winner against Man Utd in the Champions League this season. The Copenhagen winger slammed his volley into the ground and beyond Andre Onana, securing a famous 4-3 victory for the Danes.

The 18-year-old has already amassed over 70 appearances for Copenhagen, with the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs doing their best to capture his signature.

Vitor Roque

Vitor Roque will be joining Barcelona / Marcelo Endelli/GettyImages

Similarly to Endrick, Athletico Paranaense forward Roque will also be heading to a La Liga giant this summer, although he will be rocking up at Barcelona rather than Madrid. Having been prolific in South America, the 18-year-old made his first Brazil appearance in March 2023 before securing a £52m switch to Xavi’s side.

There is also a chance that Roque’s move is brought forward to January, with the youngster set to return from a serious injury imminently.

Joao Neves

Joao Neves is another Benfica-made wonderkid / Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

Yet another youngster plucked from the Benfica academy of excellence, Neves is the latest starlet making waves in Lisbon. The 19-year-old central midfielder has already managed three caps for Portugal, impressing in a deep-lying role.

Scouts from the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool have already been in attendance to watch Neves in the flesh.

Jarell Quansah

Jarell Quansah has been a revelation at Anfield / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Quansah has enjoyed quite the breakout season with Liverpool, the 20-year-old having helped alleviate the pressure on Jurgen Klopp to sign a new centre-back, especially with Joel Matip out for the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL.

The Liverpool academy product, who Klopp dubbed ‘Virgil 2.0’, has blossomed in the Europa League and Carabao Cup, while he is also starting to earn more minutes in the Premier League. With England also lacking a young and authoritative centre-back, Gareth Southgate will be keeping an eye on his progress.

FC Red Bull Salzburg v SK Rapid Wien - Admiral Bundesliga

Oscar Gloukh has caught the eye in Austria / Hans Peter Lottermoser/GettyImages

The Red Bull Salzburg talent factory has struck gold once more with 19-year-old Gloukh. The attacking midfielder has shone in Austria, also producing two goals and an assist in the Champions League this term.

With three goals in 12 games for Israel, Gloukh has claimed that Barcelona tried to sign him while he was still with Maccabi Tel Aviv. However, as a lifelong Real Madrid fan, a move to Catalonia looks unlikely.

UEFA Champions League 2023/24Royal Antwerp FC v FC Barcelona

Arthur Vermeeren is being eyed by Europe’s elite / ANP/GettyImages

Royal Antwerp may have endured a torrid debut campaign in the Champions League this season, but defensive midfielder Vermeeren stood out. The 18-year-old sparkled for the Belgian side in Europe and it seems inevitable that he will be moving on to bigger and better things soon.

One club that is interested in the exciting prospect is one of his Champions League opponents Barcelona, Xavi’s side among a host of clubs touted with a move for Vermeeren. A list of suitors that includes Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Bayern Munich and Juventus, the two-cap Belgian international could be set for a big 2024.

Kobbie Mainoo

Kobbie Mainoo has blossomed this season / James Baylis – AMA/GettyImages

Man Utd’s season has been far from dreamy, but one shining light has been midfielder Mainoo.

Mainoo has shown incredible maturity during his performances in a struggling Man Utd side low on confidence, the England youth international set for an even bigger role with Red Devils in the coming year.

Ousmane Diomande

Ousmane Diomande is impressing in Portugal / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Goncalo Inacio may be the Sporting CP centre-back set for a big move this winter, but his fellow defender Diomande is certainly one to watch. The Ivorian has been a regular starter for the Portuguese side this season and reportedly boasts a £70m release clause in his contract.

The 19-year-old has been subject to interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, the former even having supposedly lodged a bid for his services during the summer, and it seems only a matter of time before Europe’s top clubs start circling the defender more vigorously.

Claudio Echeverri

Claudio Echeverri has been touted with a Barcelona move / Luciano Bisbal/GettyImages

Echeverri was one of the stars of the 2023 FIFA U17 World Cup, finishing the tournament with five goals – only sat behind Argentina teammate Agustin Ruberto in the rankings. The 17-year-old starlet has attracted attention as a result of his stellar performances, with a number of European giants knocking on his door.

The attacking midfielder, who has made five appearances for River Plate’s senior side, and looks all set to join Man City in January.

Gabriel Moscardo

Gabriel Moscardo has shone in Brazil / Ricardo Moreira/GettyImages

Eyed as a potential heir to Casemiro, Moscardo already faces huge pressure in the early stages of his career. The 18-year-old has put in some promising displays with Corinthians and is already being touted with a move to Europe.

The defensive midfielder has been linked with, of course, Chelsea, while Barcelona view the Brazilian wonderkid as a potential long-term successor to the recently departed Sergio Busquets.


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