From Mbappe to Pickford – our new generation XI of Europe’s top rising stars

first_imgThere’s a new generation of players taking over the footballing world.It’s now players like Kylian Mbappe and Dele Alli that we can’t get enough of, with an interest in the up and coming talent increasing.Inspired by the above duo and more, we’ve put together a new generation XI, featuring the rising stars on the senior stage across Europe.Check out who we’ve included by scrolling through the gallery above. 11 1. Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford (Sunderland) – click the arrow above, right, to check out the full new generation XI – Pickford was always going to be a popular player in the transfer market, regardless of Sunderland’s fate in the Premier League. He’s proved he deserves a stage in the top flight and Everton are in the driving seat, having agreed a £30m deal. There will be much more pressure on his shoulders at Goodison Park and he’ll be hoping he can get even better with the England senior team no doubt in mind. 5. Defender: Benjamin Mendy (Monaco) – With so much to talk about with Monaco last season, it was easy to overlook the role of Mendy in a brilliant campaign from the French outfit. Something of an unsung hero, the 22-year-old is being heavily linked with a move to Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola in need of at least a couple of new full-backs. Monaco reportedly told City they’ll need to pay at least £40m for his signature. It’ll be interesting to see what he decides to do this summer. 11 9. Forward: Kylian Mbappe (Monaco) – Last summer, nobody knew much about Mbappe. In less than a year, though, he’s a household name to football fans across the globe. Teams are battling for his signature this summer after a breakthrough campaign for Monaco saw the 18-year-old contribute to 34 goals in all competitions, with 26 scored and eight assisted. Whoever signs the teen forward could do so for a world record fee. 11 11 11 11 11 11. Forward: Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City) – Only a special talent could oust the world class Sergio Aguero from a starting line-up, so it speaks volumes that Pep Guardiola, at one stage last season, preferred the young Jesus to the Argentine. The Brazilian joined up with the Man City squad in January, scoring three and assisting one before having his campaign disrupted by injury in February. He returned at the end of April to add four more goals and three assists to his tally. Next season will be exciting for the forward, the Etihad and the Premier League. 6. Midfield: Thomas Lemar (Monaco) – Lemar was good in the 2015/16 campaign, but he went up a level last season. His potential to become a great midfielder is mouth-watering and it’s a surprise there aren’t more clubs, other than Arsenal and Tottenham, considering a move this summer. He can play on either flank, but has been most threatening in a left midfield role. He scored 14 and assisted 14 in all competitions last term. We would love to see him in the Premier League. 10. Forward: Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) – Werner scored 21 goals in the Bundesliga last season, making an instant impression on the Leipzig support after joining the club in June 2016. His form earned him his first call-up to the senior Germany team earlier this year. At 21 years old and with a whole host of clubs circling his signature, the future looks very bright for Werner. 11 4. Defender: Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona) – Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar steal the show for Barcelona, but lurking in the shadows of their success are the likes of Umtiti. The Frenchman has slotted in seamlessly alongside Gerard Pique since moving from Lyon last June, getting better and better with each game. No longer has Javier Mascherano had to be called upon at centre back, with Umtiti looking the long-term answer in this position. 8. Midfield: Ousmane Dembele (Borussia Dortmund) – The one who got away for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp tried to sign Dembele last summer, but it was the German’s former club Dortmund who sealed his signature. The 20-year-old showed what Anfield is missing this week by giving Kyle Walker a nightmare shift, as 10-man France beat England with relative ease. He’s contracted with BVB until 2021 and only a huge bid would take him away from the Westfalenstadion. 11 11 7. Midfield: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur) – Two years ago the Premier League was getting to know Dele Alli, and vice versa. The versatile midfielder impressed us then, and now he’s firmly established as one of the best players 21 and under. He’s now a regular in the England senior team and already has 28 league goals for Spurs to his name, in two outstanding seasons. If he can prove his value in the Champions League next season and continue to light up England’s top flight, he could soon become a contender for the Ballon d’Or. 3. Defender: Malang Sarr (Nice) – Sarr is one of the most exciting teenagers in football at the moment. At 18, the centre back firmly fits the wonderkid category, starring for his hometown club Nice. He made his Ligue 1 debut aged 17 last August, 12 years after first training with the club, and went on to make a further 26 appearances in the French top flight. He looks destined for the top of European football, considering it is rare for a teenager to become a regular in the heart of a back line. 2. Defender: Benjamin Henrichs (Bayer Leverkusen) – A product of Leverkusen’s academy, Henrichs has become a regular name on the senior team sheet, with his ability reportedly catching the eye of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The 20-year-old, though, signed a two-year contract extension in May, committing his future to the club until 2022. Predominantly a right-back, he can play on the left flank too, and there have been few better than him in the Bundesliga. 11last_img read more