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“Guide de Talent” UEFA Euro 2016


By Mohammed Youshaa Hoosen

The UEFA European Championship, only second to the FIFA World Cup in prestige, and tantamount in its excitement and panache.

The 2016 edition of the month-long tournament (for those who make it to La Finale) will be hosted by France. The format will include 24 teams, split up into 6 groups, with the top 2 and the 4 best 3rd placed teams in the tournament gaining entry into the Round of 16 to be played in classic knockout fashion.

Building up to this enchanting footballing spectacle, we at Nations Voice have decided to give you our take on the most exciting emerging young talents to be on the lookout for this Euros:

  1. Paul Pogba
    • Country – France
    • Club – Juventus
    • DOB – 15/03/1993 (23)
    • Height – 1.91m
    • Position – Central Midfield


Paul Pogba is a powerhouse in midfield, heralded as the new Yaya Toure, Pogba is a flashy, yet powerful box-to-box central midfielder. His technique and creativity can pose a problem to the best in the business. Hard in the tackle, and an excellent range of short and long passing leave Pogba the standout player on our list. Over the season Pogba maintained an 80.5% successful pass rate (SP%), notching up 10 goals and 14 assists in all competitions. Strong aerially, blessed with momentous flair on the ball and an eye for goal (averaged 3.4 shots per game all season), Paul Pogba is sure to cause ructions when he steps on to the pitch.

  1. Kingsley Coman
    • Country – France
    • Club – Bayern Munchen
    • DOB – 13/06/1996 (19)
    • Height – 1.78m
    • Position – Attacking Midfield / Winger


Staying with Les Bleus as they’re more fondly referred to by their supporters. Kingsley Coman, boasting 10 major trophies in just 3 seasons as a professional, having played for PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munchen, Coman is another high-profile weapon in France’s arsenal. An excellent passer and dribbler (avg. 85.3 SP% and 3.1 successful dribbles per game respectively), it’s easy to see why Pep Guardiola held him in such high regard. The 19 year old’s high work rate will be a bonus point in Didier Deschamps’ tactical handbook, often used down the left or right flank. Coman loves taking on players with his electrifying pace, and although more dangerous with his right foot, Coman has the ability to finish with both feet.

  1. Hakan Calhanoglu
    • Country – Turkey
    • Club – Bayer Leverkusen
    • DOB – 08/02/1994 (22)
    • Height – 1.78m
    • Position – Attacking Midfield (Left / Centre)


Also plying his trade in the German Bundesliga, the Turk is most widely renowned for being a dead-ball specialist. Assisting 7 goals and scoring 3 from his strongest position out on the left side of midfield, Calhanoglu averaged 2.7 key passes per game. With 41 appearances in total last season (Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and Europa League), he’s managed to take an average of 7.3 shots per game, 4.9 from outside the box. An effective player which could well enhance his reputation during the course of the tournament.

  1. Renato Sanches
    • Country – Portugal
    • Club – SL Benfica
    • DOB – 18/08/1997
    • Height – 1.76m
    • Position – Central Midfield


This diminutive yet, stocky teenager, at just 18 years of age, has already sealed his spot in the starting XI for Benfica and is looking likely to be doing the same for his country. The Portuguese midfielder has created a reputation for himself over the past season with his robust tackling, immovable strength on the ball, and a keen mental proficiency for the game. Often picking the ball up from the defence, Sanches has graceful balance and technique, a strong shot, wonderful passing range and bags of stamina to last the full 90. He is a complete midfielder, sometimes rash with decision-making, but that could be attributed to his young age. Nevertheless, this recent €30 million Bayern Munchen acquisition who looks a little like Dutch great Edgar Davids, may have it written in the stars.


  1. Michy Batshuayi
    • Country – Belgium
    • Club – Olympique de Marseille
    • DOB – 02/10/1993 (22)
    • Height – 1.85m
    • Position – Centre Forward


The likes of Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke have to watch their backs, as ambidextrous Michy Batshuayi looks to be booting them out of the Belgian front line. Batshuayi, racking up 24 goals in all competitions last season (17 in French Ligue 1 with 9 assists) definitely stakes a claim as one of the brightest strikers in world football. Batshuayi has stacks of pace, evident when running behind or at the defence. A skilful individual who’s clinical nature in the 18-yard area, certainly bolsters The Red Devils’ title chances. Linking up with players such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne will only leave one to imagine how many balls this starlet can put in the back of the net.


  1. Dele Alli
    • Country – England
    • Club – Tottenham Hotspur FC
    • DOB – 11/04/1996 (20)
    • Height – 1.88m
    • Position – Central Midfield


A box-to-box midfielder in the mould of former England midfielder Frank Lampard, Dele Alli had shocked the English game by winning the “PFA Young Player of the Year” award in his first full season with Spurs. Highly influential in the attacking third, Alli scored 6 goals and assisted 7 throughout the season. An excellent reader of the game, making interceptions almost anywhere on the pitch, Alli can transform defence into attack quickly by recycling the ball. This is apparent in his passing statistics, averaging a 76.6% SP% over the course of the season. His strengths include his composure on the ball, playing short passes and finishing when given the chance. Guaranteed a place in Roy Hodgson’s midfield, this intelligent individual should thrive in France.

  1. Marcus Rashford
    • Country – England
    • Club – Manchester United
    • DOB – 31/10/1997 (19)
    • Height – 1.8m
    • Position – Centre Forward


Marcus Rashford has broken through from the esteemed Manchester United Academy, which produced the likes of Ryan Giggs and David Beckham. Playing 18 games, making his debut against FC Midtjylland in the UEFA Europa League, scoring 2 goals and then consequently scoring another 2 against Arsenal on his Premier League debut along with a Man of the Match performance, we all knew this boy was something special. A clinical finisher in the box and a good dribbler, especially coming in-field from the left flank, at his tender age, Marcus Rashford is showing signs of a star player. A key aspect of his most notably, is his big game temperament. This was particularly obvious in wins over Manchester City and Arsenal, as the young devil kept a cool head in every fixture played, not letting the hype get the best of him, also scoring on his debut for England.

  1. Leroy Sane
    • Country – Germany
    • Club – Schalke 04
    • DOB – 11/01/1996 (20)
    • Height – 1.83m
    • Position – Attacking Midfielder (Right / Left)


Leroy Sane has made 42 appearances throughout the season starting 29 of those games, scoring 9 goals and getting 7 assists. More effective from the right side of midfield, the left footer enjoys cutting in and having a shot at goal. His strengths include his versatility in playing all across midfield, as well as his ability to dribble at pace. He has a keen eye for making the final pass into the opposition’s third. With a successful pass rate of 78.2%, he poses a challenge to stalwarts Julian Draxler, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle.

  1. Breel Embolo
    • Country – Switzerland
    • Club – Basel
    • DOB – 14/02/1997 (19)
    • Height – 1.85
    • Position – Centre Forward / Attacking Midfield (Right)


The Cameroonian-born Swiss teen has been a revelation in Europe, with 13 goals in all competitions, and a first touch that can only be described as “World Class”, Breel Embolo looks to be a class act. Embolo gets involved in the play a lot for a centre forward, dropping into the pocket behind the striker, playing as a Number 10. Embolo links up the team’s play very well, looking for runners in behind from the midfield. What Embolo particularly thrives at is his positioning in and around the 18-yard box, always available as a goal threat. The strong Swiss striker will look to give his opponents something to ponder about, as his unconventional style poses interesting questions to defences.

  1. Hector Bellerin
    • Country – Spain
    • Club – Arsenal
    • DOB – 19/03/1995 (21)
    • Height – 1.77m
    • Position – Right Back


Having solidified his place into the starting line-up for Arsenal, Hector Bellerin has become a usual face for those who watch the English Premier League. After having got the call up to join the Spanish national team after Dani Carvajal picked up an injury in the UEFA Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, Bellerin will look to impress on the national stage. Assisting 6 goals this past season, Bellerin is an attacking threat with his lightning-fast speed, turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. His passing ability sets him in good stead with the Spanish side’s “tiki-taka” style of play, ahead of Juanfran and perhaps even Azpilicueta. Vicente Del Bosque will have a good’ol headache regarding his backline, but this is one I think he wouldn’t quite mind.

  1. Alessandro Schopf
    • Country – Austria
    • Club – Schalke 04
    • DOB – 07/02/1994 (22)
    • Height – 1.78m
    • Position – Attacking Midfield (Centre / Right / Left)


Coming up from the second tier of German football, Alessandro Schopf was largely unknown before his move from Nuremburg to Schalke in the January transfer window. Clocking 37 appearances for the entire season, scoring 6 goals at Nuremburg, and another 3 for Schalke accompanied by 3 assists, the call up came from the Austrian national squad once the season concluded. An attacking young star in the making who will be raring to go for the Burschen. Schopf has impressed in the warm-up games leading to the European showpiece grabbing a goal and a decent overall performance against Malta.

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2 thoughts on ““Guide de Talent” UEFA Euro 2016

  1. Hey! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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