18 Young Talents Set to Dominate Euro 2024


published 14:15, 03 March 2024

As the countdown to Euro 2024 ticks away, anticipation swells not just for the spectacle of nations competing for continental supremacy but also for the unveiling of football’s next generation of superstars. Germany, a land steeped in football history and tradition, stands ready to host a tournament where seasoned veterans will share the pitch with the most exciting young talents the sport has to offer.

This isn’t just another chapter in the annals of European football; it’s a showcase of the future, a glimpse into the careers of those destined to become the next big names. Among the squads assembled by the continent’s elite are 18 young prodigies whose potential is matched only by their ambition to leave an indelible mark on this prestigious tournament.

In the heart of the action, where every pass, tackle, and goal carries the weight of national pride, these wonderkids are set to introduce themselves to the world. From the defensive linchpins to the creative geniuses in midfield, and the lethal finishers up front, each player carries the promise of thrilling performances that could define their careers and shape the future of their national teams.

Join us as we embark on a journey through the profiles of these 18 remarkable talents, exploring their paths to Euro 2024, their contributions to their clubs, and what makes them the ones to watch in Germany. The stage is set for stars to be born, legends to emerge, and for football to celebrate the next generation ready to claim their place at the pinnacle of the sport.

The Defensive Pillars

The foundation of any successful team lies in its defense, and Euro 2024 will be no exception. Among the young talents ready to solidify their national teams’ backlines, two names stand out for their remarkable skill, poise, and the promise of greatness.

Antonio Silva (Portugal, Benfica)

Antonio Silva in action, showcasing his defensive skills for S.L. Benfica .

Antonio Silva in action, a testament to his aerial dominance and tactical understanding crucial for Portugal’s defense. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: April 16, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: 5
  • Club: Benfica
  • Market Value: €45 million

At just 20 years old, Antonio Silva has already carved out a place for himself at the heart of Benfica’s defense and the Portuguese national team. Known for his exceptional reading of the game, aerial dominance, and composure under pressure, Silva represents the next generation of Portuguese defenders.

His performances in Liga Portugal and the Champions League have not only solidified his reputation at the club level but also earned him a crucial role in Portugal’s ambitions at Euro 2024.

Silva’s ability to marshal the defense and neutralize the opposition’s attack will be pivotal for Portugal as they navigate through the tournament’s challenges.

Iván Fresneda (Spain, Sporting CP)

Iván Fresneda making a tactical pass for Sporting CP.

Iván Fresneda makes a tactical play, representing Spain’s rich tradition of producing versatile defenders. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: February 8, 2004
  • National Team Appearances: 2
  • Club: Sporting CP
  • Market Value: €13 million

Emerging from the ranks of Valladolid and making a name for himself at Sporting CP, Iván Fresneda has quickly become one of the most promising defenders of his generation.

His versatility allows him to excel in multiple defensive positions, but it’s his natural ability as a right-back that has drawn the most attention. Fresneda combines pace, technical skill, and defensive acumen, making him a formidable presence on the flank.

For Spain, a country with a rich history of producing world-class defenders, Fresneda represents the future. His performances at Euro 2024 will be a key factor in Spain’s quest for glory, offering a glimpse into the long line of defensive talent continuing to emerge from the country.

As Euro 2024 unfolds, Silva and Fresneda will not only be tasked with defending their nations’ pride but also with showcasing their potential to become the next icons of European football. Their journey at this tournament will be closely watched by fans and pundits alike, eager to witness the rise of the defensive pillars of tomorrow.

Midfield Maestros

The heart of the pitch at Euro 2024 will pulse with the creativity and drive of young talents poised to dictate the tempo of the game. In this domain, two midfielders stand out, ready to demonstrate their prowess and shape the destiny of their teams with every touch.

Warren Zaire-Emery (France, PSG)

Warren Zaire-Emery controlling the midfield for France.

Warren Zaire-Emery controls the game’s pace, embodying France’s dynamic future in midfield with his impressive technical skill. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: March 8, 2006
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain
  • Market Value: €60 million

Despite being one of the youngest players in the tournament, Warren Zaire-Emery’s maturity on the field belies his age. At Paris Saint-Germain, he has already shown flashes of brilliance that hint at a bright future.

His vision, ball control, and ability to read the game make him a critical asset in the heart of France’s midfield. Zaire-Emery’s versatility allows him to play both defensive and more advanced roles, providing Les Bleus with tactical flexibility.

As he steps onto the European stage, all eyes will be on him to see if he can translate his club form to international glory.

Xavi Simons (Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven)

Xavi Simons, carrying the ball with determination, evades Antoine Griezmann's challenge in a dynamic display of skill and agility.

Xavi Simons demonstrates his exceptional talent and potential as he skillfully evades Antoine Griezmann, a meeting of generations on the football pitch. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: April 21, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: 3
  • Club: PSV Eindhoven (on loan from Paris Saint-Germain)
  • Market Value: €20 million

Named after the legendary Spanish midfielder, Xavi Simons has carved his own path to stardom. His technical skills, combined with an innate understanding of the game’s dynamics, make him a pivotal figure for the Netherlands.

At PSV Eindhoven, Simons has been instrumental in orchestrating play and creating scoring opportunities. His energy and creativity will be vital for the Dutch team as they look to navigate through the challenges of Euro 2024.

Simons embodies the spirit of Dutch football, with a style of play that is both captivating and effective.

As the tournament progresses, Zaire-Emery and Simons will be at the center of the action, their performances key to their teams’ fortunes. With the world watching, these midfield maestros are set to dazzle fans with their skill, vision, and creativity, marking their arrival on the international stage as the future leaders of European football.

Forward Frenzy

The allure of Euro 2024 is not just in the tactical battles across the pitch but also in the promise of goals from the next generation of forwards. Among the plethora of young talent, two strikers stand poised to capture the imagination of fans with their goal-scoring exploits and electrifying performances.

Benjamin Sesko (Slovenia, RB Leipzig)

Benjamin Sesko captures a joyful selfie with fans after scoring a memorable goal.

Benjamin Sesko celebrates with fans in a selfie, highlighting his lethal force in front of goal that defines Slovenia’s attacking future. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: May 31, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: 13
  • Club: RB Leipzig
  • Market Value: €30 million

Benjamin Sesko has rapidly become one of the most talked-about young talents in European football, thanks to his remarkable blend of physicality, speed, and finishing ability. At RB Leipzig, Sesko has honed his skills, showcasing his ability to be a constant threat in front of goal.

For Slovenia, he represents not just the future but the present, a beacon of hope and expectation. His presence on the field at Euro 2024 is a storyline many will follow, with the potential for Sesko to announce himself as one of the premier strikers in the game.

Rasmus Hojlund (Denmark, Manchester United)

Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring a goal against San Marino during Euro 2024 qualification.

Rasmus Hojlund, with his natural striker’s instinct, underscores Denmark’s attacking prowess. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: February 18, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: 5
  • Club: Manchester United
  • Market Value: €65 million

Since moving to Manchester United, Rasmus Hojlund has adapted swiftly, proving his mettle in one of the world’s most competitive leagues. His blend of technical skill, physical presence, and instinctive goal-scoring has drawn comparisons to some of the best forwards in recent memory.

For Denmark, Hojlund’s rise offers a new attacking dimension, one that could prove pivotal in their Euro 2024 campaign. His ability to turn matches on their head with moments of brilliance will be a key asset for the Danish team.

The stage at Euro 2024 offers Sesko and Hojlund the perfect platform to showcase their talents to a global audience. As they lead their national teams’ attacks, their journeys will be emblematic of the dreams and aspirations of all young forwards: to score the goals that fire their countries to glory.

In a tournament that celebrates the present and future of football, these two are set to remind everyone of the joy and excitement that comes from watching a young striker find the back of the net.

Wing Wizards

The flanks of the football pitch are where games can be turned on their heads, thanks to the pace, skill, and creativity of wingers. At Euro 2024, two young talents are ready to blaze down the wings, captivating audiences with their electrifying performances and crucial contributions to their teams.

Johan Bakayoko (Belgium, PSV Eindhoven)

Johan Bakayoko making a speedy run down the flank for Belgium

Johan Bakayoko’s speed and skill shine, marking him as one of Belgium’s brightest attacking prospects. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: February 20, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: PSV Eindhoven
  • Market Value: €40 million

Johan Bakayoko, with his explosive pace and knack for beating defenders, has emerged as one of the most exciting prospects in Belgian football. At PSV Eindhoven, his performances have not only been a revelation for the club but have also put him on the radar for Belgium’s national team.

Bakayoko’s ability to create opportunities from seemingly nothing makes him a valuable asset for Belgium at Euro 2024. His potential impact on the tournament could be significant, as his flair and pace add a new dimension to Belgium’s attacking options.

Jérémy Doku (Belgium, Manchester City)

Jérémy Doku on a powerful run down the flank against Azerbaijan, outpacing a defender in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Jérémy Doku maneuvers through defense, showcasing the explosive pace that makes him Belgium’s wing wizard. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: May 27, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: 11
  • Club: Manchester City
  • Market Value: €65 million

Jérémy Doku has long been touted as one of the brightest prospects in European football, and his move to Manchester City has only heightened expectations. Known for his blistering speed, agility, and ability to take on defenders, Doku is a nightmare for any full-back.

His performances for Belgium have already showcased his immense talent and potential. At Euro 2024, Doku’s role will be crucial as Belgium looks to him to provide the spark and creativity needed to break down stubborn defenses.

His development into a world-class talent seems all but assured, with the tournament offering a perfect stage for him to shine.

The presence of Bakayoko and Doku on the wings gives Belgium an enviable depth of talent and versatility in attack. As Euro 2024 unfolds, their performances will be key to Belgium’s aspirations, with both players looking to cement their places as the future stars of Belgian football. In a tournament that celebrates the best of European football, Bakayoko and Doku stand ready to demonstrate that the future is now.

The Creative Forces

In the high-stakes environment of Euro 2024, the ability to unlock defenses with a single pass or a moment of brilliance is invaluable. This section highlights two young playmakers whose vision and creativity could very well define their teams’ fortunes in the tournament.

Lamine Yamal (Spain, Barcelona)

Lamine Yamal skillfully maneuvering through midfield for Spain.

Lamine Yamal, displaying maturity beyond his years, signals the rise of Spain’s next midfield maestro. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: October 15, 2006
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: Barcelona
  • Market Value: €60 million

Lamine Yamal, despite being one of the youngest participants at Euro 2024, carries with him an air of expectation. At Barcelona, he has already shown glimpses of his potential to become one of football’s leading lights.

Yamal’s game is characterized by his exceptional technical skill, vision, and maturity on the pitch, qualities that belie his tender age. For Spain, a nation renowned for producing midfield maestros, Yamal represents the next generation.

His ability to find spaces and create scoring opportunities will be crucial for Spain as they navigate through the tournament’s challenges.

Cole Palmer (England, Chelsea)

Cole Palmer dressed in the English National Team kit, ready to take the field.

Cole Palmer, a blend of creativity and agility, ready to make England proud. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: May 6, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: 3
  • Club: Chelsea
  • Market Value: €45 million

Since moving to Chelsea, Cole Palmer has adapted impressively, showcasing his versatility and ability to influence games from the midfield.

His technical prowess and intelligence on the ball make him a constant threat, capable of both scoring and setting up goals. For England, Palmer’s emergence offers a new creative outlet in the midfield, a role that’s been eagerly anticipated by fans and pundits alike.

At Euro 2024, Palmer will have the opportunity to demonstrate his ability on the international stage, potentially playing a pivotal role in England’s campaign.

As Euro 2024 progresses, Yamal and Palmer will be the ones to watch, their creativity and ingenuity key to unlocking opposition defenses. With their blend of youthful exuberance and undeniable talent, they represent not just the future of their respective national teams but also the evolving nature of football’s creative midfield role.

Their performances could very well be the difference-makers in tight matches, underscoring their importance to their teams’ success in the tournament.

Emerging Talents on the Rise

As Euro 2024 unfolds, the spotlight isn’t solely on those commanding center stage; it also shines on a cohort of emerging talents, each bringing their unique attributes to their national teams. This section casts a light on additional young players who, while perhaps not as widely recognized yet, are poised to make a significant impact.

Aleksandar Pavlovic (Germany, Bayern Munich)

Aleksandar Pavlovic in a defensive stance for Germany

Aleksandar Pavlovic stands ready, embodying the potential of Germany’s next defensive linchpin. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: June 9, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: Bayern Munich
  • Market Value: €2 million

Aleksandar Pavlovic may not carry the same high-profile recognition as some of his peers, but his trajectory within Bayern Munich’s youth ranks signals the emergence of a highly promising talent.

Known for his work rate, tactical intelligence, and ability to break up play, Pavlovic’s potential inclusion in Germany’s squad could see him earn valuable experience. Euro 2024 offers him a platform to showcase his talents on an international scale, potentially playing a key role in Germany’s midfield dynamics.

Destiny Udogie (Italy, Tottenham)

Destiny Udogie blocks Phil Foden's path, preventing a scoring chance from the flank in the Italy vs. England Euro qualification match.

Destiny Udogie advances, showcasing the strength and skill that make him Italy’s promising defensive force. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: November 20, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: 1
  • Club: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Market Value: €40 million

Destiny Udogie has quickly adapted to the rigors of the Premier League since moving to Tottenham, where his performances have highlighted his potential as one of football’s most promising full-backs. With his pace, strength, and ability to contribute offensively, Udogie offers Italy a dynamic option on the left flank.

His versatility and defensive acumen will be vital for Italy as they aim to navigate the challenges of Euro 2024.

Arda Guler (Turkey, Real Madrid)

Arda Guler dispatches a strategic pass down the flank in Turkey's Euro 2024 qualifier against Croatia.

Arda Guler, set to take a free kick, highlights the vision and creativity fueling Turkey’s midfield. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: November 25, 2005
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: Real Madrid
  • Market Value: €15 million

Arda Guler, the young Turkish sensation, has been making waves at Real Madrid, showcasing his technical ability and vision that belie his age. Despite limited first-team opportunities, Guler’s potential is unmistakable.

For Turkey, he represents the future and the hope for a team looking to make its mark on the European stage. Euro 2024 could serve as a significant milestone in his burgeoning career.

Josh Doig (Scotland, Sassuolo)

Josh Doig defending against an attacker for Sassuolo

Josh Doig defends with determination, a symbol of Scotland’s resilience and future defensive hope. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: May 18, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: 2
  • Club: Sassuolo
  • Market Value: €7 million

Josh Doig has proven himself in Serie A with Sassuolo, where his defensive solidity and ability to contribute to the attack have made him one of Scotland’s most promising talents.

His transition to Italian football has allowed him to showcase his skills on a bigger stage, quickly becoming an integral part of Sassuolo’s setup. Scotland will be looking to Doig to bring his club form to the international arena, providing reliability and energy on the flank.

Tiago Tomás (Portugal, VfL Wolfsburg)

Tiago Tomás rises for an aerial challenge during an Under-21 Portugal national team match.

Tiago Tomás in full sprint, illustrating the agility and goal threat he brings to Portugal’s forward line. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: June 16, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: VfL Wolfsburg
  • Market Value: €8 million

Tiago Tomás has shown promising signs of becoming a key player for both VfL Wolfsburg and Portugal. His pace, agility, and eye for goal make him a potential game-changer.

As Portugal seeks to navigate the challenges of Euro 2024, Tomás could emerge as a crucial figure in their attacking arsenal.

Elye Wahi (France, RC Lens)

  • Date of Birth: January 2, 2003
  • National Team Appearances: Yet to debut
  • Club: RC Lens
  • Market Value: €40 million

Elye Wahi has been a revelation for RC Lens, where his goal-scoring instincts and physical prowess have marked him as one of Ligue 1’s standout young forwards.

His knack for being in the right place at the right time, coupled with his ability to finish under pressure, positions him as a future star for France.

Bertuğ Yıldırım (Turkey, Stade Rennais)

Bertuğ Yıldırım taking a shot on goal for Turkey.

Bertuğ Yıldırım eyes the goal, representing Turkey’s new attacking generation with his powerful shot. (source: Imago)

  • Date of Birth: January 12, 2002
  • National Team Appearances: 3
  • Club: Stade Rennais
  • Market Value: €5 million

Bertuğ Yıldırım has shown promise as a forward with a powerful shot and strong physical presence. At Stade Rennais, his development is closely watched, with expectations high for him to become a key player for Turkey.

Euro 2024 could serve as his introduction to the international stage, where his goal-scoring ability will be crucial for his team.

These emerging talents, each with their distinct playing styles and strengths, are set to make their mark at Euro 2024. Their contributions, whether in pivotal moments or through consistent performances, could very well shape the narratives of their respective teams’ campaigns, showcasing the depth of talent and the future of European football.


Euro 2024 isn’t just a showcase of Europe’s finest football; it’s a preview of the sport’s future stars. From Silva’s defensive mastery to Sesko’s goal-scoring flair, these 18 wonderkids are poised to make their mark. They represent a new generation ready to etch their names into football’s history, embodying the dreams and aspirations of nations.

As the tournament unfolds, their performances will captivate fans worldwide, promising a mix of triumph, skill, and potential breakthrough moments. Euro 2024 offers these young talents a grand stage to demonstrate that the future of football is now, setting the scene for the emergence of new legends. Let’s watch as they take this unique opportunity to begin carving out their legacies in the beautiful game.

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