10 Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016-17

The champions league is the most competitive club footballing event. This year’s champions league will promise a lot of action as Real Madrid will attempt to defend their trophy whilst Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus are also on the side lines to battle out the trophy.
The UEFA champions league have given a lot of players the platform to gain fame and success. Every year a set of young players get the chance to represent their respective clubs and showcase their talent.   There are a lot of young players who are participating in the 2016/17 champions league season. Matchday 1 ended over the season and some of the talented young players proved their worth. According to SportsGoogly, This is the top 10 young players who can make the difference for their sides.

Here are the top 10 players;

  1. Renato Sanches(Bayern Munich) renato-sanches Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016/17

Renato  Junior Luz Sanches the 19 year old Portuguese midfielder who started his football career with Benfica. On 10 May 2016, Sanches signed a five-year contract effective from 1 July with Bayern Munich for €35 million,  in a deal totaling €80 million.  With this transfer he became the most expensive Portuguese player to leave the domestic season.  The 19 year old had his breakthrough in the 2015/16 Portuguese league season with Benfica. Sanches made 24 appearances with 2 goals as a defensive midfielder last season. With his phenomenal performances at the Euro 2016, Renato Sanches was tipped as a world best player. So far Renato Sanches have played 3 games for Bayern Munich and he have not disgraced himself. The 19 year old has been noted for his versatility in midfield, being comfortable in defensive, attacking, central and wide roles. His attributes include physical strength, passing ability, and being composed in possession. If there are young players to watch out for this season then Renato Sanches I the big deal, just 19 years but proving his worth.

Trophies and Achievements.

  • UEFA European Championship(Portugal): 2016
  • Portuguese Premier League(Benfica): 2015/16
  • Portuguese League Cup(Benfica):  2015/16
  • UEFA European Under-17 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2014
  • Young Player of the Month in Portugal: December 2015
  • Portuguese League Goal of the Month: December 2015
  • CNID Awards – Revelation of the Year: 2016
  • UEFA European Championship Young Player of the Tournament: 2016
  • Portuguese League Breakthrough Player: 2015–16
  • Portuguese League Best Goal: 2015–16
  1. Leroy Sane (Manchester City)leroy-sane

Leroy Sane was born in Essen, Germany to the legendary Senegalese striker Souleymane Sane. Leroy’s had a blossom career in the Bundesliga. Young Sane was born on 11 January 1996 and he is now 20 years. Leroy Sane began playing football the youth team of SG Wattenscheid 09. In 2005, he joined Schalke 04 and was loaned to Bayer Leverkusen. Sane returned to of Schalke 04 in 2011. Leroy Sane was showcased to the world in the 2014/15 season. He was introduced into the team in the later part of the season and Sane had 13 appearances with 3 goals. The 20 year old is a delight to watch, with his trickily and dribbling skills.
In the 2015/16 season Leroy Sane made 33 appearances with Schalke and scored 8 goals. In 2015 Sane made 6 appearances for the German U21 team and scored 5 goals.

On 2 August 2016, Sane shockingly joined Manchester City. He penned a five year deal for a reported £37 million. His first game was on 10 September against Manchester united in the Manchester derby. So far Sane have played 3 games for Manchester City without any goal.

Sane was eligible to play for his fatherland Senegal but Germany knowing is indisputable talent, they have drafted the young Sane and so far Sane have played 4 games for Germany without a goal.

Pep Guardiola noticed the talent of the young German attacking midfielder and brought him to the blue side of Manchester. If Pep will inspire Manchester City to a champions league glory, he will need the dribbling and delight of Leroy Sane to achieve such feast. Watch out for Leroy Sane in this years champions league.

Trophies and Achievements

  • European Championships Semi Finalist(Germany): Euro 2016
  • Man of the Match against AFC Bournemouth: Played on 17 September, 2016.
  1. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)joshua-kimmich Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016/17

Joshua Kimmich the young and upcoming defender was born in Rottwell, Germany. Kimmich 21, started his  football career with Stuttgart and he played his entire youth football for Stuttgart. In 2013 Kimmich joined Leipzig in the lower division. Kimmich played 53 matches for Leipzig as a central defender and scored 3 goals.

In 2015 Kimmich joined Bayern Munich from Leipzig on a fee of €7 million. Joshua has enormous quality and is versatile in both attacking and defensive roles, he is very attacking minded same as very strong in defense. Since 2015, Joshua Kimmich have made 42 appearances for Bayern Munich with 3 goals as a rotational defender.

This season, Joshua Kimmich have made 3 league appearances with 1 goal and 1 champions league appearance with 2 goals. The amazing phenomenon about Kimmich is that he has foot work talented on the ball and dangerous on attacks.  Joshua Kimmich prefers to be played at the defensive midfield role. He claims that he wants to play like Bastian Schweinsteiger.

In 2006 Kimmich had a national team appearance and so far he has played 7 games for Germany with 1 goal, he was part of the German team which won bronze in Euro 2016 held in France. His first national assignment was for the German U17 and graduated to the under 18.   Kimmich was part of the German under 19 team which won the European Championship in 2014. He also played for the German under 21 team with 2 goals in 14 appearances.

Joshua Kimmich is a wonderful player both in defence and on the attack. He believes that this is time to showcase his talent to the world. If there is a young defender to impress in the UEFA champions league this season, then I think is Joshua Kimmich.

Trophies and Achievements

  • German Bundesliga: 2015/16
  • German Cup: 2015/16
  • Germany Super cup: 2016
  • UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament : 2016
  • UEFA European Championship Bronze Medal Winner: 2016
  • UEFA Under 19 Championship Winner: 2014
  1. Saul Niguez(Atletico Madrid)saul-niguez Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016/17

Saúl Ñíguez Esclápez was bon in Elche, Spain on 21 November, 1994. Saul takes inspiration from is father Jose Antonio who was a striker for Elche. Saul is a midfielder who can play in both attacking and central roles. He started his youth career with Real Madrid and later moved to  Atletico Madrid. Saul graduated from the Atletico academy to the Atletico Madrid B team in 2010. He played 3 seasons with Atletico Madrid B and in all the young midfielder made 70 appearances with 8 goals.

In 2013/14 Saul Niguez joined Rayo Vallecano on a season long loan. He made 37 appearances for Vallecano and scored just 2 goals. With his intelligence and skills he showcased at Rayo Vallecano, he made a full entrance into the first Atletico Madrid first team.  In the 2014/15 season, the young Saul made 35 appearances with 4 goals and he was very impressive.

Saul 21 years have already made 87 appearances for Atletico Madrid with 14 goals. The young player is full of talent and very skillful with a lot of intelligence when on the ball.

Saul Niquez played for the Spain under 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and under 21 and so far he has made 1 appearance for the Spanish national team. Saul’s performance and talent was shown in the 2015/16 champions league finals against Real Madrid.

Saul have seen it all in the champions league only at 21 he have shown that he have the talent and skills to play in the champions league. I have personally tipped Saul as one of the players who  will perform great in this years champions league.

Trophies and Achievements

  • Cope del Ray( Spanish Cup): 2012/13
  • Spanish Super Cup: 2014
  • UEFA Champions League: Runner up 2015/16
  • UEFA European under 19 Championship: 2012
  1. Paulo Dybala(Juventus)paulo-dybala

Paulo Bruno Exequiel Dybala the young combative striker was born on 15 November 1993 in Cordoba, Argentina. Dybala started his football career with Instituto de Córdoba in the Argentina second division. He was the youngest player to score a goal in the Agrentine second division. Dybala was also the first player to play 38 consecutive games in a professional league in Argentina  and he was also the first to score two hat-tricks in a season and scored in 6 consecutive games. Dybala played 28 games for Instituto and scored 18 goals.

On  July 2012 Dybala joined Palermo in Italy in an undiscloed amount. Dybala was hailed as the new Sergio Aguero by then Palermo club president. In 2012/13, Dybala helped Palermo gain promotion into the Serie A in all Dybala played 3 seasons for Palermo until he was sold to Juventus. He made 93 appearances for Palermo in 3 seasons and scored 21 goals.

Last season on June 4, Juventus announced the signing of Dybala  for a transfer fee of €32 million for a five years contract. In the 2015/16 season, Dybala played 46 games for Juventus and scored 23 goals which was very impressive for the youngster. In 2015 Dybala made his international debut for Argentina and so far he have made 6 appearance with an Argentine team of world class strikers.

He is a quick, creative, and agile player, with excellent technical ability. Dybala is known for his dribbling skills and his ability to protect and hold up the ball in a counter attack. And again, with his pace, positioning, and ball skills, he excels during counter attacks. He he is a hardworking player who contributes a lot  defensively for his team. Dybala is one of the young players who are excelling in their career, he low rated but very dangerous on the so this year in the champions league Dybala ma cause a lot of surprises.

Trophies and Achievements

Serie B:  2013–14
Serie A:  2015–16
Italian Cup: 2015–16
Italian Super Cup: 2015
Serie A Top Assist Provider: 2014–15

  1. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)kelechi-iheanacho

Kelechi Promise Iheanacho the young striker was born on 3 October 1996 in Imo, Nigeria. He started his football career with Taye Academy in Owerri, Nigeria. His performances for Taye Academy earned him a call up to the Nigeria under 17 team. The world heard of Kelechi in the 2013 FIFA U17 world cup where he played 7 games and scored 8 goals and lead Nigeria to win the trophy. His performance and goal scoring techniques attracted both Arsenal and Fc Porto but on January 2014 Kelechi started his engagement with Manchester City. Officially, Kelechi Iheanacho signed for Manchester City on October 2014 exactly when he turned 18 years.

Kelechi joined the Manchester City first team in the 2015/16 league season. He made 35 appearances for Manchester City and scored 14 goals. This season Kelechi have made 6 appearances for Manchester City and have scored 3 goals. In 2015 Kelechi received his first national team call up and up to till now he have made 5 appearances for Nigeria with 3 goals.

The 19 year have shown his class in the stared side of Manchester City by breaking into the first team. His height, pace and strength is an added advantage for him. Kelechi is quick fast and have a high anticipation in front of goal. If you give Kelechi half chance he will turn it into a goal. In the Manchester derby, Kelechi scored and assisted one goal. His abilities are unmatched and so far he have scored a goal in the champions league.

Trophies and Achievements

Football League Cup: 2015/16
FIFA U-17 World Cup: 2013
FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball: 2013
CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year: 2013
FIFA U-17 World Cup Silver Shoe: 2013
CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year: 2013

  1. Concalo Guedes (Benfica)concalo-guedes Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016/17

Goncalo Manuel Ganchinho Guedes was born on 29 November 1996 Benavente, Portugal. Guedes joined the Benfica Academy on 2005. Guedes was first called up by Portugal manager Fernando Santos on 6 November 2015, ahead of international friendlies against Russia and Luxembourg. Guedes have only made two appearances for Portugal up to date. Concalo Guedes passed through all the national team youth ranks by playing for Portugal Under 15,16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and under 23, in all he made 52 appearances and scored 9 goals as a winger. The 19 year old winger is inspired by his fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo.

Concalo was promoted from the academy to Benfica B in the 2013/14 season but he made only 1 appearance. The following season, Concalo played 32 games for Benfica B and scored 8 goals. With his impressive performance for Benfica B he earned a place in the senior team.

In the 2015/16 season the 19 year old was introduced into the Benfica team. He made 27 appearances and scored 4 goals. The young winger is inspirational and a delight to watch. His pace and dribbling skills makes him very dangerous in counter attacks. His inclusion in Benfica’s champions league squad means he will participate in Benfica’s champions league ambitions.

Trophies and Achievements

Segunda Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year: 2014–15
SJPF Segunda Liga Player of the Month: October 2014, December 2014
Primeira Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16
Taça da Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2016
UEFA Youth League: Runner-up 2013–14

  1. Talisca (Besitas)talisca

Anderson Souza Conceição simply known as Talisca was born on 1 February 1994 in Feira de Santana, Brazil. He is a Benfica attacking midfielder on loan at Besitas from Benfica. Talisca started his football career with Bahia in Brazil were is played 2 seasons with Bahia. He made 68 appearances for Bahia with 11 goals as a striker. Talisca is a product of the Brazil youth system, he played for Brazil U20 and U23 which he made 6 appearances with one goal.

Talisca joined Benfica on July 2014 on a €4.8 million contract. In the 2014/15 league season in Portugal, he made 44 appearances for Benfica with 11 goals. In the 2015/15 season he made 32 appearances with 9 goals. His impressive performance that season was to the delight of Besitas in Turkey.

In November this year, Benfica agreed to release Talisca on loan to Besitas for a fee of €2 million for one year loan. His playing style is similar to that of Yaya Toure. He is a strong, talented and combative midfielder. On 11 November 2014, Talisca was called up by Dunga to the Brazilian national team to replace Lucas Moura in the international fixtures against Turkey and Austria but unfortunately he never made an appearance.Talisca started this year’s champions league strongly with Besitas. The young Brazilian is seeking to impress the world this year and gain a call up to the Brazil national team.

Trophies and Achievements

SJPF Player of the Month: August 2014, September 2014
Primeira Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16
Taça da Liga: 2014–15, 2015–16
Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 2014

  1. Corentin Tolisso (Lyon)corentin-tolisso

Corentin Tolisso was born on 3 August 1994 in Tarare, France. Tolisso started his football career at FC Pays de l’Arbresle until he moved to Lyon in 2007. In 2013, Tolisso was promoted to the first team in 2013. Tolisso is also a product of the French academy system, he played for France under 19, 20 and 21 he made 20 appearances with 3 goals as a defensive midfielder.

Tolisso since 2013 have made 89 appearances for Lyon with 14 goals in the league 1. Tolisso is a dynamic box to box midfielder who less was known about. Since his introduction into the Lyon first team, the sky have being the limit for Tolisso.
He started the 2016/17 season strongly with Lyon both domestic and in Europe. He have played 4 domestic league games for Lyon and have score a goal in the champions league he have made one appearance with one goal. The young midfielder promises quality in the midfield of Lyon.

  1. Maxwel Cornet ( Lyon)maxwel-cornet Young Players to Watch in Champions League 2016/17

Gnaly Maxwel Cornet was born in Bregbo, Ivory Coast on 27 September 1996. French footballer of Ivorian descent began his playing career with Metz in the league one in France.He joined Metz in 2004 and was sold to Lyon in January 2015. Cornet played 21 games for Metz B and scored 6 goals in the 2012/13 season. In the 2013/14, he made 15 appearances for the Metz senior side and scored no goal as a striker. His height, pace and anticipation earned him a contract from Lyon.

In January 2015, he joined the French top side Lyon in an undisclosed amount. Since he joined Lyon he have made 44 appearances with 12 goals.  Cornet is a product of the France academy system. He played for France under 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and the under 21 team. He have made 51 appearances for the France youth ranks and scored 24 goals as a striker.

Maxwel Cornet is a hot prospect just 19 years but promises a lot of footballing action. Less is known about the young striker but he is dangerous in air with his height. Cornet is one of the dangerous young strikers in the champions league this season.

Further Readings.

Your votes are welcomed, so who do you think will be the best young player at the end of the 2016/17 champions league season? Or how will you rank your best 10 young players to watch this season in the champions league? Take your vote now.

1. Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich)

2. Leroy Sane (Manchester City)

3. Josua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

4. Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid)

5. Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

6. Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City)

7. Concalo Guedes (Benfica)

8. Talisca (Besitas)

9. Corentin Tolisso (Lyon)

10.  Maxwell Cornet ( Lyon)