FROM PEDRI TO GIO REYNA, THE CATALOGUE OF SOLDIERS WHO COULD DISMANTLE THE RIVALS THIS SUMMER IS ADMIRABLE; WE TAKE A LOOK AT 10 SUCH PLAYERS WHO COULD EXPLODE THIS SEASON
Very rarely in life does a footballer get an opportunity to script history and write the perfect chronicle for himself. With the summer of football knocking on the doors, the European leagues are prepared to host a mouth-watering carnival. With the leagues presenting the perfect opportunity to showcase one’s talent, the list of players who could explode this summer is rich and lengthy with some of Europe’s budding prospects marching into the glittering catalogue.
Take the example of Marcos Llorente, the Spanish midfielder who was magnificently utilised by Diego Simeone, as the player turned out to be Atletico’s talismanic figure. And his string of mouth-watering performances saw him don La Furia Roja’s prestigious red jersey in the European competitions. With numerous players looking to explode this summer and leave a mark across Europe, we take a look at the players who could present another Llorente situation for their outfits.
One of the torch-bearer of the USA’s golden-generation Giovanni Reyna could be destined for a goal-scoring carnival this summer. The departure of Jadon Sancho to the Red Devils opened the door for Reyna’s arrival in Signal Iduna Park’s eleven. Sancho’s absence leaves a hole in Dortmund’s right-wing position, while Erling Haaland and Marco Reus will be looking for the perfect delivery partner. The youngster could dart down the right flank and could floor defenders within the blink of an eye.
Last summer, Reyna managed a success rate of 55.7 per cent whenever a rival stepped in to snatch possession. Reyna could be donning the role of the second-striker or the right-winger and could create a galaxy of chances for Dortmund’s deadly finishers to pounce on. Another quality shrouding the American’s gameplay is his knack for chipping in with crucial goals. Reyna’s ability to unleash a thunderous strike and rattle the opposition’s frame sometimes goes unnoticed. Another young prospect in Dortmund’s roster, Giovani Reyna will surely be one of the players to explode this summer.
Stamford Bridge’s million-dollar baby, German winger Kai Havertz was purchased by the Blues to revamp the situation at the English giants. And although Chelsea and Havertz earned themselves the Champions League trophy, the German looked rusty throughout the English summer. But since Tuchel arrived at the Bridge, Havertz has come under the limelight. Given a more independent role, the protagonist of Chelsea’s Porto dream is free of the spider-webs attached to his engine.
Havertz could repeat his Bundesliga form this summer and trouble defences with Chelsea expecting a return for their investment. The German was ferocious in the recently concluded Euros thumping reigning champions Portugal in the Group Of Death and nearly knocking the Three Lions out of the tournament. Although Havertz’s smashed the winning goal against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in European football’s ultimate showdown, the 22-year-old would look to conquer the English throne with the Blues this summer.
The director of Danish dynamite’s fairytale run in Euros, full-back Joakim Maehle finally earned the attention he is capable of. Atalanta’s trusted right-back Joakim Maehle has been a magnificent servant of Denmark. And after horrifically losing Christian Eriksen within 44 minutes of their opening game, Maehle along with Simone Kjaer revived the Danes to re-write themselves a chronicle mirroring the 1992 heroics of their forefathers.
While in Italy, the Danish full-back could fabricate his magic if Atalanta wants to win the Scudetto the next season. Partnering with another Euro 2020 star, Robin Gosens, the duo could create a Trent Alexander Arnold- Andy Robertson partnership for La Dea. Maehle is a strong proposition and rarely gives his rivals a minute to breathe when leading the defensive structure in Italy.
The child has been dubbed a sensation by multiple managers. A straight creation of Lyon’s youth programme and regarded as an excellent prospect from a young age, Rayan Cherki could steal Memphis Depay’s legacy at Lyon. The Lyon flyer could truly stamp his authority in French territory this summer with Memphis Depay and Joachim Anderson bidding goodbye and the French club restraining from signing a striker.
With the ability to pounce on half-chances complemented with electrifying speed and dangerous dribbling qualities, Cherki could guide Lyon to glory this summer. Although PSG is the king of France, Lille’s fairytale last year elaborated why the French league could take unpredictable turns and how Cherki can pounce on the turning roads.
The notion that the talented midfielder has jumped one or two levels on his journey to England’s top-flight is due to a fortunate combination of elements, one of which is his inherent ability. Gilmour’s tenacity, balanced demeanour, and his team’s extraordinary characteristics have all played a role. While some might see Gilmour’s departure to Norwich step-down, many pundits believe the Scottish could assemble some playing time before presenting his case at Stamford Bridge.
With Jorginho, Kante, and other glittering names present in Tuchel’s roster, Gilmour wouldn’t have received constant opportunities. But Emiliano Buendia’s departure to Aston Villa opened the midfield spot for Gilmour to work his magic on. The Scottish proved his worth against the Three Lions in the Euro 2020, the Scottish Xavi could be prepared to leave a mark in the Premier League this summer with Norwich preferring possession-based football.
Bidding almost 200 million pounds for the signature of Harry Kane and Jack Grealish, Pep Guardiola’s hunt for the replacement of Manchester City’s most-decorated goal-scorer, Sergio Aguero still continues. But if Guardiola fails to sign a poacher like Edinson Cavani or Harry Kane, he could field Spanish international Ferran Torres in Etihad’s starting eleven. His handbrake turns and trajectory switches are still mostly done on the outside, thanks to his long stances, quickness, and technical prowess.
He enjoys being vertical because it allows him to control the complete movements of his wing. The Spaniard sneaks in behind, hovers along the sideline, waiting for the perfect opportunity to turn a chance into a triumph. Although Guardiola proved that he could start without an iconic number.9, Ferran Torres’s jaw-dropping European campaign and closing Premier League games throw him in the front of the forward line at the Etihad and make him one of the players who could explode for Pep Guardiola’s army.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds army failed to regain their Premier League throne and almost lost themselves a spot at the Champions League table. Although the never-ending catalogue of injuries shrouded Liverpool’s misfortunes, the questionable bench strength was Klopp’s major headache. The popular trio of Salah, Firmino, and Mane faltered for major chunks of the English summer with Klopp searching for replacements. But his search could end with Liverpool graduate Harvey Elliot being added to Klopp’s magnificent roster.
The youngster possesses electrifying speed and can stream into the goal-mouth leaving defenders chasing. The flamboyance surrounding Elliot’s gameplay is magnificent and if the youngster adds the required strength and defensive attributes to his p[laying style, he could be the solution to Liverpool’s long-term plans. With Jurgen Klopp investing nothing in a poacher upfront, Elliot’s presence at Anfield could add him to the catalogue of players expected to explode this summer.
For a few seasons now, the 16-year-old striker has been one of club football’s brightest attractions, but his profile has finally climbed to ridiculous frontiers. Mirroring Reyna, Moukoko could earn greater amounts of the game this summer because of Sancho’s departure to the Theatre. Although the youngster will have to wait for the opportunity, the German international has proved why he is prepared to shine at world football’s biggest stage.
Erling Haaland on Youssoufa Moukoko:
🗣️ "I think he’s the biggest talent in the world right now. 16 years and one day, that's quite amazing. So yeah, he has a big career ahead of him." pic.twitter.com/OpPydWjUbR
— Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) November 22, 2020
Erling Haaland when describing Moukoko explained that “Moukoko is much better than I was at his age.” The Norwegian even went as far as to state, “I have never seen such a good 15-year-old in my life.”
With a pass completion rate of 76.2 per cent and the ability to carry almost 3.96 balls into the opposition’s goal-mouth, the budding prospect could easily march into the list of players expected to explode this summer.
The leading playmaker in England’s second division, the signature of Micahel Olise for just 8 million pounds was considered a steal by the Eagles. While the Premier League could threaten the career of players with a cut to throat competition, Olise’s staggering numbers could see him leading the centre of the pitch at Palace. The youngster had a 0.53 goal contribution per 90 minutes explaining why he is a threatening midfielder.
He boasts an incredible 86 per cent pass conversion percentage and an exceptional 79 per cent long pass success rate. Last summer, his distribution was one of Reading’s major goal-scoring options. Olise has made the most assists, won the second-most infractions, and committed the second-most challenges, indicating that he has adapted to Paunovi’s pressuring approach. With the Eagles looking to reconstruct their Palace, Olise could be at the heart of the pivotal revamp this summer while also explaining to the Premier League why is one of the best midfielders in England.
The front-runner for the Golden Boy accolade, no one knew Pedri’s name during his tenure at Las Palmas. But since his arrival at the Camp Nou last summer, the 18-year-old has produced some swashbuckling performances marching into Luis Enrique’s Euro 2020 roadmap and in La Furia Roja’s Tokyo Olympics’ roster. Rarely given rest by any of the managers, Pedri’s deftness on the ball, the ability to glue the ball to his feet, and make those darting gallops towards the goalmouth before playing a defence-splitting cross make the Spaniard special.
After the Spaniards Euro 2020 dreams were shattered in the semi-finals against eventual champions Italy, manager Luis Enrique was full of praise for the Catalan youngster.
“Has anyone noticed what an 18-year-old boy named Pedri has done in Euros? Not even don Andres Iniesta has done it, “exclaimed Enrique.
And the word couldn’t agree less with Enrique’s words, the Barcelona midfielder now has Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero to pounce on the opportunities he fabricates so his assist tally could touch the roof at the end of the campaign. For sure Pedri is destined to be the best creative midfielder this summer and could be leading the inventory of players who could explode this season.