FIFA Confederations Cup: Top young players to watch
On June 17th, host nation Russia and New Zealand will kick off the FIFA Confederations Cup, a competition which sees each of the winners from the six regional tournaments, as well as the World Cup winners and hosts, compete against each other.
This year, there is a wealth of young talent on show for almost every single nation involved: Germany, in particular, is well represented by players 21-years-old or younger. Here, we’ll be looking into the top young players who you should be keeping an eye out for in the upcoming tournament.
3. Hirving Lozano
Last summer, Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano looked set on a big move away from Liga MX after garnering praise from all over the football community. Helping his team – CF Pachuca – to the Liga MX Clausura title and being named to the team of the competition in 2016, Chucky took another step forward this season.
This season, Lozano was one away from matching his total goal contributions, i.e. goals and assists, from 47 games last season in just 30 contests of 2016/17. But, disaster struck when the young Mexican suffered a gruesome injury. He’s now agreed to join Celta Vigo after he plays in the Confederations Cup, where he’ll certainly light up the tournament with his supreme ball control, blistering speed, and desire to get into the box to score.
2. Andre Silva
Another FC Porto product much-sought-after in this summer’s transfer window, Andre Silva looks to play a big role for Euro 2016 champions Portugal in the Confederations Cup. The 21-year-old hailing from Baguim do Monte has already claimed six goals and three assists for his nation, despite playing only seven games.
Featuring as Porto’s striker this season, Andre Silva notched 21 goals and eight assists in all competitions, helping his team finish second in Liga NOS with a very healthy goal difference of +52. The Portuguese striker – which the nation has been craving for a long time – is a classic goal poacher, possesses a keen, sniper’s eye for goal, and can peel away from any defensive line.
He didn’t feature in Portugal’s Euro-winning campaign, and fills in as the main element they missed, resulting in the team playing a much more defensive and bullish style. Andre Silva is a big reason why Portugal have managed to pull even with Germany at odds of 5/2 ; he completes their attack.
1. Timo Werner
Coming in as the top under-21 player to watch at the Confederations Cup is Timo Werner, of Germany. Transferring from VfB Stuttgart to Red Bull Leipzig for £8.5 million last summer, Werner exploded into a 21-goal, seven-assist frenzy in 31 games for his new club. His accomplishments helped to pull the eastern Germany team of Leipzig all the way up the Bundesliga standings to finish second, only behind, you guessed it, Bayern Munich.
Timo Werner has been a part of the Germany set-up for quite some time now, playing and scoring regularly at under-15, 16, 17, 19, and under-21 levels before making his debut for Deutschland on March 22 of this year, in a 1-0 win against England. With three uncapped strikers – Amin Younes, Lars Stindl, Sandro Wagner – on the team, Werner looks poised to lead the line for Germany at the Confederations Cup.