x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

NextGen Series: Five young players to watch

With organisers of the NextGen Series looking to bring the competition to the UAE, we pick out five of the players making their names in the tournament this year.

Liverpool's Connor Coady.
Liverpool's Connor Coady.

With organisers of the NextGen Series looking to bring the competition to the UAE, we pick out five of the players making their names in the tournament this year.

 

Name Conor Coady

Age 19

Club Liverpool

The next Steven Gerrard

Raheem Sterling is not the only Liverpool player to have caught the eye in the NextGen Series. Coady, the Anfield club's Under 21 captain, has scored five goals in five games this year from central midfield and recently made his Europa League debut against Anzhi Makhachkala.

 

Name Sergi Samper

Age 18

Club Barcelona

The next Xavi Hernandez

Samper has been one of the standout players since NextGen launched in 2011. The Spaniard's ability to keep the ball under control, dictate play and pick a pass has seen him earn praise from the highest levels. Barcelona view him as an eventual protagonist in their central midfield.

 

Name Viktor Fischer

Age 18

Club Ajax

The next Dennis Bergkamp

The Danish striker may be only 18, but having finished the inaugural season with seven goals in six games, he has been fast-tracked to the first team. Five goals from 10 league games for Ajax are proof Fischer is on track for the top. He made his Champions League debut against Manchester City in November.

 

Name Alex Pritchard

Age 19

Club Tottenham Hotspur

The next Paul Gascoigne

His Tottenham teammate Shaquile Coulthirst scored a hat-trick against Barcelona when the two youth sides met in Spain this season, but it was Pritchard who stole the show. The free kick specialist ran the midfield and terrorised the opposition defence.

 

Name Lucas Piazon

Age 19

Club Chelsea

The next Kaka

Piazon has been a revelation in Chelsea's first NextGen campaign, while also making his first-team debut for the club in the 8-0 win against Aston Villa. The Brazilian has scored 19 goals in 22 games for his country's youth team and recently joined the Spanish side Malaga on loan to further his first team experience.

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