Barcelona and Real Madrid teens among Euro 2024's must-watch youngsters


With Euro 2024 kicking off this evening, we have picked out 10 young players to keep an eye out for. These are the ones who'll look to kickstart their career with one of the most historic pieces of international silverware. In this list, the likes of Germany, Spain, Netherlands and France are represented 


Lamine Yamal - Spain 


When he makes his first appearance at Euro 2024, Lamine Yamal will become the youngest ever player to play at the European Championship. The world is very much at the feet of the 16-year-old, whose WhoScored rating of 7.11 was the best of all teenagers in Europe's top five leagues last season. Arguably one of the most exciting talents in world football, Yamal will be confident of carrying his club form into the tournament having scored five and assisted five for Barcelona in 2023/24. 


Florian Wirtz - Germany 


Fresh from playing a key role in Bayer Leverkusen's title triumph, Florian Wirtz is out to maximise home advantage. Wirtz was one of two players to register double figures for both goals (11) and assists (11) in the Bundesliga last season as the youngster makes up for lost time having missed a significant chunk of 2022 owing to a serious knee injury. The 21-year-old won possession in the attacking third more times (36) than any other player in the Bundesliga last season, and with an eye for a defence-splitting pass combined with his impressive work ethic; the forward is rightly considered one of Germany's key men. 


Georgiy Sudakov - Ukraine 


Not yet a household name across the continent, that is soon to change. Georgiy Sudakov is the jewell in Shakhtar Donetsk's crown and Euro 2024 will be the tournament he explodes onto the scene. Already linked with a high-profile summer switch - Shakhtar are supposedly demanding €70m from interested parties - there's a good reason for such significant interest in his services. Sudakov's playing style has been likened to that of Phil Foden in that he works very well in tight spaces and is able to pry apart a backline with ease. If Ukraine go deep into Euro 2024, then the 21-year-old will have a big part to play. 


Giorgi Mamardashvili - Georgia 


After a superb season with Valencia, Giorgi Mamardashvili is looking to use Euro 2024 as a tournament to establish himself as one of Europe's finest shotstoppers. The 23-year-old finished the La Liga campaign having made the sixth most saves (106) in the division and he'll be tested frequently in Germany this summer. Georgia will be playing in their first international major tournament and the lack of experience at this level may well count against them. However, with a goalkeeper of Mamardashvili's calibre between the sticks, they'll have a fighting chance of making it out of a tough Group F. 


Mario Mitaj - Albania 


Albania were unfortunate to have been drawn in the Group of Death as the gear up to face Croatia, Italy and Spain in Germany. The Red and Blacks secured their Euro 2024 spot having conceded just four goals from eight games, and it's clear that Albania won't be there to make up the numbers. Mario Mitaj is one who'll look to use the tournament to really break onto the scene. Able to operate at both left-back and in midfield, Mitaj was excellent for Lokomotiv Moscow last season playing in a number of roles for the Russian side. Indeed, the 20-year-old got forward well having completed 1.7 successful dribbles per 90, while he reads the game impressively having finished the season second for interceptions per 90 (1.8) in Russia's top tier. 


Benjamin Sesko - Slovenia 


Benjamin Sesko turned down the chance to move to the Premier League this summer having put pen to paper on a new RB Leipzig contract, which crucially removed the £55m release clause in his previous deal. With no transfer speculation, Sesko can now focus on Slovenia's Euro 2024 campaign as he looks to help his nation to the knockout stages. The 21-year-old scored 14 league goals last season, a fine haul given his lack of game time for the German side in the first half of the campaign, while a conversion rate of 29.8% was the second best in the Bundesliga. England - you have been warned... 


Barcelona and Real Madrid teens among Euro 2024's must-watch youngsters


Arda Guler - Turkiye 


Following his move to Real Madrid last season, Arda Guler struggled to make an immediate impact in Spain, though injuries didn't aid the 19-year-old. Nevertheless, once Los Blancos had all-but wrapped up the title, Guler was given his chance to shine under Carlo Ancelotti and didn't disappoint. Indeed, the teenager ended the campaign with six league goals to his name and his fine end-of-season form may well have convinced Vincenzo Montella that he deserves a starting spot this summer, whereas previously the Italian may have elected to use the former Fenerbahce man sparingly to ease him into tournament football. 


Joshua Zirkzee - Netherlands 


Injuries to both Teun Koopmeiners and Frenkie de Jong, saw Ian Maatsen and Joshua Zirkzee called up to the Netherlands squad for Euro 2024. The latter will look to continue what has been a solid season for Bologna with the Dutch forward netting 11 times and providing a further four assists as the Italian side claimed a Champions League finish. Zirkzee has been attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and AC Milan and while the 23-year-old may not be first choice for the Oranje, he's a handy alternative to the likes of Memphis Depay and Cody Gakpo for Ronald Koeman. 


Lazar Samardzic - Serbia 


Serbia have a number of notable midfielders on the books. The issue is they may again flatter to deceive on the international stage, so they'll need the youthful exuberance of midfielder Lazar Samardzic to help them over the line. The 22-year-old's performances for lowly Udinese last season have caught the eye of a number of Europe's bigger fish having scored six goals and provided a further two assists. Even with the Zebrette's struggles, Samardzic still made a solid 2.3 key passes per 90 and if given the chance to prove his worth this summer, expect the midfielder to really catch the eye. 


Bradley Barcola - France 


Didier Deschamps has his starting XI set in stone this summer as one of the tournament favourites aim to claim a third European Championship. However, it's Deschamps' options in reserve that may prove crucial in Germany. Bradley Barcola shone in his debut campaign for PSG having joined from Lyon last summer, ending 2023/24 with four goals and seven assists to his name, this despite playing second fiddle to Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele. While he fared better from the outset, Barcola is one who'll enjoy running at tired defences and against sides that'll sit deep; the 21-year-old could prove to be France's wildcard.

Barcelona and Real Madrid teens among Euro 2024's must-watch youngsters