Fifty for the future: UEFA.com's ones to watch in 2020
We asked UEFA.com’s team of reporters across the continent to pick out some of Europe’s rising stars. How many of our 50 will be household names by this time in 2021?
Yacine Adli (FRA, 19 – Bordeaux)
Signed from Paris in January 2019, Adli scored a beauty at Marseille in December, and is learning from a holding midfield master in Bordeaux boss Paulo Sousa.
Blendi Baftiu (KOS, 21 – Ballkani)
A gifted attacking midfielder, Baftiu headed into the winter break as top scorer in the Kosovan league with ten goals in 17 games; is expected to receive a first senior call-up in 2020.
Alessandro Bastoni (ITA, 20 – Inter)
After a season on loan at Parma, the central defender returned to Inter in summer 2019; made his Serie A debut for the club in September, and has kept his place.
Myron Boadu (NED, 18 – AZ)
Born in Amsterdam to Ghanaian parents, the Dutch U21 striker has dazzled in his first full season in AZ’s senior team, scoring freely in the Eredivisie and UEFA Europa League.
Domagoj Bradarić (CRO, 20 – LOSC Lille)
Skilful and great going forward, Bradarić was a regular at Hajduk Split at 18, and the left-back has kept performing since his summer move to France.
Eduardo Camavinga (FRA, 17 – Rennes)
Quick and skilful, the midfielder broke into the Rennes side towards the end of last season; regular for the Breton outfit in 2019/20, scoring his first Ligue 1 goal in December.
Rayan Cherki (FRA, 16 – Lyon)
A striker touted as Ligue 1’s greatest young talent since Kylian Mbappé; youth team boss Jean-Baptiste Gregoire says: “He creates the unexpected and captures everyone’s attention.”
Jonathan David (CAN, 19 – Gent)
Scored 11 goals in his first 12 games for Canada, and has impressed in Belgium too; has scored 20+ for Gent, plus two in this season’s UEFA Europa League group stage.
Zuriko Davitashvili (GEO, 18 – Rubin Kazan)
The midfielder has made the giant leap up from the Georgian league to the Russian league look effortless; the son of prolific striker Suliko Davitashvili is already a senior international.
Dodô (BRA, 21 – Shakhtar Donetsk)
The 1.66m-tall right-back spent the spring in Portugal with Vitória SC and has settled well in Ukraine since returning in the summer, starting regularly in the UEFA Champions League.
Odsonne Édouard (FRA, 21 – Celtic)
Strong, athletic and deceptively quick, the ex-Paris trainee links play well and is ice-cool in front of goal; a U21 star for France, he ended 2019 top scorer in Scotland.
Dimitris Emmanouilidis (GRE, 19 – Panathinaikos)
Loaned to Panionios, the winger scored twice in 91 minutes of football as a substitute in the autumn – including one against his parent club’s arch-rivals Olympiacos.
Fábio Silva (POR, 17 – Porto)
The son of twice-capped Portugal international Jorge Silva, the striker became Porto’s youngest Liga debutant (aged 17 and 22 days) in August, and youngest ever scorer in October.
Ansu Fati (ESP, 17 – Barcelona)
Became the youngest ever UEFA Champions League goalscorer, aged 17 years 40 days, when Barcelona beat Inter 2-1 in December; already capped by Spain U21s.
Florentino Luís (POR, 20 – Benfica)
The Eagles’ rising star has been called ‘O Polvo’ (The Octopus) in Portugal since he has tentacles everywhere in midfield. The energetic ball-winner features high on many scouts’ lists.
Bryan Gil (ESP, 18 – Sevilla)
Became Sevilla’s youngest-ever Liga scorer in April and made more history in November as the first Spaniard born in the 21st century to score in the UEFA Europa League.
Mason Greenwood (ENG, 18 – Manchester United)
The two-footed forward struck against Astana aged 17 years 353 days to become United’s youngest ever European scorer; made his first Premier League start in December.
Reece James (ENG, 20 – Chelsea)
On loan at Wigan last season, the powerful full-back has become a regular starter for Chelsea in recent months and scored on his UEFA Champions League home debut.
Boubacar Kamara (FRA, 20 – Marseille)
Regular centre-back for resurgent Marseille for the second season in a row, Kamara is only 1.78m tall but makes up for the lack of height with speed and intelligence.
Lee Kang-in (KOR, 18 – Valencia)
The South Korea attacking midfielder scored on his full Liga debut in September and in the same month become the youngest Korean to appear in the UEFA Champions League.
Michał Karbownik (POL, 18 – Legia)
A left-sided defender who can play an N’Golo Kanté role in midfield, Karbownik is a Legia regular, and could be the most expensive player in Ekstraklasa history when he leaves.
Vadim Karpov (RUS, 17 – CSKA Moskva)
The homegrown talent became the youngest defender to appear in Russia’s top tier at 17 years and 70 days, and is already a regular for the Army Men.
Sékou Koïta (MLI, 20 – Salzburg)
Overshadowed by Erling Braut Haaland, the Mali international had a fine autumn with Salzburg, including six goals in his first seven league games for the club.
Jules Koundé (FRA, 21 – Sevilla)
The central defender impressed at Bordeaux, his ability to spray out long passes persuading Sevilla to sign him in the summer. Now getting regular game time.
Dejan Kulusevski (SWE, 19 – Atalanta)
On loan at Parma, the midfielder did not play UEFA Champions League football in the autumn, but a UEFA EURO 2020 place with Sweden could be ample consolation.
Diego Lainez (MEX, 19 – Betis)
Reportedly the most expensive European signing from a Mexican club when he went to Seville in January, the 1.67m-tall midfielder has a vast passing range.
Noa Lang (NED, 20 – Ajax)
A fast winger, confident and good in tight spaces, Lang became the first Ajax player to score a hat-trick on his full first-team debut since 1959 in December.
Bogdan Lednev (UKR, 21 – Dynamo Kyiv)
Loaned to high-flying Zorya Luhansk for the season, the left-footed playmaker has come into his own, scoring regularly and demonstrating a terrific delivery from free-kicks.
Dennis Man (ROU, 21 – FCSB)
Having made the step up from Romania’s U21s to the seniors, the skilful forward is being prepared for a big move abroad after showing his class in domestic football.
Gabriel Martinelli (BRA, 18 – Arsenal)
The Brazilian became the first Gunner to score four times in his first four starts since Ian Wright; Jürgen Klopp has dubbed the striker “a talent of the century”.
Nikola Moro (CRO, 21 – Dinamo Zagreb)
Strong and stylish, Moro slotted straight back into the Dinamo midfield after a lengthy absence with a knee ligament injury, and could be a Croatia regular before too long.
Rafael Leão (POR, 20 – AC Milan)
Touted as the ‘Portuguese Mbappé’, and rated by his coaches at Sporting as better than Cristiano Ronaldo at an equivalent age, he joined Milan from LOSC last summer.
Troy Parrott (IRL, 17, Tottenham)
A striker who is answering every question asked of him, Parrott made his senior Republic of Ireland debut in 2019 and played his first Premier League match in December.
Strahinja Pavlović (SRB, 18 – Partizan)
A regular starter at centre-back for Partizan for the whole of 2019, Pavlović is expected to join Monaco in January and make his senior Serbia debut in 2020.
Panagiotis Retsos (GRE, 21 – Leverkusen)
The defender’s 2018/19 campaign was ruined by injury, but the former Olympiacos man looks to be fit again; calm and composed, he is a danger from free-kicks.
Bukayo Saka (ENG, 18 – Arsenal)
In September, at 18 years and 14 days old, winger Saka became Arsenal’s youngest European scorer since Aaron Ramsey in 2008.
Oihan Sancet (ESP, 19 – Athletic Club)
The silky attacking midfielder has been making waves in the Basque Country this season as well as becoming an U21 international with Spain.
Arnór Sigurdsson (ISL, 20 – CSKA Moskva)
The youngest Icelandic player ever to appear in a UEFA Champions League game, the midfielder scored his first goal for his country in October.
Boubakary Soumaré (FRA, 20 – LOSC Lille)
Soumaré’s side failed to make it through the UEFA Champions League group stage but his performances in midfield did his reputation no harm at all.
Calvin Stengs (NED, 21 – AZ)
A rangy winger with shades of Arjen Robben, Stengs is enjoying an outstanding season with AZ and recently made his senior debut for the Netherlands.
Magomed-Shapi Suleymanov (RUS, 20 – Krasnodar)
A 1.71m-tall forward from Dagestan, Suleymanov has graduated to Russia’s U21 ranks and is scoring frequently, commanding a regular first-team slot with ambitious Krasnodar.
Dominik Szoboszlai (HUN, 19 – Salzburg)
A senior international with Hungary, this midfield general can shoot with both feet and has been compared to Paul Pogba. English teams are watching him closely.
Tomás Tavares (POR, 18 – Benfica)
Likened to Paris’s Thomas Meunier, the tall, slender, shaggy-haired right-back has been toughened up by regular UEFA Champions League football in the autumn.
Tetê (BRA, 19 – Shakhtar Donetsk)
A menace cutting in from the right wing, Tetê was nicknamed ‘Hurricane’ in his native Brazil for his destructive power; rated highly by Shakhtar, and priced accordingly.
Tomás Esteves (POR, 17 – Porto)
Porto reputedly rejected offers from Manchester City and Barcelona for the right-back, who featured in their 2018/19 UEFA Youth League winning side.
Francisco Trincão (POR, 20 – Braga)
Now an U21 international, the left-sided attacking midfielder was a European champion at U19 level, and has skill, balance and a taste for the spectacular.
Maarten Vandevoordt (BEL, 17 – Genk)
Became the youngest ever goalkeeper in the UEFA Champions League, appearing against Napoli aged 17 years and 287 days in December; grew up in the same street as Simon Mignolet.
Zinho Vanheusden (BEL, 20 – Standard)
Named after 1990s Brazil star Zinho, the central defender left Standard for Inter as a youngster but returned as a Belgian record signing in 2019. Flourishing with regular first-team games.
Yari Verschaeren (BEL, 18 – Anderlecht)
A fine finish against Italy last summer made Verschaeren – at 17 – the youngest scorer in U21 EURO finals history. Caps and a goal at senior level followed.
Dušan Vlahović (SRB, 19 – Fiorentina)
The 1.90m-tall striker signed his first professional contract at 15 with Partizan; in his second season in Florence, the ‘new Ibrahimović’ is fulfilling his promise.