The Olympics are upon us, and the men’s football tournament begins even before the opening ceremony starts… (that’s how important it is). With Team GB not deciding to field a team in this year’s competition, these nine young lads should be enough to get you excited about things despite the lack of a British presence!
Carlos Mane – 22, Portugal
Another bright Sporting Lisbon product, apparently heavily on Celtic’s radar. I’m sure our old friend Brendan could teach him a thing or two about developing his character… what a technician.
Angel Correa – 21, Argentina
This young lad is a real fighter, sadly diagnosed with a heart tumour in the summer of 2014, but fought back and is now a developing talent under Diego Simeone. Because the beautiful game loves nothing more than an over-the-top comparison, he has been likened to Carlos Tevez!
Thiago Maia – 19, Brazil
A Santos prospect being heavily followed by Antonio Conte – this central midfielder seems to have it all in his locker, including a pretty outstanding beard for a 19-year-old.
Marquinhos – 22, Brazil
A highly regarded centre-half signed by PSG for a whopping €31.4 million – this 22-year-old has a hell of a rocket in his game as well… ‘take a bow son’.
Takuma Asano – 21, Japan
A recent recruitment within the Arsenal ranks, as Arsène Wenger thinks he’s better than Gonzalo Higuaín, Karim Benzema and Alexandre Lacazette combined. However, the above brace in a 4-2 defeat suggests the Frenchman could be right about the number 10…
Davie Selke – 21, Germany
Although the skinny German giant reminds us of a budget Peter Crouch, the tall striker will act as vintage target man in spearheading the German attack. He’s split opinion in Germany due to him dropping a league to play more football. We’ll see if big Davie can win them back in Brazil with a Crouchy-style robot celebration.
Gabriel Barbosa – 19, Brazil
Dubbed the new ‘Neymar’, but how many times have we heard that? Captain Barbosa possesses a left-footed wand that a certain Riyad Mahrez would be proud of.
Julian Brandt & Max Meyer – 20 (both), Germany
Finally, we’ll end with two Germans. The pair look like long lost cousins, and both seem to have just about everything in their locker. The player comparison suggests the Germans should be taken very seriously in the competition.