The European Under-21 Championship, set to kick off this week, serves as a platform for the emerging talents to display their skills on the international stage. As the tournament commences, England aims to secure their first title since 1984, and here are five players who have the potential to make headlines in Georgia and Romania.
Mykhailo Mudryk (Ukraine, Winger)
Despite his staggering £89m price tag, Mykhailo Mudryk is a player worth watching closely. The winger attracted interest from both Arsenal and Chelsea before joining the Blues from Shakhtar Donetsk in January. Since his move to Stamford Bridge, Mudryk has faced challenges adapting to the Premier League, with only 15 appearances and seven starts under his belt. However, this tournament presents him with an opportunity to gain valuable game time and rediscover his form ahead of the upcoming season under the guidance of manager Mauricio Pochettino. Having already represented the senior Ukrainian side, Mudryk’s potential as an electrifying winger is yet to be fully realized, given his limited experience of less than 100 senior professional games.
Levi Colwill (England, Centre-half)
Levi Colwill has enjoyed an impressive season thus far. The 20-year-old centre-back showcased outstanding performances while on loan at Brighton from Chelsea, playing a vital role in the Seagulls’ qualification for the Europa League. Brighton reportedly made a £40m bid for the defender, but Chelsea has made it clear that they consider Colwill an integral part of their squad for the upcoming season under Pochettino. Colwill’s progress extends beyond the club level, as he was invited to train with the England senior squad following the withdrawals of Lewis Dunk and Jude Bellingham during his time at St George’s Park as part of an England Under-21 preparation camp. Manager Gareth Southgate has praised Colwill’s strong mentality and temperament, making him a player to keep an eye on.
Youssoufa Moukoko (Germany, Forward)
Youssoufa Moukoko stands as one of the brightest young strikers in Europe. Holding records as the youngest player to debut and score in the Bundesliga, as well as the youngest player to feature in the Champions League, the 18-year-old has already represented the senior German side, playing at the World Cup in Qatar. With Borussia Dortmund, he has become a regular starter, netting seven league goals last season. Former Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who excelled with 52 goals for Manchester City during their Treble-winning campaign, has even hailed Moukoko as superior to his younger self. Such high praise suggests that Moukoko possesses the potential to evolve into a feared goal-scoring threat.
Sandro Tonali (Italy, Midfielder)
At 23 years old, Sandro Tonali will participate in his final outing for Italy’s Under-21 team, making him one of the oldest players in the tournament. As a central midfielder, Tonali plays a pivotal role for AC Milan and boasts a Scudetto medal in his trophy cabinet. His performances have attracted attention from clubs across Europe, including some from the Premier League, as he was part of Milan’s Champions League semi-final run. Tonali’s tireless work ethic is evident, having accumulated nearly 300 games since his career’s start at Brescia in 2017. His leadership qualities will be crucial for Italy’s progression from a challenging group that features a talented French squad.
Rayan Cherki (France, Attacking Midfielder)
Despite being only 19 years old, Rayan Cherki already feels like a seasoned player, making his debut for Lyon at the age of 16 in 2019. Cherki joins the ranks of illustrious talents nurtured by Lyon’s academy, including Karim Benzema, Anthony Martial, Hatem Ben Arfa, and Alexandre Lacazette. Being a highly sought-after wonderkid, Cherki has been linked to top European clubs, with recent interest reportedly coming from Paris St-Germain and Newcastle. The France Under-21 squad boasts tremendous quality, and Cherki, donning the number 10 shirt, appears destined to showcase his immense talent during this tournament.
[Additional unrelated content removed]
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about European Under-21 Championship: Rising stars
Q: When does the 2023 European Under-21 Championship take place and where is it hosted?
A: The 2023 European Under-21 Championship takes place from June 21 to July 8. The tournament is hosted by Romania and Georgia.
Q: Which country is looking to win the tournament for the first time since 1984?
A: England is aiming to win the European Under-21 Championship for the first time since 1984.
Q: Who are the five players to watch in the tournament?
A: The five players to watch in the tournament are Mykhailo Mudryk (Ukraine), Levi Colwill (England), Youssoufa Moukoko (Germany), Sandro Tonali (Italy), and Rayan Cherki (France).
Q: Which club did Mykhailo Mudryk join from and for how much?
A: Mykhailo Mudryk joined Chelsea from Shakhtar Donetsk in a £89m transfer.
Q: Which player has been praised by former Dortmund striker Erling Haaland?
A: Former Dortmund striker Erling Haaland has praised Youssoufa Moukoko, stating that Moukoko is already better than Haaland was at the same age.
Q: Who has attracted attention from clubs across Europe, including some in the Premier League?
A: Sandro Tonali has attracted attention from clubs across Europe, including some in the Premier League, due to his performances for AC Milan.
Q: Who is considered one of the brightest young strikers in Europe?
A: Youssoufa Moukoko is considered one of the brightest young strikers in Europe, holding various records and representing the senior German side.
Q: Which country’s Under-21 squad is packed with quality and features Rayan Cherki wearing the number 10 shirt?
A: France’s Under-21 squad is packed with quality, and Rayan Cherki has been given the number 10 shirt, indicating his prominence in the team.