The draw for the Champions League group stages has taken place, and it’s just a matter of weeks now until the first round of fixtures are played, with matchday 1 set to take place between 14-15 September. Of course, one of the main things that football fans around the continent love about Europe’s primary club competition, other than dipping their toes in the Champions League betting markets, is getting a glimpse of the best up-and-coming talents.
With most of Europe’s biggest clubs plying their trade in the Champions League, lots of young, talented players take centre stage on European nights under the floodlights, and in recent seasons, we have saw the likes of Erling Braut Håland, Pedri and Jude Bellingham break through the ranks of their respective clubs. So, with this year’s tournament on the horizon, we have picked out four youngsters from around Europe who could showcase their skills this season. Read on to find out more.
Harvey Elliott – Liverpool
Signed by Liverpool from Fulham in July 2019, Harvey Elliott spent last season out on loan at Blackburn Rovers in the English Championship, scoring seven times and setting up 11 goals in 41 appearances for the Ewood Park side. With Liverpool cash strapped and Xherdan Shaqiri moving to Ligue 1 side Lyon, Elliott has progressed in Jürgen Klopp’s pecking order, featuring in both of their opening Premier League games, and with matches coming thick and fast throughout the course of the season, the 18-year-old will surely get minutes in the Champions League, giving him the chance to show the world what he’s truly about.
Youssoufa Moukoko – Borussia Dortmund
The youngest player to ever make a Champions League appearance, coming on for his debut in 2-1 win away to Zenit St Petersburg just 18 days after his 16th birthday, Youssoufa Moukoko wasn’t even old enough to be eligible for Dortmund’s first three games of the group. The 16-year-old made a 32-minute cameo on his debut in Russia, but, since he has already racked up some Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal minutes this season, you can bet he’ll be given more time to make a name for himself by BVB manager Marco Rose this year!
Nuno Mendes – Sporting Lisbon
There has been a lot of excitement coming out of Portugal surrounding Sporting Lisbon starlet Nuno Mendes, and after breaking into the Leões starting XI last season, making 29 Liga Nos appearances across the course of the campaign, the 19-year-old has attracted a lot of interest from Europe’s elite, including Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. Mendes is set to stay at Sporting — for another season at least — and if he can display his talent on the European stage, then his stock will only rise across the continent, and in turn, so will his price tag.
Maxence Lacroix – Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg’s return to the Champions League group stages for the first time in five years allows some of their talented players to gain European football experience, and Maxence Lacroix will be keen to meet the task head on. Not the most favoured side in the Champions League betting tips, the 21-year-old centre-back played a huge role in helping propel Wolfsburg back into the competition, and with scouts from the likes of Real Madrid and RB Leipzig likely watching on, he won’t want to put a foot wrong.