Whoscored.com's World Cup Ones To Watch

With the World Cup just around the corner, Whoscored.com have picked out ten youngsters that will be worth keeping an eye on in Brazil...

Last Updated: 14/05/14 at 10:41 Post Comment

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With the competing nations now naming their provisional squads for this summer's World Cup the excitement ahead of the tournament is growing, with less than a month until the big kick-off.

The quadrennial showcase is a chance for the world's elite to exhibit their talents in front of a global audience, but it's also a chance to take a closer look at some of the stars of the future. In turn, WhoScored.com have chosen the top 10 youngsters to look out for based on their unique statistical ratings from the domestic season across some of the biggest leagues in the world.

To qualify all players must be 21 or under at the start of the competition on June 12. Players that have been omitted from the squads already chosen have been overlooked and just one representative per nation have been considered, so without further ado here's the rundown:


10) Saed Kolasinac (Bosnia & Herzegovina) - 7.05 WhoScored.com rating
Touted as a potential transfer target for managerless Manchester United, it would be no shock if the Red Devils had cast their eye over Kolasinac, with Patrice Evra's contract expiring this summer. The left-back has cemented his place in the Schalke side since the winter break and proven to be very dependable, with the 20-year old having averaged the most tackles per game (2.9) for Bundesliga's third placed outfit this season.


9) Marco Verratti (Italy) - 7.13 WhoScored.com rating
Earmarked as the replacement for Azzurri legend Andrea Pirlo, Marco Verratti is already a mainstay for Parisian powerhouse PSG. Laurent Blanc's side have marched to Ligue 1 glory once again, with their diminutive deep-lying playmaker a key component.

The 21-year old attempted a pass more often than any other player in France's top tier (every 0.8 minutes), unsurprisingly emerging as very strong when it comes to passing, as well as dribbling and blocking the ball, according to WhoScored's player characteristics.


8) Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) - 7.22 WhoScored.com rating
A familiar face to Premier League fans after two hugely successful loan spells over the past two seasons, Romelu Lukaku will hope to lead the way for a star-studded Belgium side in the absence of the injured Christian Benteke.

The domineering front man only turned 21 this week and ended the campaign for an impressive Everton outfit with 15 goals and 6 assists.


7) Raheem Sterling (England) - 7.39 WhoScored.com rating
One of the emerging youth that England fans are pinning their hopes on this summer, Liverpool's Raheem Sterling is the Three Lions' top rated youngster.

The winger only turned 19 in December and came on leaps and bounds in the second half of a campaign that he ended with 9 goals. He offers direct running and electric pace, having secured the best dribble success rate of any winger in the Premier League this season (64.3%).


6) Son Heung-Min (South Korea) - 7.40 WhoScored.com rating
Bayer Leverkusen's enterprising young forward is the poster boy of the South Korean national team and comes into the tournament in good form.

Netting 10 times in his first season with the Champions League qualifiers after a summer move from HSV, Son is a confident player, mustering 2.7 shots and completing 2.8 dribbles per game in the Bundesliga in the 2013/14 campaign.


5) Serge Aurier (Ivory Coast) - 7.43 WhoScored.com rating
Reportedly the subject of concrete interest from Arsenal now that Bacary Sagna looks set to leave the club, there's little surprise that Serge Aurier has caught the Gunners' eye.

Capable of playing at the heart of the back line as well as using his supreme athleticism down the right flank, the 21-year old has developed strengths of aerial duels, key passes, dribbling and tackling from WhoScored.com, with 6 goals and 6 assists to his name for Toulouse this season.


4) Paul Pogba (France) - 7.64 WhoScored.com rating
To establish yourself as a key member of one of the strongest midfields in Europe in such a short space of time takes some talent. Lucky then that Paul Pogba has it in abundance.

Since a move to Juventus from United the 21-year old has epitomised the all-action, box-to-box midfielder, scoring 7 goals and registering 7 assists this season, whilst also averaging 2 successful dribbles and 2.4 tackles per game. Pogba is likely to play a key role for les Bleus this summer.


3) Julian Draxler (Germany) - 7.69 WhoScored.com rating
One of an alarmingly large crop of young talent coming through the German ranks, Julian Draxler is the top rated this season, with Gotze set to turn 22 before the World Cup gets underway.

The 20-year old averaged a huge 4.1 successful dribbles per game for Schalke this term, providing 2.3 key passes per match for a total of 6 assists. His versatility across the line of three behind the striker will certainly be a welcome option for Low.


2) Memphis Depay (Netherlands) - 7.72 WhoScored.com rating
A likely inclusion in Louis van Gaal's Netherlands squad, Memphis Depay will be one to watch for the Oranje in Brazil.

The left-winger scored 12 goals and registered 7 assists for PSV Eindhoven in Eredivisie this season, mustering the most shots (162), the most successful dribbles (101) and completing the second most key passes (87) in the Dutch top-flight, having only begun the campaign as a teenager.


1) Ricardo Rodriguez (Switzerland) - 8.01 WhoScored.com rating
Topping our leaderboard with a rating of 8.01, Ricardo Rodriguez may not be a household name across Europe but fans of German football will know all about the young Swiss left-back after his exceptional performances for Wolfsburg this season.

A member of a bright and emerging footballing nation, Rodriguez picked up 9 assists from the back this term, with his delivery into the box a real asset to the Wolves. With 2.6 dribbles, 2.3 key passes and 2.1 accurate crosses per game he is symbolic of the modern day attacking full-back - weighing in with 5 goals - but Rodriguez also averaged 3 tackles and 3.1 aerial duels won per game.

By Martin Laurence. Follow him on Twitter.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

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