Five To Watch At The Under-20s World Cup

The Under-20s World Cup starts in Turkey on Friday, so Daniel Storey picks out five men to watch. A chance for United fans to check out a new boy, plus others...

Last Updated: 20/06/13 at 16:37 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Liverpool Have Not Repeated Spurs' Failings

Post comment

That's the view of Matt Stanger, who says Brendan Rodgers is doing his best to sidestep a difficult problem in the transfer market. Liverpool can find value if they stick to their guns...

Anyone But Rooney. Or Baines. Or Hart.

Post comment

There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...

All Articles

Geoffrey Kondogbia (Sevilla and France)
The seriousness displayed by France (and their coach, Pierre Mankowski) for the Under-20 World Cup is demonstrated perfectly by the selection of Juventus's Paul Pogba. With 27 league appearances during a Serie A title-winning season (and two senior caps), it's quite a coup for the tournament for the ex-Manchester United midfielder to be on show.

However, whilst Pogba generates headlines, it is the presence of fellow midfielder Kondogbia that is most exciting. A defensive midfielder also comfortable playing at left back or in central defence, the Frenchman has been subject to reported interest from Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal ever since his move from Lens to Sevilla last summer. 31 appearances in La Liga last season is mightily impressive, and after already being involved in a €4million deal aged 19, Kondogbia's value will climb further should his country impress. The 12/1 on the French to win (and 4/1 to make the final) looks fine pre-tournament value.


Guillermo Varela (Manchester United and Uruguay)
Such tournaments often offer a preview of potential Premier League recruits, with scouts from Europe's highest-profile clubs desperate to sign up another young prodigy, but in the case of Guillermo Varela, Manchester United have already completed their business, unveiling the Uruguayan on a five-year deal last week. The 20-year-old full-back, signed from Penarol in his native country, cost the club £1million and United fans can take the next three weeks as an opportunity to scout their new signing.

A South American right-back who actually seemingly enjoys defending as much as attacking, it is less a surprise to find a Uruguayan defender that is easily filed under 'no-nonsense'. However, with pace and impressive stamina (one of the principle reasons for United's purchase, according to the club), Varela is intended to provide genuine competition for Rafael within his first year at the club.

One thing is for sure, Jeff Powell will be watching intently, keen to clue up on the 'second-tier' defender.


Richmond Boakye (Juventus and Ghana)
There was some umming and ahing over including three players from the same group (Ghana are in the 'Group of Death' with France and Spain, the two finalists from last year's U-19 Euros) but Boakye is a talent that caught my interest last season, and warrants mention.

On loan from Juventus, Boakye was part of the Sassuolo side that completed an astonishing promotion to Serie A, just seven seasons after participating in Serie C2 and with a town of just 41,000 people. At Sassuolo, Boakye operated as part of an often rotated attacking triumvirate, and at just 20 years old, no-one scored more league goals for the club.

Signed by Juve from Genoa for €4million on a co-ownership deal in 2012 after impressing in his first season at Sassuolo, the striker formed an impressive partnership in Genoa's youth set-up with now Milan forward Stephan El Sharaawy. Boakye already has five appearances and two goals for the senior Ghanaian side, and it is a shame that his side should be presumed to fall at the first hurdle.


Gerard Deulofeu (Barcelona and Spain)
Another tournament in which Spain possess numerous talents who look set to impress, but perhaps the tournament favourites' most prodigious talent is Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu. Comfortable as a forward or winger, Deulofeu has found his Barcelona first-team options limited to two La Liga substitute appearances, but in May signed a contract until 2017 at the Nou Camp.

18 goals in 33 league games for Barca B last season hinted at his potential, but it is on the international stage that the 19-year-old has truly shone. He won the Under-19 European Championships in 2011 and 2012, and in last year's tournament was named as the Golden Player.

Deulofeu is a player that has almost continuously been linked with a Premier League move, but Borussia Dortmund have also reportedly shown interest, with Jurgen Klopp believing him to be an ideal replacement for the departed Mario Gotze. A £29million release clause indicates Barcelona's willingness to retain.


Jherson Vergara Amu (AC Milan and Colombia)
With Cristian Zapata and Mario Yepes already at the San Siro, and Ivan Cordoba also based in the city, it is perhaps no surprise that AC Milan were able to complete the signing of Amu from Deportes Quindio, but the Rossonieri were certainly at the head of a sizeable queue for the defender.

At 6'2" and just 19 years old, Amu has all the attributes required to be successful. He is strong and physical, but also capable of running the ball out of defence with ease. Clearly purchased as a thought for the future (Amu does not hold an EU passport as yet), a transfer fee of £1.75million indicates a degree of intent from Milan.

Colombia are one of the favourites to take the title in Turkey, and with the national team close to securing World Cup qualification, it appears that the country may be on an upwards footballing curve. Jherson Amu has the potential to be part of that for the next 15 years.

Daniel Storey - follow him on Twitter

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Premier League: Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool will move on without Luis Suarez

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists there is no bad blood between the club and the outgoing Luis Suarez.

Transfer news: Liverpool appear to be close to completing a deal for Loic Remy

Liverpool are closing in on the signing of Loic Remy with the French forward reportedly having his medical in Boston.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward says Manchester United are still global giant

Manchester United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward insists the club are still the biggest in the world.

Mail Box

Anyone But Rooney. Or Baines. Or Hart.

There isn't a great deal of excitement in the Mailbox regarding England's potential new captain, but we have good stuff on Gerrard's development and a one club man team...

Goodbye Patrice And Farewell Steven...

Man United fans say a fond farewell to Patrice Evra in the mailbox while there are also thoughts on Steven Gerrard's retirement from England duty. Plus, some rare cricket bantz...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property