Five young players to watch at the 2016 Copa America

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Which of these players are you most looking forward to seeing in action?

The Copa America has thrust some of the biggest names in football into the wider world’s consciousness and the 2016 edition is expected to be no different.

Which of these young stars are you most excited to see in action and who do you think will have the greatest impact on the tournament?

Have your say by commenting below or using #360fans across social media.

ANOTONIO SANABRIA
Team:
Paraguay | Age: 20

Position:
Forward/attacking midfielder

Sanabria honed his talent in Barcelona’s La Masia academy before being tempted to Italy by Roma. He spent last season on loan back in Spain with Sporting Gijon with his 11 goals absolutely vital as they narrowly avoided relegation.

ADALBERTO PENARANDA
Team: Venezuela | Age: 19
Position: Forward

Touted as the next big thing in his homeland, the Venezuelan impressed while on-loan at Granada from Premier League Watford last season, scoring eight times and providing five assists across all competitions. Comfortable up front or on the left side, he has pace, trickery and an eye for goal.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC
Team: USA | Age: 17
Position: Midfielder/playmaker

Undoubtedly the rising star of US football, Pulisic was fast-tracked from the Borussia Dortmund academy into the first-team last season at the tender age of 17. His qualities were obvious and he scored twice in 12 appearances. Last month, he scored in a friendly against Bolivia to become the youngest player to ever score a goal for the US at 17 years and 253 days old.

FABINHO
Team:
Brazil | Age: 22
Position: Full-back

Despite being just 22 years old, the Monaco star has already played 96 Ligue 1 games and established himself as one of Europe’s most sought-after right full-backs. The Brazilian is quick, athletic and robust, he is in the mould of so many adventurous Canarinho full-backs before him.

RENATO TAPIA
Team: Peru | Age: 20
Position: Midfielder

A tall and classy midfielder, Tapia came through the ranks at FC Twente in the Netherlands, and after playing just 31 Eredivisie games for their senior team he was snapped up by Dutch giants Feyernood in January.

Most popular

#360view: Marcus Rashford’s obvious quality and nerveless demeanour suggests this is just the start

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Rashford has been rewarded with a new United deal.

Marcus Rashford would not have dared to dream even four months ago that consecutive summer days would bring the announcement of a lucrative new deal at Manchester United and a spot on the plane to Euro 2016.

This is the fairytale the prodigious striker is currently living, a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ comic strip brought vividly to life.

The unchecked rise of one of British football’s brightest prospects is widely expected to continue with a place in Roy Hodgson’s final 23-man England squad to travel to France. This follows on the back of pictures being sent out showing him signing a contract until at least 2020 with the hometown club he has supported throughout his life, worth a reported £25,000 per-week (Dh134,379).

Not bad for an 18-year-old who still lives at home with his mother and was unknown to many of his prospective United team-mates prior to February’s tie-saving double against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League during his unexpected first-team bow.

Yet, what is so exciting about Rashford is the undeniable sense that much more is still to come.

His awareness in possession and impressive link-up play means he can be judged on far more than a healthy return of eight goals during his first 18 United appearances, or the calm way he dispatched a volley just 138 seconds into Friday’s 2-1 win against Australia to become his nation’s youngest-ever debut goalscorer.

The task now is to build on a breakthrough spell carried out at breakneck speed. It would be churlish to back against him.

Obvious recent benchmarks come in the guise of current and former United players.

Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen were the last young forwards to explode into the national consciousness, with the first steps for both carried out on enemy territory in Merseyside.

The former, then just 17, found the back of the net eight times during 37 appearances for Everton during 2002/03, while Owen’s first campaign of regular football at Liverpool during 1997/98 saw 23 goals plundered in 44 matches.

Rashford needed less than half those games to register the same as Rooney a year before his quantum leap at Euro 2004.

A similar impact across the English Channel in the coming weeks would be hard to match, yet alone the record 52-goal international tally the 30-year-old now holds.

Rashford can instead be expected to perform a wildcard role at Euro 2016. Anything more would be a significant bonus to Hodgson.

Instead, it is Owen’s club figures which are the most pertinent. They will need to be matched, at least, next term for his progression not to be checked.

A significant historic challenge lies in front of Rashford. No youth product has become a regular fixture up top for United since Mark Hughes, with the Wales great even needing to return after spells at Barcelona and Bayern Munich before his place was cemented.

Danny Welbeck came closest in the intervening years, yet 29 goals in 142 appearances show why he was sold to Arsenal in September 2014. New boss Jose Mourinho is supposed to be enchanted by Rashford’s development. But the ‘Special One’ neither has a track record of showing patience with youngsters, or possesses the luxury of time in his bid to turn United around.

If Rashford does not hit the ground running next term, a spot on the bench awaits. Although, his unflappable nature suggests this is not a challenge he will shirk from.

His growth is not also likely to be unduly harmed if the Portuguese is reunited with Sweden veteran Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford.

The 34-year-old will imbue him further with a ceaseless winning mentality and also not be expected to start every match at No9.

Chances will arrive to impress.

And the growing weight of evidence suggests he will have no problem taking them.

Most popular

Five things we learned from England vs Turkey

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Jamie Vardy scored in the 83rd minute to give England a 2-1 win over Turkey (Photo credit: SCOTT HEPPELL/AFP/Getty Images)

England were fortunate in victory as Roy Hodgson gave his side their first pre-Euro 2016 outing at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, relying on a Jamie Vardy winner to edge out Turkey.

In amongst it all, Hodgson will have seen some positives and taken a few things on board that will need addressing before heading to France.

Here, we look at five of those things.

SHAKY DEFENCE

Despite the array of emerging English talent offensively, defensively they’re still lacking. Too many sloppy errors led to chances for Turkey, chances better sides would’ve punished.

Since the centre-back partnership of John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, no one has stepped up and made the position their own and it’s become a long-term problem no manager has tackled.

An impressive season at Manchester United has seen Chris Smalling play his way into Roy’s starting XI, but a partner is yet to be decided.

Gary Cahill and John Stones both endured inconsistent seasons, while Phil Jagielka’s form has seen him left out of England’s plans entirely.

Regardless of how well England can look going forward, unless a solid partnership is formed sharpish this side will undoubtedly come unstuck this summer.

KANE AND VARDY NEED TO BE CENTRAL

Questions have been asked on how the two – or even if the two – will fit into the same team.

Vardy has now scored in three consecutive international matches, while Harry Kane (the evening’s other goal scorer) continually impresses on the big stage.

But playing together in a system like Hodgson’s, with only one through the middle, means sacrificing the other. Vardy was pushed out wide, meaning England lost his ability to roll off the last man, while Harry Kane anywhere other than through the middle won’t cut it.

Both are top class forwards who are deserving of a starting place, but unless Roy is willing to adapt his approach to suit them both, it just won’t work.

JACK WILSHERE IS READY

Since his inclusion in the provisional 26-man squad, opinions have been voiced on whether Wilshere should be France-bound.

Playing less than an hour’s worth of domestic action after a lengthy lay-off isn’t ideal preparation for a major tournament, but should a team be picked solely on form?

Form is temporary, but class is permanent, and Wilshere has the latter in abundance.

He’s a game changer and – despite his injury struggles – is one of the most talented, exciting English players since Gazza.

If he’s fit, there are few better in the country than Wilshere on his day and he has the ability to turn a game on its head.

RAHEEM STERLING FLATTERS TO DECEIVE… AGAIN

Another player whose selection has come under scrutiny is Sterling, the Manchester City winger suffering a torrid season where he failed to make any sort of impact. However, despite his poor form, Hodgson remains a big fan.

Given the chance to impress this evening, Sterling again disappointed and failed to get a foothold in the game. He looked sluggish in possession and made bad decisions on a number of occasions.

There’s no chance of Sterling missing out on France, but questions will be asked if he’s in the starting XI come the game against Russia.

DELE ALLI’S TEMPER REMAINS A CONCERN

Dele Alli’s hair-trigger temper, which saw him miss the last three games of the season, surfaced again as he grabbed Oguzhan Ozyakup around the neck in the first-half before later sliding in late on an opponent.

Alli has emerged as one of England’s most influential players but will need to keep a lid on his emotions at Euro 2016 or he could cost England dearly.

Most popular