Top-10 young players to watch in 2024

Ryan Allan

Ryan Allan

3

The world of football is constantly evolving, and with it, a new generation of stars emerge year after year. 

In today's article, we've picked out ten of the finest young talents to keep your eye on in 2024.

Evan Ferguson - Brighton & Republic of Ireland

Evan Ferguson burst onto the Premier League stage over the past eighteen months and has made quite the impact. At just 19 years old, the Brighton forward is a precocious talent with a sharp instinct for scoring goals. 

Boasting eight international caps and three goals for the Republic of Ireland, the Brighton forward has become a key man for both club and country. 

With 15 goals in 68 appearances at the Seagulls, the talented teen has already been linked with some of the EPL´s biggest teams including Manchester United and Chelsea.

The Future of Irish Football ⚽️ Evan Ferguson | Perspectives

His direct style and aerial prowess add a valuable dimension to Brighton's attack, and with Roberto De Zerbi's nurturing approach, the sky looks the limit for the imposing forward.

Rico Lewis - Manchester City & England

Rico Lewis, Manchester City's 19-year-old right-back, is quickly turning heads with blistering pace, technical prowess, and tactical intelligence. 

Emerging from the club's renowned academy, Lewis has impressed both Pep Guardiola and fans alike with his composure and ability to seamlessly slot into City's intricate tactical system.

With continued development and first-team opportunities, Lewis has the potential to become a mainstay in City's backline for years to come.

Pape Matar Sarr - Tottenham & Senegal

Standing tall at 6'4", Pape Matar Sarr commands attention not just for his imposing physical stature, but also for his remarkable technical prowess and tactical awareness.

Impressing in the heart of the Tottenham Hotspur midfield, Sarr is already drawing comparisons to the likes of Paul Pogba. With an array of impressive skills including dribbling, vision, and an exceptional ability to dictate the tempo of play, Sarr is expected to enjoy a long career at the top of the game. 

Pape Matar Sarr

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The 21-year-old featured in all four of Senegal´s matches at the recently contested AFCON, while he has made 23 appearances at Spurs this season, with three goals scored.

Yankuba Minteh - Feyenoord & Gambia

Gambian winger Yankuba Minteh, on loan at Feyenoord from Newcastle United, has emerged as a player to watch in 2024. 

Minteh boasts four goals in 23 league appearances for Feyenoord this season and his earned comparison with former Liverpool star Sadio Mané. His precocious talent hasn't gone unnoticed at international level, with the 19-year-old already earning four caps for Gambia. 

The upcoming year will be crucial for Minteh. Will he return to the Premier League with Newcastle this summer or continue his development at Feyenoord? Regardless, his rapid rise and exciting style of play make him a name to look out for in 2024 and beyond.

Antonio Nusa - Club Brugge & Norway

Antonio Nusa has quickly gained attention with his electrifying skill and direct dribbling style. Dubbed the "Norwegian Neymar", the 18-year-old is quickly becoming a player to watch for both club and country.

Nusa's versatility is a key asset. Comfortable on either flank, the teen has the ability to terrorize defenders with his pace and unpredictable footwork. 

At Club Brugge, Nusa has already earned his stripes. He broke into the first team last season, showcasing his talents on the European stage. This season, he's continued to impress, contributing goals and assists while displaying maturity beyond his years. Rumours of interest from top European clubs are already swirling, and it's no surprise considering his potential.

Gift Orban - Lyon & Nigeria

A Nigerian forward with a keen eye for goal, Gift Orban has the potential to become one of the most dangerous attackers in European football. 

Orban's journey began in his native Nigeria, where his raw talent caught the eye of Belgian club KAA Gent. 32 goals in 52 appearances for the Belgians solidified his reputation as a rising star, attracting interest from several European clubs. Ultimately, it was Lyon who secured his signature in the January transfer window in a €12 million deal, with potential add-ons reaching €20 million.

With regular playing time, Orban could develop into a world-class striker capable of playing at the highest levels of the game.

Cole Palmer - Chelsea & England

Cole Palmer has taken the Premier League by storm since his transfer from Manchester City. With his creative vision and knack for goals, Palmer quickly established himself as a vital cog in Chelsea's attacking setup.

Palmer's talent was evident from a young age, rising through the Manchester City academy and contributing to their treble-winning season in 2023. However, limited playing time under Pep Guardiola led him to seek greener pastures at Chelsea. 

Statistics tell the story. In his debut season at Chelsea, Palmer has already bagged 15 goals and provided eight assists since his arrival from Man City. His contributions have been a rare bright spot in an otherwise difficult season for the Blues.

Elye Wahi - Lens & France

Elye Wahi has quickly become a force to be reckoned with in Ligue 1. Still only 21, the French U21 international notched up an impressive 32 goals in his first two seasons with Montpellier, before a €35 million transfer to Lens last summer. 

Wahi's journey began at local club Paris FC, where his prodigious talent quickly caught the eye of Montpellier. Arriving at La Paillade in 2019, he steadily progressed through the youth ranks, showcasing his undeniable ability to find the net over two impressive break-out seasons.

Elye Wahi - RC Lens

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With only five goals scored since his big-money arrival at Lens, Wahi is evidently still a work in progress, but there can be little doubt that the rapid forward will be one to watch in the coming years.

Lamine Yamal - Barcelona & Spain

Despite his remarkably young age, Lamine Yamal has already become a regular starter in Catalonia, and in his debut season became the youngest player to represent and score for Spain in the modern era. 

15-year-old Lamine Yamal makes debut for Barcelona, Xavi compares him with Leo Messi

Whether deployed as a centre-forward, attacking midfielder, or on the right wing, his adaptability adds a dynamic edge to Barcelona's attack.

Lamine Yamal 2023 - The Future | Magic Skills, Goals & Assists | HD

The potential for stardom is undeniable. Yamal, who will not turn 17 until July, has already notched up 35 appearances and five goals for the Blaugrana.

Warren Zaïre-Emery - PSG & France

Last but by no means least, PSG starlet Warren Zaire-Emery is rapidly emerging as one of the most dynamic midfielders in Europe today. A defensive midfielder with remarkable technical abilities, the exciting teen is already a standout in Ligue 1.

Still only 17, the precociously talented midfielder has racked up some impressive achievements in his young career. In his debut season, he became PSG´s youngest-ever goalscorer and the youngest player in UEFA Champions League history to start a knockout phase match at the age of just 16.

Boasting over half a century of appearances for PSG, Zaire-Emery has the world at his feet and a long career at the top of the sport seems inevitable.

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Review Author

Ryan Allan

Ryan Allan

Originally from Scotland, Ryan is an experienced betting expert and content producer based out of Barcelona, Spain.

Reviewer

Eugene Ravdin

Eugene Ravdin

Hey! I've been working for the official UEFA website for 18 years as a translator, reporter, editor, and language version editor in chief.