Friday, June 21, 2013

Potential 2013/2014 Season Breakout Stars

Great young talent is the key to the development of our sport. While established names are fun to watch and discuss, the young talent of the world can be just as fun to talk about. Everyone knows about the young stars of today that have already made a name for themselves such as Neymar, Mario Gotze, Eden Hazard, and Oscar, but there is a plethora of young talent that you probably wouldn't pay attention to unless they were playing at a big club or on big stages. Here we will highlight a few.

Julian Draxler – Julian Draxler could be the next great German attacking midfielder. This season at Schalke he put up astounding numbers, in 36 appearances for the German club he netted 11 goals and assisted on 3. Now this may not seem like much, but given the fact he is only 19 years old and thrusted himself into the starting line-up for Schalke, he shows lots of promise going forward. Draxler is more than capable of using both feet, is creative on the ball, a great passer (he completed roughly 82% of his passes this season), and is as lethal a finisher as midfielders go. Draxler is one to watch for this upcoming season, and I don't expect him to stay at Schalke for long if he keeps improving his performances.

Raheem Sterling – Outside of England you may not find many people that rate Raheem Sterling very high. Sterling found himself in the Premier League spotlight after he made a move to Liverpool from the QPR youth team at the tender age of 17. Sterling shows lots of promise, a speedy, crafty winger with great agility. The downside to Sterling is that we haven't seen enough of him in the first team for Liverpool, as he usually comes on as a substitute. In 31 matches for Liverpool this season, he only had 2 goals and 2 assists. That isn't that impressive for a player of his potential and its hard to give other stats for him because of his lack of playing time, but what is impressive is how much he improves each and every game. I see Sterling breaking into the starting line-up consistently next season and seeing his output improve in turn.

Deulofeu – His name may be hard to pronounce, but his quality isn't hard to recognize. Deulofeu looks like he could become another one of Barcelona's, La Masia, prodigies. Speed, ball control, vision, great passing. Deulofeu possess all of these qualities, qualities that a winger needs to have to be effective at the top level. His chance to get permanently promoted to Barcelona from Barcelona B seems to have dwindled a bit with the addition of Neymar, but a player with his potential won't be playing in a second tier league for long.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen – A lot of us like to talk about field players as they are usually more exciting to talk about, but we can't forget about the men between the sticks. Ter Stegen is one of the most, if not the most, promising young goal keeper out there today and some in Germany don't think it will be too long before he can find his way to more first team appearances for the National Team. At the age of 21 years old it seems like ter Stegen already has amazing skills that many veteran keepers took years to develop.

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