With 2017 drawing to a close, we look at the youngsters who will be looking to burst onto the scene in 2018 with their respective clubs and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Marco Asensio.
Justin Kluivert: We start with quite possibly the most exciting talent in world football to this day. Justin Kluivert whose father is the Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert, has already been tearing opposition defences apart with his pace and skill. At the age of just 18, Kluivert has featured 12 times for Ajax, scoring four times and setting up two goals for Ajax who currently sit 2nd in the Eredvisie table.
You only have to type his name into YouTube to see what Kluivert has to offer and I would be very surprised to see him stay at the Dutch club for much longer. With the “big clubs” lurking, Ajax face a stiff task to keep Kluivert over the summer but they can certainly command a high price for a player who has the ability to turn a game on its head in a split second.
Franck Kessie: The 20-year-old has only been at AC Milan for five months, but Kessie is already making a name for himself since joining from fellow Italian side Atalanta in the summer. With 16 starts to his name already this season, Kessie is one of the first names on Gennaro Gatusso’s team sheet it seems, scoring twice in his first campaign with the club
Viktor Kovalenko: The Ukrainian has been linked to several big clubs but has decided to get minutes under his belt at Shakhtar Donetsk. Kovalenko has made 17 appearances this season, scoring just once but he’s potential is right up there with the very best. If he can rediscover his best form, then Kovalenko is sure to attract interest from the European giants in the near future.
Reiss Nelson: The Arsenal youngster will be hoping to build on some solid displays for the Gunners towards the end of 2017. Nelson has received high praise from managers, scouts and pundits across the globe with his pace and trickery causing any full-back problems. He has featured for Arsene Wenger’s men in the Europa League but has been restricted to starts at right wing-back which isn’t Reiss’s natural position. But with some astonishing goals for both his country and the Arsenal youth sides, his talent shouldn’t be questioned and it’s sure to be a crucial year for Nelson.
Kieran Tierney: You could class this one as one to watch next season, but only because he has already had such an impressive breakthrough year this season with Celtic. The Scottish giants are currently 69 league games unbeaten, and Tierney has been right at the heart of it.
Featuring in 15 games so far this season, he is a regular in Brendan Rodgers’ team. He is contracted to Celtic until 2023, having signed a six-year-deal in October 2017, but is still attracting interest from Manchester United after a number of impressive performances.