April U23 hotlist: Brighton and Salzburg stars lead the way


Welcome to the ESPN FC hotlist, which every month highlights a few of the most in-form expertise aged 23 or underneath throughout Europe.

Generally, younger however established stars like Manchester City’s Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham or Barcelona’s Gavi aren’t included — in any other case they’d be on the record each month — however we’ll shine a lightweight on a few of those that deserve reward for his or her performances and who may probably be European soccer’s subsequent massive title.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, extra (U.S.)

Olise has had a formidable Premier League season, with three assists in the 5-1 demolition of Leeds United at Elland Road on April 9 demonstrating his potential.

An excellent set-piece taker, he’s a grasp of combinational play together with his teammates in the last third and, although used as a central attacking midfielder for the France under-21 facet, he has confirmed pivotal in an inverted large function for Palace.

Olise’s dribbling and ball development make him notably precious in the transitional part, whereas his advantageous crossing approach and passing imaginative and prescient — as witnessed by his delicate help to arrange Palace’s second aim towards West Ham — assist make him an clever and environment friendly midfielder. He has been instrumental in Roy Hodgson’s exceptional revival in south London and is the fourth on the record of Premier League assists this season.

With Levi Colwill and Evan Ferguson that includes in earlier editions of the ESPN hotlist, Enciso is the third Brighton prospect to look already, which isn’t solely testomony to the membership’s advantageous scouting work however can be a mirrored image of supervisor Roberto De Zerbi’s need to let his teenage stars categorical themselves.

Having arrived final summer season for a hefty €11.6m price from Paraguayan facet Libertad — the place he made his skilled debut at the age of 15 — Enciso is now beginning to showcase the form of expertise that means he has a powerful future in the sport. With an amazing shot (see his very good aim towards Chelsea for an apt instance) and an instinctive understanding of area that sees him float throughout the entrance line, he can effortlessly discover sensible positions to wreak havoc.

He has tailored shortly to the Premier League and his two assists in the 6-0 win over Wolves on April 29 present how necessary his creativity will be.

In the summer season of 2021, Rennes acted decisively to safe the providers of one in all the high younger prospects in European soccer for a club-record €28m from Anderlecht. But whereas Doku fared respectably in his debut Ligue 1 season — with two objectives and three assists from 30 video games — the previous two years have been a succession of struggles, with recurring accidents, irritating intervals of stop-start growth and antagonistic kind.

In April, nevertheless, there have been indicators that the speedy ahead has returned to his exhilarating greatest. His 4 Ligue 1 objectives for Rennes throughout the month encapsulated what he is all about as a participant: direct motion, dribbling, tempo and ending. After netting a brace towards Reims, he added two extra towards Angers two weeks later — courtesy of a pleasant back-post volley and then an outstanding particular person run from the proper — to counsel that he may recapture a few of that early promise.

Salzburg have a minimum of half a dozen high-performing U23 stars to select from however this month it is exhausting to look previous the €7m January arrival from Maccabi Tel Aviv. One of the breakthrough gamers finally summer season’s European Under-21 Championship, Gloukh instantly attracted curiosity from a plethora of huge golf equipment however sensibly selected the Austrian champions as the subsequent step in his growth.

Lined up as a No. 10, the Israel worldwide obtained on the scoresheet twice for his new membership in April. A advantageous dribbler, his appreciation of area and ball management in tight areas makes him appear like a graduate of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, whereas he has registered 1.6 pictures and 2.2 key passes per 90 minutes for the membership thus far.

Guler has already been hailed as Turkish soccer’s new prodigy at youth degree, however is now beginning to exhibit his immense expertise in the Fenerbahce first crew. Following a promising debut marketing campaign — he was first uncovered to aggressive senior soccer at the age of 16 — he fortunately accepted Mesut Ozil’s No. 10 shirt at the begin of the season, which speaks volumes about the expectations positioned on him, in addition to his personal self-belief.

A left-footed, technically very good playmaker who can discover area in the last third, particularly when slicing in from the proper, his imaginative and prescient is exceptional for an 18-year-old. The Turkey worldwide continually deceives his markers with fast physique feints and deft touches, whereas his low centre of gravity and advantageous spatial consciousness can see him escape bother by way of fast footwork or extravagant turns.

A participant with a excessive growth ceiling, Guler displayed his ending abilities in April with two objectives in the 3-3 draw towards Istanbulspor and has been linked with a transfer to Arsenal.

A €4m signing from Liga MX facet Cruz Azul final summer season, the Mexico worldwide’s current kind has seen Premier League scouts flock to Feyenoord video games. Since the flip of the 12 months, Gimenez has hit the web 14 instances in all competitions for the Eredivisie leaders, together with a seven-game streak of away objectives, and had 4 objectives in 4 video games by April.

The 22-year-old predominantly operates in shut proximity to the penalty space (7+ touches in the opposing field per 90 minutes) and excels by directness, tempo and positional consciousness, with most of his objectives coming from swift, one-touch finishes at shut vary.

With spectacular bodily attributes and a eager intuition for the place the ball goes to drop, Gimenez additionally performs with a tenacity that’s showcased by his purposeful off-the-ball motion and uncompromising willingness to get on the finish of crosses.


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