Euro 2016: Meet the two 'new Messis' and 'the Russian Ronaldo'

By Chris BevanBBC Sport
Young stars to watch at Euro 2016
Clockwise from top left: Ante Coric, Renato Sanches, Michy Batshuayi, Breel Embolo, Emre Mor and Aleksandr Golovin are among the young stars to watch at Euro 2016
Euro 2016
Host: France Dates: 10 June to 10 July
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC TV, BBC Radio, the BBC Sport website and app. Live text commentary on every game on BBC Sport website.

From Dele Alli to Anthony Martial, some of the Premier League's best young talent is heading for Euro 2016 and hoping for a chance to shine in France.

But which new faces from across Europe could be joining them in England next season?

While total unknowns are hard to find, there are bound to be some surprise stars who emerge this summer.

BBC Sport's TV and radio Euro 2016 commentators pick out the 12 young non-Premier League players who are worth watching out for.

1. Ante Coric, Croatia

Croatia midfielder Ante Coric
Coric had trials with Chelsea and Bayern Munich before joining FC Salzburg aged 11 - his hero is Ronaldinho
Age: 19Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Dinamo ZagrebNickname: 'The Croatian Messi'

Steve Wilson: Coric is still at Dinamo Zagreb, though he has been linked with Liverpool as an alternative to Mario Gotze. Coric says he has been contacted by Manchester City and Bayern Munich too.

He operates behind the strikers and is the youngest ever Europa League goalscorer and the current Croatian Young Player of the Year.

2. Emre Mor, Turkey

Emre Mor
Mor made his first-team debut for FC Nordsjaelland last November. He played for Denmark at youth level but made his senior Turkey debut last month.
Age: 18Position: Winger
Club: Borussia DortmundNickname: 'The Turkish Messi'

Alistair Bruce-Ball: Turkey's game against Croatia on 12 June is my first commentary game at Euro 2016 so they were the first two squads I did my homework on.

While 21-year-old Ozan Tufan is often picked out as Turkey's young star to watch, Mor is worth keeping an eye on as well.

Mor is a little winger with bags of skill and Manchester City, among others, were known to have shown an interest in him before he joined Borussia Dortmund from FC Nordsjaelland for an undisclosed fee days before the tournament started.

Steve Wilson: Mor was born in Denmark but made the choice to represent Turkey in the spring - both his parents are Turkish. He was immediately given a place in their Under-21 side and then, just as quickly, a spot in their squad for Euro 2016.

His former coach at FC Nordsjaelland, Kasper Hjulmand, says: "What he is capable of is extraordinary. He has got so much speed in his feet, and he is so unpredictable. Just when you expect him to pass, he makes another dribble instead and changes direction. And when he does that, you do not catch him - that is plain impossible."

3. Ludwig Augustinsson, Sweden

Ludwig Augustinsson
Augustinsson (centre) celebrates after Sweden beat Portugal in the final of last year's European Under-21 Championship - he is one of six members of that team to make their Euro 2016 squad
Age: 22Position: Left-back
Club: FC Copenhagen

Radio 5 live football correspondent John Murray: A left-back for the Danish champions FC Copenhagen, Augustinsson was linked with Liverpool last summer. He played every minute and scored a penalty in the final shootout as Sweden became European Under-21 champions last year.

4. Arkadiusz Milik, Poland

Poland striker Arkadiusz Milik
Four of Milik's assists in Poland's qualifying were for Robert Lewandowski - his total of six was the joint-highest, along with Slovakia's Vladimir Weiss and Israel's Eran Zahavi
Age: 22Position: Striker
Club: AjaxNickname: 'The next Lewandowski'

Guy Mowbray: Scored six goals in qualifying, and 24 in total for Ajax this season. Milik might not get the headlines of Poland team-mate Robert Lewandowski - but Lewandowski might not get so many himself without him.

Milik is the perfect foil for the Bayern Munich striker, whether playing alongside or behind him as a 'number 10'.

Conor McNamara: Milik wears the number nine shirt at Ajax but for Poland he is unselfish and sets up more goals than he scores. A very important part of their team.

5. Danilo Pereira, Portugal

Danilo Pereira in action for Portugal against England earlier this month
Danilo Pereira made his full international debut in March 2015 and has become a mainstay of the Portugal midfield. He had an impressive first season at FC Porto and has a buy-out clause of 40m euros - around £31m.
Age: 24Position: Defensive midfielder
Club: FC Porto

Guy Mowbray: Coming soon to a Premier League ground near you? Possibly. Arsenal have been heavily linked already.

Benfica must kick themselves for releasing him as a teenager, since when he's matured at Maritimo before moving on up to Porto this season. A physically imposing defensive midfielder who could form a big back-four barrier if played alongside William Carvalho.

6. Breel Embolo, Switzerland

Breel Embolo
FC Basel reportedly rejected a 27m euro bid for Embolo from Gerrman side Wolfsburg in January. He missed Basel's final two league games of the season with a knee injury
Age: 19Position: Striker
Club: FC Basel

Steve Wilson: A teenager with a combination of pace and power which has endeared him to fans of FC Basel and seen him selected for the Swiss national team. Born in Cameroon, he scored 13 goals to help Basel to this season's Swiss title, and had club captain Marco Streller saying "my heart cheers when I see him playing".

John Murray: Embolo seems set for great things - quite possibly a future in the Premier League - and has already enjoyed two highly promising goalscoring seasons for Basel.

7. Michy Batshuayi, Belgium

Michy Batshuayi
Batshuayi is a fan of the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants and admits he watches the programme in bed to try to help him switch off
Age: 22Position: Striker
Club: MarseilleNickname: 'Batsman'

Alistair Bruce-Ball: Belgium aren't short of imposing, powerful strikers with Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi all in the squad but Batshuayi is strong, and able to hold the ball up to link with Belgium's stellar midfielders like Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne.

His 17 goals in 37 Ligue 1 games this season in a struggling Marseille team tell you he's a pretty good finisher as well.

Steve Wilson: Compared by adoring Marseille fans to their old favourite Didier Drogba and already seen as one of the 'must-have' youngsters of the summer.

Marseille have confirmed that they are ready to sell - at a price. Their president Vincent Labrune said: "There is not a single top-15 world club that is not interested in Batshuayi. He is one of the most wanted players on the market."

8. Bartosz Kapustka, Poland

Poland midfielder Bartosz Kapustka
Kapustka was named 'Discovery of the Year' at the Polish sports awards at the turn of the year - he was linked with German, Italian and Turkish clubs in January but publicly stated he would not change clubs until after Euro 2016
Age: 19Position: Attacking midfielder/winger
Club: KC Cracovia

John Murray: Plays as an attacking midfielder for KC Cracovia, once the favourite team of Pope John Paul II. If - as I suspect they might - Poland have a good tournament, he might get a chance to show what he can do.

9. Renato Sanches, Portugal

Renato Sanches
Sanches is two months older than England striker Marcus Rashford
Age: 18Position: Midfielder
Club: Bayern Munich

Steve Wilson: Sanches burst on to the scene at Benfica and was then snapped up by Bayern Munich in May for a fee that could rise to £60m, with Manchester United among the clubs who were tracking him but missed out.

His introduction to the Benfica side turned their season around as he drove them forward with energy and style from midfield - and weighed in with some spectacular goals.

10. Kingsley Coman, France

France winger Kingsley Coman
Last summer, Bayern paid a £5.4m fee to sign Coman on loan from Juventus for two seasons with the option of a permanent £16.3m move at the end of it
Age: 19Position: Winger
Club: Juventus/Bayern MunichNickname: 'The King'

Guy Mowbray: If you watch any football at all outside the UK then you will know of Coman already. He has had an outstanding season on loan at Bayern Munich and, having started his career at Paris St-Germain, has now played for three of the world's biggest teams.

Like his fellow French young gun, Anthony Martial, he is devastatingly quick - and comparisons with Thierry Henry are inevitable for both players. Henry was 20 when he won the World Cup in his home country. This time France have a two-for-one deal.

11. Victor Lindelof, Sweden

Sweden's Victor Lindelof
Lindelof earned his 'Iceman' nickname at his club for his calm, steady demeanour
Age: 21Position: Centre-half/defensive midfield
Club: BenficaNickname: 'The Iceman'

Steve Wilson: He has just enjoyed his breakthrough season at Benfica, who signed him as a 17-year-old from Vasteras. But Benfica are a selling club (see Renato Sanches) and Lindelof is already being linked with both Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Lindelhof, who models himself on German star Matts Hummels, was named in the team of tournament for the 2015 Under-21 European Championships, where he scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Portugal in the final.

12. Aleksandr Golovin, Russia

Aleksandr Golovin
Golovin is known for his set-piece and crossing ability
Age: 20Position: Attacking midfield
Club: CSKA MoscowNickname: 'The Russian Ronaldo'

Steve Wilson: An attacking midfielder who plays for CSKA Moscow and turns 20 just before Euro 2016 kicks off. Golovin scored in each of his first two senior internationals for Russia, and was a winner with his country at the the 2013 Under-17 European Championship.

He has been likened to Alan Dzagoev, whose broken metatarsal will keep him out of the finals. Golovin is hoping for the chance to replace him.


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