- 31 May
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Five WONDERKIDS to watch at Under-20 World Cup including a Chelsea transfer target
The men's Under-20 World Cup kicks off this Saturday and it will give dozens of youngsters the opportunity to shine on the big stage. FootballTransfers looks at five potential breakout stars at this year's tournament.
The competition was moved to Argentina at the last minute due to political tension between the original host Indonesia and participating Israel. Nevertheless, it is set to be an exciting tournament and whittling down the list to just five names proved exceptionally tough.
If you are wondering why some of the world's most expensive teenagers like Gavi, Antonio Silva or Youssoufa Moukoko aren't part of this list, that is because their teams did not qualify for the finals. The 2023 edition will host teams from diverse places ranging from Fiji and New Zealand to the Dominican Republic and the United States. The likes of Spain, Portugal and Germany did not make it.
READ: FIFA U20 World Cup: Who are the most valuable teenagers in the world?
Adama Bojang (18, Steve Biko FC, The Gambia)
Getting us started is 18-year-old striker Adama Bojang. Nicknamed the 'Gambian Hurricane' and likened to Victor Osimhen, the youngster still plays in his native Gambia, but a big European move is only a matter of time as he has been linked with the likes of Chelsea and Ajax.
His four goals at the Under-20 AFCON in March helped The Gambia qualify for this tournament and the towering, 191cm centre-forward is expected to impress again.
READ: Who is Adama Bojang? Chelsea's next 'Vision 2030' star
Always in the right place, at the right time.— #TotalEnergiesAFCONU17 2023 🏆 (@CAF_Online) March 5, 2023
🇬🇲 Adama Bojang’s outstanding hat-trick against South Sudan 💫 #TotalEnergiesAFCONU20 pic.twitter.com/aqQsaJtbrh
Fabricio Diaz (20, Liverpool FC Montevideo, Uruguay)
Undoubtedly one of the biggest names to compete at the Under-20 World Cup will be Fabricio Diaz. That is because, despite his tender years, the offensive-minded midfielder has already racked up north of 100 appearances for Liverpool of Montevideo.
The 20-year-old set-piece specialist captains Uruguay and has been strongly linked with Barcelona.
Quinn Sullivan (19, Philadelphia Union, USA)
Choosing a player from the United States was tough because there are so many talented players to pick from. From defender Joshua Wynder, who became a full-time starter for second-tier Louisville at just 17, to still-17-year-old Obed Vargas, who is a regular fixture in midfield for the Seattle Sounders in MLS, the list is endless.
Ultimately, we decided to give the nod to Quinn Sullivan of the Philadelphia Union because he absolutely tore up qualifying for the US. A midfielder by trade, the 19-year-old has scored 10 goals in 13 U-20 fixtures - probably not a sustainable rate, but an impressive one nonetheless.
Overhead stunner in your first MLS start (for your first MLS goal)?— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 27, 2021
Just incredible, Quinn Sullivan. 🔥 #CHIvPHI pic.twitter.com/LRSI4ziW2A
Marcos Leonardo (20, Santos, Brazil)
A skilful and pacy forward, Marcos Leonardo has already accumulated 140 senior appearances for Santos despite being just 20 years of age. With 42 goals in those games, he is one to watch at the upcoming tournament.
Everton have previously had a bid for the striker rejected, while more recent reports make it clear that the Brazilian appears to be on his way to Roma.
Ignacio Miramon (19, Gimnasia La Plata, Argentina)
Last but not least is Ignacio Miramon, a holding midfielder for Gimnasia in Argentina's top division. The 19-year-old has become a regular fixture for his side and he could be on his way to Europe soon.
Miramon is reportedly being scouted by Manchester United and AC Milan. With Javier Mascherano as his Argentina coach, he certainly has an ideal mentor and he could go on to achieve big things.