4 Football Wonderkids Who Are Set To Dominate Their Position
At least since Pele won Brazil their first World Cup, football fans have kept a keen eye out for the next wonderkids.
Some enjoy long, successful careers that match or even exceed the expectations people have for them during their gilded youth.
Others fall victim to circumstances and have their talent ripped away by misfortune, misdirection, or even incarceration – such as Eduard Streltsov, the Russian Pele.
I’ve given you a goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, and striker set to dominate their position. Learn their names, understand why they’re so good, then buy them all on Football Manager.
If one player is a surefire bet to dominate their position then it’s Gianluigi Donnarumma. He’s the current number one for AC Milan and Italy, the heir to Gianluigi Buffon, and the hottest goalkeeping prospect since the legendary Juventus stopper.
Donnarumma has everything you want from a keeper. He’s authoritative, calm, and blessed with some of the finest reflexes in history. He’s been one of Milan’s few bright spots since competitive since making his debut aged just 16, with his saves giving the Rossoneri faithful rare cause to cheer.
Every major club on the planet would like Donnarumma, with the world’s top online casinos regularly offering short odds on his departure. His contract expires in 2021 and few online casinos would bank on him resigning. My bet is that he’ll end up at Barcelona, a club that tried and failed to sign Buffon but who will be delighted with his heir.
Alessandro Nesta, Franco Baresi, and Paolo Maldini. The score of great Italian defenders is a roll call of some of the most gifted players in the history of the game. Inter Milan centre-back Alessandro Bastoni is set to be the next man to join that list.
Bastoni is a gifted ball player and supreme defensive instincts, as likely to spray an inch-perfect pass as he is to snuff out an attack with exemplary positioning. He also poses a threat at the opposite end of the pitch, with his record of 5 goals in 12 Primavera C games being a tally that most attacking midfielders would take pride in.
He’s already attracting interest from Barca and Man City, both of whom require surgical attention to bring their defences up to the standard they demand. However, for now, I believe he’ll stay at Inter and continue to learn from Milan Škriniar – “the kind of defender that brick walls dream about wanting to be when they grow up.”
Even for a sport that’s always seeking the next wonderkid, few 17-year-olds generate the level of interest that Eduardo Camavinga sees. But it’s with good reason – Camavinga could be the best French midfielder since the legendary Zinedine Zidane.
Camavinga tackles, passes, destroys, creates, and dictates the tempo in the centre of the park. While not the tallest (standing at a squeak under 6 ft) Rennes deep-lying playmaker has the power to dominate opponents. However, Camavinga’s greatest quality is that he’s already able to raise the game of his teammates.
Real Madrid really want him right now and have ramped up the pace of discussions with his club. Indeed, it may be that he’s a Real player by the time you read this. And though Los Blancos is a notoriously difficult place for young players to shine, I get the distinct impression Camavinga will be the exception that proves the rule.
Erling Braut Håland
Who else? If you’re just learning Erling Braut Håland’s name now then where have you been since the 2019/20 season began? Håland is the most frightening pure striker to emerge since Alan Shearer scored 112 goals in 138 league games for Blackburn Rovers in the early 1990s.
Håland’s power is so terrifying that he makes brick walls run for cover behind the nearest mountain, then soil themselves at the memory of his monstrous frame barrelling towards them. And he’s exploited this to great effect, so far scoring 42 goals in 36 games in the 2019/20 season.
So impressive is Håland that Borussia Dortmund will do well to get more than half a season of service out of him. Whoever is fortunate to be the next step on his career ladder won’t just be signing a gifted striker, they’ll be getting a player with the potential to be one of the greatest goalscorers of all time.
Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alessandro Bastoni, Eduardo Camavinga, and Erling Braut Håland are just four of the players that are set to dominate their position. I could easily have extended this list to six and added Trent Alexander-Arnold (fullback) and Jadon Sancho (winger).
The exciting thing is that Alexander-Arnold is the only one of those players who is nailed on to be at their current club for the majority of their period of dominance.
Who will the rest shine for? I recommend you keep a keen eye on the transfer market over the next few months. And let’s hope none of these players careers follows the sad tale of Eduard Streltsov.