under-23s who'll dazzle in France



Kingsley Coman

forward, 19

There aren't many 19-year-olds who already have four league titles to their name – in fact, we'd wager that Coman is the only one. The Frenchman won two Ligue 1 titles at PSG after becoming their youngest-ever player in 2013, when he made his debut at 16. That was followed by a Serie A crown with Juventus, and now a Bundesliga title at Bayern Munich.

Coman may not have been a regular starter in any of those title wins (though he did start 20 games for Bayern in 2015/16) but he has shown immense potential in the early stages of his career as an impact player out wide, a role he's likely to fulfil again with France at Euro 2016.

The teenager brings pace, skill and a genuine goal threat – he scored for the first time at senior international level in March. He's pretty much the most exciting young talent around.

Emre Can

central midfielder, 22

Can looks somewhat older than his 22 years, and he often plays with a physicality and maturity that belies his young age.

Born to Turkish parents, he grew up in Germany and chose to represent Die Mannschaft at international level – joining fellow Turkish heritage star Mesut Ozil in the squad.

Can's ability to play in both midfield and defence could be useful for Germany at Euro 2016 and the Liverpool man will only continue to get better as the years go on.

Harry Kane

striker, 22

Few would have predicted two years ago that Kane would be England's main striker at Euro 2016 – he'd done little at Premier League level until exploding early in the 2014/15 campaign.

The last two seasons have brought 59 goals for Tottenham and five in his first 11 appearances for England. No matter what the competition or the opposition, Kane scores goals. He'll need to do that for Roy Hodgson's men if England are to progress, but few would bet against him now he's established himself as the Three Lions' main man up front.

Breel Embolo

striker, 19

Confusingly, Embolo played for a club called Old Boys at the age of 11 – so we presume he'll probably play for fellow Swiss side Young Boys when he's 45 or something.

Now 19, the livewire has emerged as one of the most sought-after young strikers in Europe since making his first-team debut for Basel in 2013. Wolfsburg had a €27m bid rejected in January, a sign of just how much potential Embolo has.

Hakan Calhanoglu

central midfielder, 22

Calhanoglu is another player born in Germany, of Turkish origin – but unlike Can, he opted to represent Turkey at international level.

He's become renowned as arguably the best free-kick taker in Europe, scoring from fully 50 yards during his days with Hamburg. He has since moved to Bayer Leverkusen and impressed at Champions League level, and recently became the first Turkey player ever to score against England. They'd previously gone 10 matches without finding the net against the Three Lions.

Eric Dier

central midfielder, 22

Dier has had an unusual route to the England team, but he looks to be in with a real shout of starting in a holding midfield role at the tournament.

Born in Cheltenham, he moved to Portugal at the age of seven because of the European Championship – his mother was offered a job running the hospitality programme at Euro 2004. He was quickly snapped up by Sporting and broke into their first team in 2012, after a loan spell in Everton’s U18s side.

But Spurs paid £4m to lure him back to England two years ago and he's since established himself as a key man at White Hart Lane, as well as netting the winner for the Three Lions in their friendly victory over Germany in March.

Julian Draxler

attacking midfielder, 22

Draxler already has more than 200 senior appearances to his name, but he's still only 22 and could become one of Germany's key men in the future.

Right now he's still battling for a place in the starting line-up but netted nine times in his first season at Wolfsburg after his £25.5m move from Schalke, which came after significant interest from Arsenal and Juventus.

Renato Sanches

central midfielder, 18

One of the hottest prospects in Europe, the midfielder has already agreed to join Bayern Munich from Benfica ahead of this tournament.

It's a deal worth £27m, potentially rising to £61m after add-ons, illustrating just how highly rated the Portuguese star is right now. The dreadlocked ace confirmed that Manchester United also made a bid but said: "I chose Bayern because it's a great club. I'll win titles."

Sanches had only one season in the Primeira Liga but did enough in 2015/16 to become the youngest player ever selected by Portugal for a major tournament – beating the record set by Cristiano Ronaldo at Euro 2004.


Arkadiusz Milik

striker, 22

Milik had trials with Tottenham and Reading at the age of 16 but eventually left Rozwoj Katowice for fellow Polish club Gornik Zabrze, before moving to Germany with Bayer Leverkusen.

He made only fleeting appearances with Leverkusen, going on loan to Augsburg and then to Ajax, who signed him permanently a year ago. Since then Milik has gone from strength to strength, netting 24 times during 2015/16. He'll hope to keep scoring at Euro 2016 to help take the pressure off Poland's main man Robert Lewandowski.

Laszlo Kleinheisler

attacking midfielder, 22

Kleinheisler was a surprise call-up for Hungary's play-off double header against Norway – but he soon became a national hero after netting a stunning winner in the first leg in Oslo, on his debut. It put Bernd Storck's side in control of the tie and helped them secure their first appearance in the European Championship since 1972.

Within a couple of months the midfielder had earned a move to Werder Bremen from Videoton in his native Hungary, and he's earned the nickname 'Scholes' – largely because of his ginger hair.

Dele Alli

attacking midfielder, 20

Few young players impressed quite as much as Alli during the 2015/16 season. The midfielder was named as the PFA Young Player of the Year after bursting onto the scene in his first campaign in the Premier League, following a move from MK Dons.

Alli hit double figures for Tottenham to take them into contention for the title, and he has shown no sign of being overawed on the international stage either – he scored a superb goal against France on his first start for England, then played a key role in the Three Lions' win in Germany.

He may have only made his international debut in October, but it's now inconceivable that he won't start at Euro 2016.