☄️ Five youngsters who are ripping defences apart in Europe right now

☄️ Five youngsters who are ripping defences apart in Europe right now

The first of our new weekly feature series showcasing five emerging talents who have been causing a stir this week. 

And what's more exciting for football fans than youngsters who are morphing into superstars?

🇧🇷 Vini Jr.

Potential is one thing but tangible results are quite another and Vinícius Júnior has made that key transition this season. Vini Jr. has transformed from a promising talent with a hefty price tag weighing heavily on his shoulders, into a young man with improved decision-making and increased directness, making the ex-Flamengo winger a nightmare to defend against. The attacking partnership he has struck up with Karim Benzema is a sight to behold, too. 

The 21-year-old Brazilian's final product has improved to such an extent that 2021-22 is already his best LaLiga scoring season and the campaign is just 12 matches old. Nine goals and five assists in 16 appearances across LaLiga and the Champions League make him one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment. When flamboyance meets efficiency, you've got a footballing match made in heaven. 

🇷🇸 Dušan Vlahović

If you haven't yet heard the name, make sure you remember it. Rumours linking Fiorentina's prolific Serbian striker with an €80m move to Arsenal are probably entirely wide of the mark, but the sheer size of that figure is evidence of the high regard in which Vlahović's talent is held around Europe. Just look at how this calendar year is going for him:

⚽️ Most goals scored in Europe's top five leagues in 2021:

  • 🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski (36)
  • 🇳🇴 Erling Haaland (26)
  • 🇷🇸 Dušan Vlahović (25)

This guy is a goal-machine in the making and he's not just your average tall target-man, he's also got a decent turn of pace and a few tricks in his bag. No wonder a host of elite clubs are trying to sign one of the next big things.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Emile Smith Rowe

Arsenal's number 10 is starting to add goals to his game which will delight manager Mikel Arteta, who challenged him to do exactly that at the outset of 2021-22. Smith Rowe is undoubtedly a key creative influence for the Gunners but he's also putting the ball in the back of the net himself with encouraging regularity, and his sparkling recent form has earned him a maiden England call-up.

With his decisive strike against Watford on Sunday, ESR became just the fourth player aged 21 or younger to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances for Arsenal after Nicolas Anelka José Antonio Reyes and Cesc Fàbregas. There's plenty more to come from this prodigiously talented and technically gifted Hale End product.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 Conor Gallagher

It's been a superb couple of weeks for Crystal Palace and their manager, Patrick Vieira. Unbeaten in five Premier League encounters the Eagles have won their last two and claimed clean sheets in both of those successes.

And the star of the show? 20-year-old Englishman Conor Gallagher. The Chelsea loanee gets through a frightening amount of work on a football pitch, but he's also making telling contributions where it really matters, in the final third. Gallagher scored the decisive goal in both of those recent wins and supplied the assist for Wilf Zaha's opener in a hugely impressive win over Man City.

Four goals & two assists in 10 top-flight appearances already for Gallagher, who's flourishing in the fluidity of Vieira's 4-3-3 system and enjoying the license to thrill in a free midfield role. Chelsea has a serious player on their hands when he returns to Stamford Bridge. 

🇩🇪 Karim Adeyemi

The only guy in this list of five not born in the year 2000, Karim Adeyemi is still only 19 but he's already alerting the attention of elite clubs across the continent. The tricky winger scored again at the weekend away to Austria Wien, taking his Austrian Bundesliga goal tally to 11 in 12 starts, and he's also bagged three goals in four Champions League appearances and recently become a full German international. 

Catch a glimpse of Adeyemi's considerable talents when Lille takes on RB Salzburg at the resumption of the international break.

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