The next generation of talent: but who are they?
By Daniel Barratt
Name: Youssoufa Moukoko
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Age: 17 years old
Youssoufa Moukoko, the boy breaking all kinds of records since breaking onto the scene at Borussia Dortmund. Moukoko is the youngest player to ever play in the Bundesliga at only 16 years and 1 day. Moukoko is also the youngest player to ever make an appearance in the Champions League only 17 days after becoming the youngest player to ever play in the Bundesliga.
Wayne Rooney - The second ever winner of the Golden Boy award in 2004.
"Wayne Rooney" by gordon2208 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The talented teenager is also the youngest goal scorer in Bundesliga history, a record claimed only 11 days after becoming the youngest player to make an appearance in the UEFA Champions League. The most impressive aspect of this is that Moukoko is playing for an established Bundesliga and Champions league club. His stats for the Borrussia Dortmund first team are too very impressive. Moukoko has notched up 3 goals in 19 Bundesliga appearances at the tender age of 16.
Moukoko, who was originally born in Yaounde, Cameroon arrived in Germany at the age of 10 beginning his footballing journey with St Pauli, a clubb based in Hamburg. Two years later, Moukoko was scouted and signed by Borussia Dortmund. At youth level he was a level above everyone becoming part of the professional set up of Borussia Dortmund at just 15 years old. Moukoko’s strengths include natural strength combined with sheer pace to burn. Throughout the Dortmund academy, he highlighted his intelligence becoming known for his positioning and ability to score from either foot. These attributes saw the striker net 127 goals in 84 appearances across all competitions for Dortmund.
Name: Mohamed Traore
Club: Adelaide United
Age: 17 years old
Mohamed Traore, the man gathering all the headlines across Australia after his dazzling start to life at Adelaide United. The Guinea Born Australian striker is a wanted man across Europe with many European giants keeping tabs on the Adelaide United youngster. However, regardless of interest Mohamed Traore will be staying put in Adelaide to develop his game before thinking of moving onto pastures new. As other young talents across Australia rush into moves abroad at the first given chance, Mohamed Traore is different. He wants to ensure he'll be ready for the next stages of his career.
Mohamed Traore has received such praise by manager Carl Veart since breaking onto the scene describing Mohamed as a “player who can go all the way to the top”.
In February 2020 Mohamed became the A-League’s youngest-ever goal scorer at only 15 years and 326 days, having been drafted into the senior squad as injury cover. Since then, Mohamed hasn’t looked back and will be continuing his development until the right time.
Name: Pierre Dwomoh
Club: Royal Antwerp
Age: 17years old
Pierre Dwomoh, the boy who was promoted to the Genk first team squad at the age of only 16, an announcement by Genk that Pierre would be one of the biggest talents to come through the youth ranks. Pierre made his official Genk debut that season before things started to go horribly wrong for the young midfielder.
After a row with under 21s manager Hans Somers was the beginning of the end for Pierre Dwomoh at Genk. All the years of hard work reaching the Genk first team seemed to have gone down the drain in an instant. The midfielder possesses great attributes for a modern-day midfielder, such as pace, technical ability, physical presence, height but also an ‘explosive edge’. Attributes which make Pierre Dwomoh a dynamic option in midfield which suits the modern game.
Pierre pushed for a move to AC Milan but after the transfer broke down, Pierre had finally found a new home signing for Royal Antwerp last summer. The midfielder was signed for a fee of €2m in the hope Royal Antwerp could make huge profits on the player, selling him on for a bigger fee a few years down the line.
Age: 17 years old
Gavi, the new star of Spanish football. The 17-year-old was recently called up to the Spanish national side for the very first time. The decision to call Gavi up to the national team received a lot of criticism due to the age of Gavi, leaving manager Luis Enrique no choice but to explain the reasoning behind the call up. Luis Enrique said: “It’s ahead of time? Maybe, yeah, I won’t deny that” but the Spain manager insisted he was still convinced by the talent of Gavi when calling the midfielder to the senior squad to face Italy in October. Along with the fact that Gavi had only just turned 17 and only played 289 minutes of football in the Barcelona first team. Manager Luis Enrique said: “When you see him play it surprises you,”.
Gavi went on to become the youngest ever player to represent Spain at just 17 years and 62 days old starring in Spain’s 2-1 win in the Nations League.
Gavi is also an academy graduate of the Barcelona youth system, La Masia having joined the academy from Real Betis at the age of 11.
Gavi is a traditional La Masia midfielder with a member of the technical staff at the Spanish federation saying Gavi a star for the next generation. He said Gavi is “very much a Barcelona profile, but with the physicality of the modern game too, intense and with a tremendous character”.