10 U-23 Players To Keep An Eye On During The World Cup

These young stars could shine bright at this summer's tournament.

Kylian Mbappe Celebrating   March 2018
By Кирилл Венедиктов (https://www.soccer.ru/galery/1042235/photo/718846) [CC BY-SA 3.0GFDL, CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The World Cup is just a few weeks away and the excitement levels are rising as football fans prepare to watch the finest players on the planet come together and battle it out for one of the sporting world's greatest prizes.

Part of the joy of watching the World Cup is seeing older and more experienced players turning out for their countries one final time, but it's equally exciting to keep an eye on the new, young players and raw talents who are set to sparkle on the biggest stage of all for many years to come.

Many of the tournament's best players turn out to be the younger stars. Back in 2014, for example, the Golden Boot was awarded to Colombia's 22-year-old James Rodriguez, who scored 6 goals, while other young players like Paul Pogba, Neymar, Kevin De Bruyne and Raphael Varane all stood out.

This year, fans are eagerly waiting to see which young players might steal the show at the Russia World Cup, and there's a whole lot of talent in the Under-23 age category. So let's take a look at some well-known and lesser-known young players who could star for their countries next month.

10. Ismaila Sarr (SENEGAL)

Rennes fans were rightfully thrilled to see their club splash the cash on Senegal's young star Ismaila Sarr last summer. Sarr had been brilliant for Metz in the previous Ligue 1 season, with the young winger scoring some fantastic individual goals and helping the club survive a tricky relegation battle.

A long-term injury sustained in September kept Sarr out of action for a few months, and his team suffered the consequences as they gradually dropped down the rankings, but the Senegal winger returned at the start of the year and has played a vital role in Rennes' rise back up the Ligue 1 table, scoring in three subsequent games in March as the Roazhon Park outfit pushed their way into the Europa League qualifying spots.

Blessed with lightning-fast pace and excellent dribbling skills, the versatile Senegalese 20-year-old prefers playing on the left wing but can also fit in on the right or in a central position. If Senegal are to enjoy some success this summer, they'll be hoping for Sarr to play a big role.


Mike Pedley hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.