January's U23 hotlist: Balogun, Colwill, Ben Seghir

Welcome to the ESPN FC hotlist, which highlights a quantity of of in all likelihood the most in-type expertise aged 23 or under throughout Europe’s extreme leagues every month.

typically, youthful however established stars like Manchester metropolis‘s Erling Haaland, Borussia Dortmund‘s Jude Bellingham or Barcelona‘s Gavi aren’t included — in any other case they’d be on the itemizing every month — however we’ll shine a lightweight on a quantity of of these who deserve reward for his or her performances and who might probably be the eu soccer’s subsequent large identify.

Oh, and there’ll be a itemizing of gamers to have impressed on the persevering with South American Youth soccer Championship later this week.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, extra (U.S.)

a properly-acknowledged identify to followers of English soccer, the Arsenal striker is doing very properly on mortgage at French side Reims and sits extreme of the Ligue 1 purpose-scoring chart with 15 targets from 22 video games in whole and 4 from 5 this month (collectively with a hat trick in opposition to Lorient.)

With a mix of trademark runs behind the line of protection, shut-differ faucet-ins, positive volleys and the odd penalty, Balogun is taking half in definitely one of the best soccer of his senior profession under youthful English-Belgian head coach, Will nonetheless. primarily deployed to play to his strengths as a lone centre-forward, the 21-12 months-previous has appeared a persevering with risk collectively with his tempo, pure penalty space instinct and directness.

And, with one other two years to run on his Arsenal contract when returning to the Emirates inside the summertime, the mannequin ny-born England youth worldwide ought to make a good declare for a starting spot for the Premier League leaders alongside Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah subsequent season.

Having beforehand proven glimpses of his undisputed expertise, the added maturity and consistency evident in January has seen the France U21 worldwide lastly arrive on the scene. The son of Parma and Juventus legend Lilian, and brother of Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus, has thrived in a barely extra superior position as an attacking No. eight and was notably excellent inside the 6-1 Ligue 1 demolition of Montpellier.

outfitted with fantastic shut administration, fantastic steadiness and command of his physique, Thuram is a excellent ball provider who’s in a place to seamlessly glide previous opponents in midfield. Given the liberty to assault, his quick ft and useful approach permit him to arrange forward runs with neatly executed passes or take a look at the goalkeeper from distance. His enthusiastic, energetic working additionally make him better than useful inside the defensive side of his recreation (he wins 60% of his challenges) and when monitoring opposing runs inside the transitional half.

Few would have anticipated the speedy impression that the Irish teenager has had on Brighton’s first group. Ferguson has three targets and two assists from 5 video games, collectively with outmuscling William Saliba for a comfort purpose in opposition to Arsenal and a properly-directed late header which secured some extent at Leicester. And his whole centre-forward recreation suggests he is utterly unfazed by the hike in stage.

whereas there’s nothing flashy with reference to the 18-12 months-previous, he sports activities distinctive bodily power, which he is not afraid of using. furthermore, the lively and intense nature of his recreation sees him drop deep and drift vast to current an outlet; as quickly as inside the subject, he instinctively picks up clever positions. His distinctive run has been interrupted after he picked up a knee damage inside the FA Cup win in opposition to Liverpool however he has a shiny future forward of him.

Levi Colwill, 19, centre-again, Brighton

one other teenager who was thrown into the deep finish by Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi over the festive interval, Colwill’s full Premier League debut in opposition to Aston Villa in November resulted in defeat, however the Chelsea loanee has since put in some stunning performances.

Not solely has left-footed Colwill — who will be snug collectively with his weaker foot — carried out his defensive duties diligently, he is additionally appeared assured in his distribution from the again. His splendidly weighted by means of-ball for Kaoru Mitoma inside the major half of the three-zero win over Liverpool was a very positive event of his imaginative and prescient and extreme quality on the ball. His inspiring performances for Brighton — earlier than an damage put him out of movement — even led to requires the britain U21 defender to be promoted to the senior group.

whereas it took the €17 million summer season signing from Austrian side Sturm Graz some months to settle into the extra restrictive nature of Serie A, Hojlund definitely bought here to life in January: scoring a purpose in 4 consecutive matches.

Tall (6-foot-4) and extremely effective, the Denmark worldwide is better than the regular goal man although and, in his brief Serie A profession to this point, it is his tempo and expertise to time runs off the shoulder off the centre-backs which have proved decisive.

With properly-developed greater-physique power and baggage of willpower, the earlier FC Copenhagen striker is very onerous to knock off the ball when going by means of the purpose. Hojlund’s velocity and capturing skill additionally make him one other as a proper-winger reducing infield on to his most modern left foot.

regardless of solely making his Ligue 1 debut in December — marked with two stunning targets in opposition to Auxerre — Ben Seghir is the following teenage sensation to graduate from the extremely-acclaimed Monaco academy.

The 17-12 months-previous France U18 worldwide likes to float in space throughout the central striker and when he will get on the ball he typically does so by approach of a mesmerising contact that both models up the following transfer or attracts a foul from a puzzled opponent (he was fouled six occasions in eighty minutes in opposition to Brest and registered 12 dribbles.)

Agile, inventive, technically sensible and with a cultured footballing mind, Ben Seghir has proved handiest when discovering space on the left, however his easy, straightforward movement can see him create havoc anyplace inside the remaining third.

The Austria worldwide was snapped up by Wolfsburg for €5m following an encouraging debut season with Arminia Bielefeld inside the Bundesliga. regardless of Wolfsburg shedding their final two league video games, Wimmer has been on the ascent as a outcome of the restart of the league after the winter break and had a purpose and two assists in January.

an lively attacking midfielder who loves working at opponents, he is naturally proper-footed however is snug on his left as properly, which makes him onerous to study and ready to cross defenders on both side.

Wimmer performs with extreme depth, which might typically see him lose the ball out of sheer eagerness, and whereas he prefers to play on the proper side he has the tactical consciousness to time runs by means of extra central areas, typically arriving late inside the subject for a rebound or a cutback cross. His extreme-octane engine additionally makes for a precious pressing recreation.


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