Wonderkids

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Zaha the star that England forgot

Wilfried Zaha was an enigma England could not solve. After two friendly appearances in 2012 and 2013 his England career is over. It never really began. The Crystal Palace winger, one of the most uniquely talented England players in recent memory, has pledged his international future to the Ivory Coast. England have let a diamond…

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Marlos Moreno is not (Rafael) Scheidt

When Tim Vickery, expatriate South American soccer pundit extraordinaire, tips a young player for success it is usually worth paying attention. Listeners to the BBC’s fantastic World Football Phone-in will know that, despite the occasional ‘Rafael Scheidt moment’ (*full description below), he is generally an excellent judge of talent. Vickery knows his stuff. So when…

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Kylian Mbappe is living up to the hype

Football is not short of wonderkids. Young players are chucked on the hype wagon at the earliest show of promise. They are mercilessly labelled the next Maradona or Messi by all sorts of immoral propaganda merchants (not this site of course . . . ). This is neither fair nor beneficial to a player’s development but it…

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Bournemouth go 100% wonderkid

Eddie Howe is in wonderkid mode.   Bournemouth have signed five players this transfer window with an average age of just 20. All five meet our wonderkid criteria. Jordon Ibe, Nathan Ake, Lewis Cook, Emerson Hyndman and Lys Mousset have strong or burgeoning reputations and their recruitment represents a significant statement of intent for Bournemouth…

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Yeferson Soteldo The Little Big Man

Footballers come in all shapes and sizes but not many are shorter than Yeferson Soteldo. The 18-year-old is the biggest and smallest talent in Venezuelan football. He stands at just 160cm tall. Lionel Messi is short but Soteldo is a full ten centimetres shorter than the Argentinian giant. If you are 160cm and want to…

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AFC U23 Preview

The Asian Under 23 Championship starts in Qatar today, the prize for the top three teams is a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. South Korea, Japan and the UAE were Asia’s representatives at London 2012.  There is no standout team this time around with several  strong contenders capable of qualification. Here we…

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