Euro 2024: 10 Rising Stars to Watch

Euro 2024: 10 Rising Stars to Watch

The anticipation is only rising ahead of Euro 2024 kicking off on Friday night when hosts Germany take on Scotland in Munich.

Several teams will fancy their chances of glory this summer in what promises to be a fascinating tournament.

Although the likes of Erling Haaland, Martin Odegaard and Alexander Isak are among the big names who won’t be in Germany, there are a plethora of European stars who will hope to shine.

Below, Mail Sport’s DANNY MURPHY has picked out 10 players to keep an eye on over the next month, including a Spanish wonderkid who has brought his homework with him to Euro 2024 and an English midfielder who was playing in the Championship earlier this year. 

The anticipation is rising ahead of Euro 2024 starting on Friday when Germany face Scotland

Several teams fancy their chances of success in Germany, where many stars will be in action

Several teams fancy their chances of success in Germany, where many stars will be in action

 

1 JAMAL MUSIALA (GERMANY/Bayern Munich)

I’ve rarely seen a player dribble past opponents with such ease and I’d be amazed if we aren’t all drooling over the 21-year-old.

I love Musiala’s self-belief. He doesn’t seem to care who he’s up against. Some would be intimidated by the expectation of playing at home but he’ll embrace it.

He can play anywhere along the front line. That gives Germany great options.

I¿ve rarely seen a player dribble past opponents with as much ease as Germany's Jamal Musiala

I’ve rarely seen a player dribble past opponents with as much ease as Germany’s Jamal Musiala

 

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Lamine Yamal, 16, brings his HOMEWORK with him to Euro 2024

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2 LAMINE YAMAL (SPAIN/Barcelona)

How many players clock up 50 appearances for Barcelona by the age of 16? Yamal’s 17th birthday is not until the day before the final — what a story that would be if Spain go all the way. 

For a player to be this good so young is phenomenal. Already the youngest debutant and scorer in La Liga, he’s a superstar in the making.

Yamal has the quick feet to beat defenders and the pace to get away. Big things are expected.

 

3 EDUARDO CAMAVINGA (FRANCE/Real Madrid)

Hugely impressive in Real Madrid’s Champions League final win and now Camavinga can be a major influence in this France team, either in midfield, which is his specialist position, or covering at left back. He plays with great maturity for a 21-year-old.

In the engine room, the most important position on the park, he can keep the ball when under pressure and is also quick and tenacious. He has been outstanding every time I’ve watched him play.

France have many excellent midfielders but I think he’ll end up receiving more praise than N’Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann or Aurelien Tchouameni.

After starring for Real Madrid in their Champions League triumph, Eduardo Camavinga now has his sights set on helping to lead France to glory at Euro 2024 over the coming month

 

4 DUSAN VLAHOVIC (SERBIA/Juventus)

His resurgence with Juventus is a warning to England, who face Serbia in their opening game on Sunday. It wasn’t long ago that everyone in the Premier League seemed to be chasing Vlahovic, who opted to join Juve over Arsenal when he left Fiorentina in 2022. 

After some setbacks in Turin, Vlahovic looked back to his best in scoring 18 goals last season. His strike partnership with Aleksandar Mitrovic will be a challenge for whoever Gareth Southgate picks in defence.

Vlahovic is robust and powerful, like an old-fashioned English centre forward, but also has a turn of pace that Mitrovic lacks. 

He can be quiet during games and then, bang. He only needs that half-chance to score.

Dusan Vlahovic has been revitalised over recent months and he will be a threat to England 

 

5 LOIS OPENDA (BELGIUM/RB Leipzig)

Major tournaments often produce stars who begin on the bench but go on to make a huge impact and it could happen with Openda. 

Belgium will start with Romelu Lukaku, but if they turn to the 28-goal Leipzig striker he is in top form. 

Quick, dynamic and calm in front of goal, Openda loves to run in behind, which is a nightmare for defenders.

Quick, dynamic and calm in front of goal, Belgium striker Lois Openda loves to run in behind

 

6 MANUEL AKANJI (SWITZERLAND/Man City)

Perhaps goes under the radar a bit at Manchester City, but at international level Akanji has more responsibility and he will effectively be Switzerland’s playmaker from centre back.

He is comfortable at full back, as the holding midfielder or in the centre of defence — and it takes a really good football brain to be so versatile.

I am a huge admirer and he is a big reason why I think the Swiss will make the knockouts.

Manuel Akanji will be crucial for Switzerland and he is their playmaker from centre back

Manuel Akanji will be crucial for Switzerland and he is their playmaker from centre back

 

7 ANTONIO SILVA (PORTUGAL/Benfica)

It looks like the 20-year-old will partner Ruben Dias in the heart of Portugal’s defence and, given the quality of their squad, that tells you everything about how highly he is rated. 

A towering physical presence, it’s no surprise Liverpool and Manchester United are sniffing around him.

Liverpool and Manchester United are sniffing around Portugal centre back Antonio Silva

Liverpool and Manchester United are sniffing around Portugal centre back Antonio Silva

 

8 KENAN YILDIZ (TURKEY/Juventus)

They already know about the 19-year-old Juventus midfielder in Germany. He scored against them when Turkey won in Berlin.

Tall for a playmaker at 6ft 2in, I love the way Yildiz covers the ground and can twist markers by going past them on either side. 

It’s rare for someone with that ability to also have a physical presence. He can shine as a No 10 or coming off the left.

Kenan Yildiz covers the ground and can twist markers by going past them on either side

Kenan Yildiz covers the ground and can twist markers by going past them on either side

 

9 FLORIAN WIRTZ (GERMANY/Bayer Leverkusen)

Given the record-breaking season Bayer Leverkusen have had, it would be remiss not to include their best player.

Wirtz has great balance and manipulates the ball really well. He starts out wide and has the skills to beat a man, but likes to come inside where he can cause damage closer to goal with intricate passes, quick one-twos and his accurate shooting.

With Musiala, Wirtz and Leroy Sane as wide options, Germany have great attacking threats.

Florian Wirtz was Bayer Leverkusen's best player during their record-breaking campaign

Florian Wirtz was Bayer Leverkusen’s best player during their record-breaking campaign

 

10 Adam Wharton (ENGLAND/Crystal Palace)

He’s riding the crest of a wave and if he adapts to international football anything like he’s taken to the Premier League, England have a huge asset.

It’s staggering to think the 20-year-old began this year at Blackburn and has just 15 Premier League starts behind him. But Gareth Southgate isn’t daft and had plenty of other midfield options. He’ll only have picked Wharton based on what he has seen in training and matches, and who is to say he won’t have some kind of impact in Germany?

I was at Selhurst Park when he bossed the midfield in Palace’s 4-0 defeat of United, up against Kobbie Mainoo. Wharton was comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas, playing one-touch and breaking up play.

Adam Wharton is riding the crest of a wave after making a brilliant impact with Crystal Palace

Adam Wharton is riding the crest of a wave after making a brilliant impact with Crystal Palace

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