Top five U-21 stars who will be in demand next summer

Young players with a proven track record and a high ceiling are always in demand as these players can go on to serve a club for many years even if they cost a fortune. Several young stars such as Frenkie De Jong and Eder Militao have already confirmed their future and these five players could follow in the summer.

#5. Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)

Bayer Leverkusen have many fantastic talents such as Kai Havertz, Leon Bailey and Julian Brandt. They are running the risk of losing these players next summer if they don’t qualify for the Champions League. And it looks unlikely at the moment as they are five points behind fourth place with four games left to play.

The one Leverkusen player who is likely to attract a lot of interest from a host of top European clubs is the German international Kai Havertz, who is enjoying a great season. 

The German has been a first-team player for Leverkusen since 2016 and scored 8 goals in his first two seasons. This season, he has tripled his goals tally for Leverkusen by scoring 16 goals in 37 games from midfield.

The 19-year-old is heavily linked to rivals Bayern Munich and a move could happen as the Bavarian club has an impending squad overhaul.

#4. Joao Felix (Benfica)

Some fantastic young players have come through the Benfica academy in recent years such as Bernardo Silva, Ederson Moraes, and Joao Cancelo among many others. The most recent exciting talent to come through the club’s academy is Joao Felix.

Benfica appointed Bruno Lage as their manager in January 2019 and under his tutelage, Joao Felix has established himself as a key first-team player in less than half a season. Felix has scored 18 goals and assisted nine more in only 39 games so far this season.

The 19-year-old scored a hat-trick in the Europa League quarterfinal against Eintracht Frankfurt and in the process, he became the youngest player to do so in the competition.

Felix is a versatile player who is capable of playing as an attacking midfielder, winger or as a striker. His incredible performance for the Portuguese side hasn’t gone unnoticed and he has been linked with Real Madrid, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool in recent weeks. However, Benfica have set a release clause of €120 million for the player which could put off several interested parties. 

#3. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Jadon Sancho is one of many promising young English players in the game right now and arguably the most valuable of them all. Sancho moved to Borussia Dortmund for first-team opportunities in 2017 and this decision has proved to be a brilliant one for the England international. 

This season, Sancho has been one of Dortmund’s most influential players in their quest to win the Bundesliga title. In all competitions, the 19-year-old has 12 goals and 15 assists to his name in only 39 games. In the league alone, he has 11 goals and 13 assists in 30 games with direct involvement in a goal every 90 minutes.

Impressively, he is one of only five players in Europe’s Top 5 leagues with at least ten goals and assists each and the others in this exclusive list are Lionel Messi, Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and Pablo Sarabia.

Borussia Dortmund are keen on keeping the player but Sancho is wanted by several English clubs with Manchester United on top of the list.

#2. Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

Ajax have some fantastic young players in their squad who’ve helped them reach the semifinal of the UEFA Champions League. One of those players, Frenkie de Jong, is confirmed to join Barcelona next summer and Matthijs de Ligt could follow him to the Catalan club.

De Ligt has already played over 100 games for Ajax in all competitions and he will only turn 20-years-old in August. He has impressed fans and experts with a maturity that defies his age, fantastic composure on the ball, excellent reading of the game, leadership skills, and aerial presence.

The Dutch international is nailed on to make a move away from Ajax in the summer with a host of European superpowers interested in his services. If rumours are to be believed, then Barcelona are leading the race to sign the most recent winner of the Golden Boy award. However, it will not be easy to negotiate a deal with his agent, Mino Raiola.

#1. Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Earlier this month, Eintracht Frankfurt confirmed the permanent signing of Luka Jovic for only €7 million after paying €200,000 as loan fee for his services two years ago. The Bundesliga club will make a huge profit on the player in the summer as the Serbian is a target for several top European clubs.

Jovic has been one of the best strikers in Europe this season and his impressive form has helped his club reach the semifinal of the Europa League and also make the Top 4 of the Bundesliga.

In all competitions, the 21-year-old striker has 25 goals and six assists in only 42 games. It is this impressive goalscoring return that has caught the eye of clubs like Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid.