By 90Min
February 05, 2019

There's nothing quite as exciting as seeing a young, talented footballer emerge at your club. The murmur of intrigue as the unfamiliar name is announced over the PA system, the sudden rush of adrenaline as the starlet makes their first big contribution - ghosting past a player a decade their senior, or making a crunching tackle to make the fans rise off their seats in unison.

At present, there's a crop of seriously gifted young players making a name for themselves across world football, earning the 'wonderkid' title and looking to push on to an illustrious career.

Here's eight of the best young starlets looking to live up to their enormous potential...

Federico Chiesa 

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Serie A is awash with prodigious youngsters at the moment, but Fiorentina's Federico Chiesa has emerged as a real standout performer this season.

The homegrown talent has risen through the ranks with I Viola, and looks to be having his breakthrough season this year, having already notched up ten goals and three assists already.

Most notably, the 21-year-old bagged a hat-trick for his side as they mauled Roma 7-1 in the Coppa Italia, showing himself to be an absolute gem of a player.

Callum Hudson-Odoi 

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There's a reason why Bayern Munich were ready to break the bank to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea.

The 18-year-old has simply exploded onto the Stamford Bridge scene this season, being given first team opportunities by his new manager Maurizio Sarri and taking them with absolute gusto.

With bags of pace, a sumptuous first touch and a fearless style of attacking play, it's only a matter of time until this young man gets a senior call-up for the England national team.

João Félix 

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Courted by a host of elite clubs, 19-year-old João Félix looks set to be the hottest thing to come out of Portugal since Cristiano Ronaldo - which is probably why Manchester United are so keen on him!

A bold statement? Absolutely - but the sheer raw talent possessed by the Benfica boy really can't be overstated. 

He's made an instant impact in the first team since being promoted from youth level this season, scoring five goals and making two assists in just 11 appearances.

Gianluigi Donnarumma 

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Being dubbed as the heir to Gianluigi Buffon's throne isn't an easy moniker to carry, granted, but the giant goalkeeper has the potential to be Italy's number one for the next two decades.

Standing at almost two metres tall, the 19-year-old is an imposing figure capable of striking fear into the hearts of even the most experienced opposition attackers.

The AC Milan man is destined to play Champions League football too, and could well move on to a bigger club come the summer transfer window.

Kai Havertz 


Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz is a ridiculously accomplished player for his age, and boasts the versatility to play either as a defensive midfielder or in a more advanced role.

The 19-year-old is widely viewed as the shining light to save Germany's senior side, who are on their knees after a nightmare World Cup and UEFA Nations League campaign.

The dynamic midfielder has netted on ten occasions for his club already in the 2018/19 campaign, and has chipped in a tasty five assists to boot.

Luka Jović 

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Another Bundesliga belter here, Luka Jović is going from strength to strength during a highly successful loan spell with Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Serbian ace is believed to be on Real Madrid's radar as they look to build for the future, and has burst onto the Bundesliga scene, scoring 18 goals in a blistering run of form for Die Adler.

There's no chance Benfica will hold onto the powerful forward after this season, but they'll be rolling in the money if they cash in on both him and Félix in the summer.


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Filling Dani Alves enormous shoes has been a real conundrum for Barcelona to solve, but they finally seem to have got their man, with defensive speedster Emerson joining them in January.

The archetypal wing-back, Emerson is as strong going forward as he is defending, and is set to dazzle fans of the Catalan giants next season after completing a loan spell with Betis.

The 20-year-old has some valuable youth caps under his belt, and is currently starring at the South American Championship for Brazil's U20 side.

Kylian Mbappé


Very few players can say they've won two domestic league titles and a World Cup before turning twenty, but Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappé certainly can!

The outrageously talented player is destined to be a leading star in the post Ronaldo-Messi era, and his scoring record is just phenomenal - this season alone, he's scored 30 goals for club and country.

If there's any player who has it in them to both live up to, and even exceed the estimations of their potential, its Mbappé.

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