Meet The 'New Lionel Messi' Who Could Be Playing Premier League Football Next Season

Ladies and gentlemen, meet 17-year-old forward Thiago Almada, the Velez Sarsfield wonderkid who has tipped to become the next Lionel Messi by many. No pressure, kid.

Almada, who is a regular starter for the Primera Division side, is believed to be the hottest prospect in Argentina.

The fact that Pep Guardiola is said to have sent scouts to watch Velez Sarsfield games of late, just to keep an eye on the talented youngster, says so much about this talented teen.

Manchester City are reportedly ready to splash £20million on the 17-year-old.

And if they struggle to receive a work permit for Almada, they will loan him to feeder club Girona in order to make it happen, according to The Sun.

Of course, many have been dubbed the new Messi in the past and have struggled to live up to expectation.

Sporting Lisbon and former Dundee United player Ryan Gauld was touted for greatness in his early days, with the likes of Manchester United lurking around over a potential deal.

But he never really got going in the world of football and now plays on loan at Scottish Premiership side Hibernian.

Another player who was given the tag was former Arsenal forward Ryo Miyaichi, who was famed for his incredible turn of speed.

After loan spells at Bolton and Wigan, he struggled to make an impression and now plays for Bundesliga second division side FC St. Pauli, aged 26.

The likes of Marko Marin and Bojan also spring to mind, but heres hoping Almada flourishes in the coming years.

Remember the name.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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