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2016's 'Ones To Watch' List Had Some Very Interesting Names

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2016's 'Ones To Watch' List Had Some Very Interesting Names

Youri Tielemans topped the 'ones to watch' charts in 2016 and five years later it's not looking like a bad shout for the Leicester City midfielder.

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Everyone loves spotting a wonderkid early on, especially if you happen to play Football Manager at all, but knowing who will go on to be great and who will fail isn't easy.

SPORTbible recently gave it a go, predicting who would make up a World XI in 2026, and there's no surprise Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland were the first names on the team sheet.

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Back in 2016, Goal tried an even more difficult task, by picking the top prospects from around the world and picking the best players born on or after January 1st 1997.

Here's their NXGN list from five years ago, there's certainly a mixed bag when it comes to success and failure.

15. Umar Sadiq - Was playing for: Spezia, now playing for: Almeria

14. Amadou Diawara - Was playing for: Bologna, now playing for: Roma

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13. Donny van de Beek - Was playing for: Ajax, now playing for: Manchester United

Van de Beek moved to United last summer but hasn't played much yet. Image: PA Images
Van de Beek moved to United last summer but hasn't played much yet. Image: PA Images

12. Gabriel Jesus - Was playing for: Palmeiras, now playing for: Manchester City

11. Vaclav Cerny - Was playing for: Ajax, now playing for: FC Twente

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10. Joe Gomes - Was playing for: Liverpool, now playing for: Liverpool

9. Malcolm - Was playing for: Corinthians, now playing for: Zenit St Petersburg

8. Renato Sanches - Was playing for: Benfica, now playing for: Lille

Sanches had a torrid time on loan at Swansea but has since rebuilt his reputation. Image: PA Images
Sanches had a torrid time on loan at Swansea but has since rebuilt his reputation. Image: PA Images
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7. Ante Coric - Was playing for: Dinamo Zagreb, now playing for: Olimpija Ljubljana

6. Gerson - Was playing for: Roma, now playing for: Flamengo

5. Martin Odegaard - Was playing for: Real Madrid, now playing for: Arsenal

Odegaard is really showing his talent on loan at Arsenal. Image: PA Images
Odegaard is really showing his talent on loan at Arsenal. Image: PA Images
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4. Ruben Neves - Was playing for: Porto, now playing for: Wolves

3. Gianluigi Donnarumma - Was playing for: AC Milan, now playing for: AC Milan

2. Breel Embolo - Was playing for: FC Basel, now playing for: Borussia Monchengladbach

1. Youri Tielemans - Was playing for: Anderlecht, now playing for: Leicester City

Tielemans has become an integral part of Leicester's impressive team. Image: PA Images
Tielemans has become an integral part of Leicester's impressive team. Image: PA Images

Other than Embolo, who is far from a bad player, the top five shows how well the Goal team did with Odegaard, Neves, Donnarumma and Tielemans all excellent players.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Football, Serie A, Martin Odegaard, Ligue 1, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga

Ryan Sidle
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