The European Under-21 Championships began this week across Hungary and Slovenia, giving scouts from some of the biggest clubs across Europe a chance to take a closer look at some of the most exciting young talent that any nation can offer.
The first part of the tournament will last until next Wednesday, while the knockout phase will take place between May 31 and June 6.
Arsenal are reportedly on the market for a series of upgrades at various positions this summer, and while they will no doubt already have goals in mind, they will likely continue to keep a close eye on the tournament and record players who impress.
With that in mind, below are just a few names that could leave an impression on this big stage.
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Sven Botman – Netherlands – 21
The Botman will probably be on the radar of many top parties already given his impressive season so far in Ligue 1 with Lille.
He is a left-handed chairman standing at 6ft4in. This helps its dominance in the air and on the floor.
This season, in European and domestic league competitions, he has an extremely high success rate of 77.4 percent in air and 68.2 percent in defensive matches.
Not only this, but he is also calm and composed in the ball, which makes him a key gear for his side in possession. He has a pass rate of over 89 percent this season, however, those passes aren’t always short and sideways, and you’ll regularly see him try more penetrating balls in the final third when the opportunity arises.
Teun Koopmeiners – Netherlands – 23
Koopmeiners is an exciting midfielder who behaves predominantly as a CM / DM left-hander for both the Netherlands and Dutch clothing AZ Alkmaar.
He has strong technical abilities when in possession, is always calm and capable of a wide range of nice progressive touches that help him avoid pressure and allow him to quickly recognize nearby passing possibilities.
Without the ball, a midfielder can make it harder to get around. As for defensive duels, he has a 65.5 percent success rate this season – this is within the top 15 Eredivisie midfielders who have played more than 1,000 minutes.
The defensive side of the 22-year-old’s game is also helped by his decent 6-foot frame, as well as a good pace that helps him recover or quickly close the opponent on the ball.
It is remarkable that, even though he played a deeper role on the field, he scored 16 league and European goals, as well as recording six additional assists for AZ this season. Admittedly, those contributions to goals came almost exclusively from passing or penalty kicks, but his efficiency from them is definitely an added bonus for his team.
Amine Gouiri – France – 21
Gouri is a skillful striker with plenty of cheating and rhythm in his locker. He left Lyon in the summer to join Nice in search of more minutes on the field, and quickly became one of Ligue 1’s most exciting talents.
For his club, he tends to act predominantly on the left side, helping him cut his favorite right leg. It’s the same internationally, though don’t be surprised when he occasionally plays through the middle as a center forward.
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At home this season, he scored an impressive 16 league goals from xG of 15.78, which is a nice comeback. On top of all that, he made an additional seven passes.
If he repeats this form with his national team in the coming weeks, watching a number of big European clubs, then Nice will be suspended from trying to keep him over the summer.