New season, new faces, new prospects ; France’s Under -19 won the 2016 EUROS after an epic game v Italy 4-0 ( Jean-Kevin Augustin(6th), Ludovic Blas (20th), Lucas Trousart(83rd) Issa Diop(90th+2).This is the third time that a U-19 French team win the competition after the 2005 win with Hugo Lloris and Yohan Cabaye and the 2010 success who saw the blooming of Alexandre Lacazette and Antoine Griezmann.
These players are not the only ones who look for a place under the sun, like their elders; here’s 11 of them:
Alban Lafont ( 1999, Toulouse FC , goalkeeper)
The Burkina Faso born (French father) came to France aged 9; started a career of a striker and he was a good one too, but after his arrival in Toulouse FC in 2014 and several games with the U16 and U17 some perceptive soul proposed him for the vacant place of the club’s goalkeeper. Maybe it was a crazy thing to do, but the club was in the middle of a big crisis concerning their number one and two goalies:neither Mauro Coicoechea nor Ali Ahamada were able to keep a clean sheet thus putting in danger les Toulousains, so in desperation the teenager (16 + 309 days) became the youngest GK in Ligue 1 and the rest is history. The”New Hugo Lloris” is still a schoolboy but he’s already good in the air, play with his feet style sweeper-keeper and even if he’s not the final product …yet, he works hard and shows his force and serenity on the pitch. It won’t be easy to lure him away from Toulouse ,”la ville rose”. He just signed a three-year professional contract with les Toulousains.
Issa Diop ( 1997 , Toulouse FC, defender)
The Toulouse born, joined his town club in 2006 and spent his young years climbing one by one the club’s different groups. His first game(aged 18, 11/28/2015) v OGC Nice was so impressive that earned him the MOTM award !
The young Toulousain’s game is not perfect but he can defend showing precocious maturity and calm; his idols are Vincent Kompany, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva, could that be a good omen? He ‘s on a four-year contract with TFC, this club are very keen to keep their own !
Malang Sarr (1999 , OGC Nice, defender)
Born in Nice, Sarr joined his town’s local academy at the age of five and spent twelve years before making his début for the club’s Ligue1 game v Rennes. The young Aiglon’s header was the only shot on target that Nice managed to do, under a scorching sun, too hot to play even for the french southerners !
Wearing the number 34, without his name on his back the teenager produced a strong game, showed maturity despite his lack of experience and dedicated his goal to Nice’s victims on Bastille’s Day. (07/14/2016)
Clement Michelin (1997 ,FC Toulouse, defender)
The Montauban born, plays for FC Toulouse( yes, another Toulousain; Toulouse is becoming the future talent provider for French football) and made his début against Lille( 09/20/2016, 61st)
He’s got good reviews when he played for France(U16, U17, U18); currently playing with the U20 and signed his first professional three year contract with les Toulousains on October 2016.
Jordy Gaspar (1997, Olympique Lyonnais, defender)
The youngster played not only for France’s U19, but also made his début in Champions League on 27 September 2016 v Sevilla away(1-0) OL coach Bruno Genesio, is very keen of him and uses him frequently when Raphael or Rybus need to rest.
Lucas Trousart (1997, Olympique Lyonnais, midfielder)
Born in Arras, Trousart began his career playing for Ligue’s 2 Valenciennes; signed to Lyon in 2015. He replaced Maxime Gonalons during his ban and was one of the best against Olympique de Marseille.
Amine Harit (1997, FC Nantes, midfielder)
The Pontoise born played for several youth clubs( Argenteuil C.O, Paris st Germain, Red Star) before joining Nantes; since then he’s a first team regular.
Ludovic Blas (1997, EA Guingamp, midfielder)
This attacking midfielder signed with Guingamp and after a season with the B-team (2014-2015) is now a regular with the first team; good performances, so far.
Kylian Mbappé (1998, AS Monaco, forward)
This teenager, secured a place in the record books by becoming the youngest goalscorer in Monaco’s history (17 years and 254 days),displacing Thierry Henry in the process. He made his Ligue 1 début on 2 december 2015 in a 1-1 draw against Caen and signed his first professional contract, a three-year deal (March 2015). Currently injured, he’s still a valuable member of the Monégasque club who refused already 40M euros from Manchester City.
Jean-Kevin Augustin (1997, Paris st Germain, forward)
Maybe the most known of this bunch; best goalscorer of the last U-19 Euros, this Parisian born and bred is already a seasoned player frequently replacing players like Javier Pastore and Edinson Cavani.“My game is based on explosiveness” he says.” Between training sessions, I work in the weights’ room. Training with big stars every day, you can only succeed. My teammates tell me I must think of hitting the target, before I start to think about shooting hard.Goals are important, but football is a team sport; if I’m in the right position to finish it off, it’s because of the work of the whole unit.”
Odsonne Edouard (1998, Toulouse FC, forward)
This young striker plays on a one-season loan for Toulouse, but he’s a Paris st Germain player. He made his début with the Parisian giants first team squad as an unused substitute at the 2016 International Champions Cup . Six days later, he came on in the 79th minute against Leicester, scoring a goal in his official début. Currently he plays with Toulouse’s first team, awaiting his chance to be a part of his home club, even if he’s aware that it won’t be easy.(Too many stars in Paris !)