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Champions League: the eleven of the nuggets to follow


A defense with a French accent, Eduardo Camavinga and eleven clubs represented, find the eleven players ready to explode in the Champions League this season.

Edouard Mendy (Chelsea)

: 28 years old and the status of the oldest player on our team.

Passed by Marseille (8 matches in 2015-2016), it is in Reims that the Senegalese international goalkeeper revealed himself after three high-flying seasons in Champagne.

A year of confirmation in Rennes before the big leap for Chelsea and the illustration of a linear trajectory towards the highest level.

Edouard Mendy is preparing to discover the Champions League not with Rennes but with the Blues.

His successful debut and the recurring setbacks of his competitor Kepa already make him essential in the London cage.

Jules Koundé (Sevilla FC)

 : Great architect of the coronation of Sevilla FC in the Europa League (3-2 against Inter in the final), the former Bordeaux player has taken on a whole new dimension.

Among the sure values ​​in defense on the other side of the Pyrenees, Jules Koundé displays a solidity and a rare head game for his physique (1.84 m).

At 21, the Parisian by birth will participate in his first Champions League campaign.

Before perhaps knowing a first selection in the French team.

Presnel Kimpembe (PSG)

 : The departure of Thiago Silva propelled him into the Paris hierarchy.

At 25, the Parisian titi is now installed in central defense and enjoys the status of vice-captain of the club.

His presence and his serenity in the axis of the Parisian defense prove that he is (already) reaching maturity.

Nothing and nobody frightens the world champion.

This Champions League season can be the season of consecration.

Boubacar Kamara (OM)

 : Among the biggest market values ​​of the workforce, Boubacar Kamara had expressed the wish to discover the most prestigious of competitions with his training club.

A wish granted for the native of Marseille.

Firmly installed in the Marseille eleven, Kamara brilliantly alternates between the axis of the defense (his training position) and a defensive midfielder position.

At ease in duels, he shows a rare personality for his age.

His professional debut at the age of 17 is no stranger to it.

This may already be his last season on the banks of the canebière.

Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

 : His second place in the UEFA best defender of the year ranking suggests that Alphonso Davies has already exploded in the eyes of the world.

Yet the Canadian was only participating in his first European campaign.

Repositioned left side once arrived in Bavaria, Davies was one of the great architects of the return of Bayern to the fore.

His supersonic speed still gives Barça nightmares.

At only 20 years old (he will have them on November 2), it is already the year of confirmation for the worthy successor of David Alaba.

Federico Valverde (Real Madrid)

 : Now essential link of Zinédine Zidane's 4-3-3, the Uruguayan international has had his first full season at the highest level.

His personality and his sense of the game within a world-class environment which is nevertheless not eternal (Modric, Kroos, Isco) testifies that the succession is well assured.

Alongside the Brazilians Vinicius and Rodrygo in front, Federico Valverde (22) represents the future of the most successful club in the Champions League.

Phil Foden (Manchester City)

 : Pure product of the training center, the neo-English international is now much more than the training deposit of a club which has spent a long time without counting without winning the bet in Europe.

The one who made his debut in the same competition in November 2017 has long grabbed playing time here and there before becoming a first-choice element last year in the XXL squad of "SkyBlues".

An attacking midfielder, the left-hander has a speed of execution and versatility appreciated by Pep Guardiola.

Within a rejuvenated team, Phil Foden (20) is the standard bearer of a cityzen youth who dreams of triumph.

Eduardo Camavinga (Stade Rennais)

 : The itinerary of a gifted person passes one time or another through the discovery of the Champions League.

For some it is very early.

At 17, the Rennes nugget will discover the gratin of European football, a few weeks after having started without complex with the France team (a goal against Ukraine).

From the top of a rare experience for his age (50 matches with Rennes), Eduardo Camavinga exudes a serenity and ease in the middle which allow him to aspire to a future at the highest European level.

It seems ready to hatch during this first European campaign which sounds like the perfect opportunity to come out of the anonymity of Ligue 1 weekends.

Ansu Fati (FC Barcelona)

 : His trophy for best player of the month for September in La Liga is a distinction that calls for others.

After having discovered and scored his first goal in the Champions League last year (2-1 on the lawn of Inter), Ansu Fati is experiencing a trajectory similar to that of the previous city (he discovered the Spanish selection two days before Camavinga's debut with France), if we hide the fact that he shines in a club of a completely different stature.

Unpredictable, explosive and full of composure, the one who turns 18 on October 31 has not finished turning heads on his left side.

Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan)

 : If his name is familiar to all the regular followers of the various mercatos, Lautaro Martinez is less famous for his feats of arms in the Champions League.

Author, however, of five goals in six games last year (including one on Barça's lawn), the 23-year-old Argentinian international center-forward is one of those players who can take their team to a new level, starting with take out chickens.

The double confrontation against Real Madrid will be a great opportunity to shine for a player who is being announced with insistence at both Real and Barça.

Federico Chiesa (Juventus Turin) 

: Acted on the last day of the transfer window, his transfer to Juventus Turin will allow him to broaden the gaze here confined to Serie A. Pure product of the Florentine training center, Federico Chiesa made his debut with the Fiorentina in 2016 before becoming a key player in Tuscany (153 appearances).

The right winger who is particularly fond of getting on his left foot will give variety to a Juventus lacking in creativity.

In competition with the Swede Dejan Kulusevski (20), another nugget with a similar profile, the Italian international will move on to revealing the highest level.

Whoever turns 23 on October 25 asks just that.

Read also

  • Cavani already back in Paris with Manchester United

  • Champions League: In his "dreams", François-Henri Pinault sees Rennes in the final

Source: lefigaro

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