The best U-20 talents in Europe’s second divisions

Category: New Talents

We highlight the best U-20 talents in the second divisions of the top five European leagues.


When a club needs new, young talent, where does it start looking? Every club is different with respect to its investment capacity, and recruiting talent, countries and leagues to watch, style of first team play and a host of other variables that make each club look in one place or another. And among those targets are, of course, the second divisions.

When a player has been playing in a second division for a long time, it is likely to be more difficult for him to make the leap to a top level first division, having to find a league that is commensurate with his quality. However, when the player who stands out is young or very young, there is a good chance that his progression will be up to the competitive demands of a first division. That’s why we wanted to dive into the second divisions of the top five leagues to find (very) young talent that could respond to the challenge of a big club in the future.

Malick Thiaw – 20 years old – Schalke 04 – Bundesliga 2

Perhaps this name no longer belongs on lists like this one, as Malick Thiaw has already been sounded out by big European clubs and will surely prove his level in one of the five or seven big European leagues this coming market. We are talking about a centre-back with an outstanding one-on-one ability in all kinds of situations. His particular test as a future great player in a big league is that he intervenes in many of his team’s possessions, helping to build from the back.

Fabio Carvalho – 19 years old – Fulham – Championship

One of the most skilful players in the Championship, Fabio Carvalho is another of the great European U-20s playing in the second tier. Very quick in the final metres, very deep in his movements and with a ball handling very difficult to defend, he is the great offensive talent of Marco Silva’s Fulham, leader of the Championship and clear candidate for promotion to the Premier League.

Arnau Martinez – 18 years old – Girona – Segunda División

One of the great sensations of the Spanish Segunda Division is Girona’s right wing-back Arnau Martinez, fundamental in all the progressions and crosses to the area of Michel’s team, in which he stands out assuring the possession and taking the ball to areas of greater danger without neglecting defensive tasks and with concentration and intensity when the rival attacks his side, something really relevant considering he is only 18 years old.

Mario Vuskovic – 20 years old – Hamburg – Bundesliga 2

Recruited from Hajduk Split, the Croatian has played 50% of the minutes showing his main strengths: aerial duels and direct play and a great ability to defend one on one, with an 85% success rate, adding more than a 50% success rate in long balls.

In addition to these four players, we wanted to complete our list with the following names, where we highlight the English 18-year-old Levi Colwill, who we already highlighted in a previous text and who is one of the great English promises in the centre-back position.

**This list includes only a few of the many players who will be released in June in all leagues. Not all of them, and only some of the most interesting ones in terms of quality and market value. Do not hesitate to contact us to know more about the free agent market.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 180,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

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