Marcos Llorente – Spain, Alaves (On loan from Real Madrid)
Another one with football running through his veins, Marcos Llorente’s father, Francisco, grandfather Ramon Grosso and uncle Francisco Gento all represented Los Blancos in their day, and Marcos is expected of great things. He joined the club at the age of 13 in 2008 and made great strides with the youth team before being promoted straight to the reserves side by then-boss Zinedine Zidane at the age of 19.
With Zidane now being at the helm of the senior side, he loaned Llorente out to Deportivo Alaves and has been a massive figure for them in midfield. He even gained a bit of admiration earlier this season from the capital when he was part of the side that shocked Barcelona at the Camp Nou to cause an early blip to their title bid. Often compared to Xabi Alonso, his excellent range of passing has helped Alaves to 12th in the league after 16 games in their first season in the top division since 2005-06.
With competition for places in midfield rife over at the capital, Llorente is on the right path in his footballing education and is expected to be a key figure in the Real Madrid midfield for years to come. Still only 21, there’s time for him to improve his game, and make his way in to the Blancos first team setup.
Gabriel Boschilia – AS Monaco, Brazil
No “potential wonderkid” list is complete without the presence of a Brazilian, and we’ve followed suit. AS Monaco’s Gabriel Boschilia has been tipped to great things by French and Brazilian media following a string of impressive performances for the principality club in the French Ligue 1 as Monaco sit pretty in second having scored a mammoth 56 league goals so far.
Boschilia has been a part of three of those with many of his appearances having come from bench, but he’s still got talent blooming out of him and has shown his talents in midfield and in attack. The former Sao Paulo man was destined for great things from the start of his career having scored six goals in the FIFA U17 World Cup in 2013 – the second most in the tournament.
Juventus and Arsenal have been tracking the Monaco’s number 26 and the North London club even see him as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez, should the Chilean decide to end his stay at the English capital club in the near future. He’s got all the attributes to replace him, and he is one to keep an eye out for in the upcoming year as Monaco look to return to their glory days.