Name: Nicolas Ignacio Castillo Mora (Nicolas Castillo) Age: 20 Club: Universidad Catolica Position: Forward Nationality: Chile Since his standout performances at the South American Youth Championship in January, the future of Chile striker Nicolas Castillo has been a major talking point among the continent's media outlets. Linked with moves to Italy and Belgium at the time of the tournament, he instead remained in his homeland for the time being. It would appear, though, as if the race is already hotting up to secure his signature this summer.
Full name: Neymar da Silva Santos Junior Age: 21 Club: Santos Position: Forward Nationality: Brazilian “Barca will make a great signing with Neymar. He will be, along with Messi, one of the idols for the fans next season.” That was the view of Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari this week regarding the possible transfer of Neymar to Spanish giant Barcelona. Felipao, like many others in the Brazilian game, seems fairly certain that his star forward will be heading to the Camp Nou this summer -- it has an almost inevitable feel about it.
Name: Memphis Depay Age: 19 Club: PSV Eindhoven Position: Versatile forward Nationality: Dutch Who is he? Memphis Depay shot onto the scene in the 2011-12 season, scoring a handful of goals from the sbench to cement his status as one of the Eredivisie's brightest young talents. The wide forward then starred with his nation's Under-19 side at the 2012 European Championship. This campaign, though, has not been easy for the PSV youngster. Memphis, the name he now goes by, was brought up by his mother in Moordrecht, having not seen his father since childhood.
It is just a week since the European football world was handed its biggest transfer story of 2013 thus far. Mario Gotze, the young rising star of Borussia Dortmund's much heralded side, was heading to league rivals Bayern Munich for a fee of €37 million. As domestic transfers go, it was about as big as it gets, delivering something of a statement of intent from the Munich camp. The groans could be heard from across the European game. While Dortmund were justifiably peeved to have lost a major component of their side to their direct rivals, teams like Manchester City, Arsenal and even Real Madrid were also delivered a sharp blow by the news - if reports are to be believed.
Name: Yordy Reyna Age: 19 Club: Alianza Lima Position: Forward Nationality: Peru The South American Youth Championship is always a good opportunity to spot rising stars of the world game. After all, in 2011, the likes of Neymar, Lucas Moura and Oscar all featured in Brazil's squad alone, while in 2009, Eduardo Salvio, Sandro and Salomon Rondon were just some of those who announced their arrival as potential forces in world football. There can be little doubt, then, that some of the many stars of the 2013 tournament will also go on to achieve much greater things, and there are several players already well on their way to doing so.
The fight for the Belgian Pro League title tends to be somewhat of a closed shop, with Anderlecht, Genk, Standard Liege and Club Brugge dividing up all but two titles over the course of the past thirty years. They are the clear "big four" of modern Belgian football, and it is Anderlecht, of course, who have triumphed more than most. It will not surprise anyone to know, then, that the four are all involved in the current league title playoff, in which the top sides will all meet each other to help decide the destination of the Jupiler League trophy.
Name: Geoffrey Kondogbia Age: 20 Club: Sevilla Position: Defensive Midfielder Nationality: French It has been quite some 12 months for Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, having progressed from representing RC Lens in France's Ligue 2 to now being linked with a transfer to the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and AC Milan. Kondogbia was previously linked to Premier League newcomers Reading and rejected a move to Juventus last summer, instead opting for a move to Seville for what now appears to have been a bargain €4 million.
Name: Leandro Age: 19 Club: Palmeiras (on-loan from Gremio) Position: Forward Nationality: Brazilian He is yet to reach his 20th birthday, yet Palmeiras forward Leandro has already experienced highs and lows that some players will avoid throughout the entirety of their career. With his reputation having lurched between "little Neymar" and "unwanted flop" statuses since his 2011 debut, the Brasilia-born forward continues to divide opinion. For the moment, though, having scored on his international debut for Brazil, against Bolivia, last weekend, Leandro's status is very much on the rise.
Name: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Age: 23 Club: Saint-Etienne Position: Forward Nationality: Gabonese It is now a little over twelve months since Saint Etienne parted with around GBP;1.5 million to secure the services of then 22-year-old striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It is a deal that may turn out to be one of the most profitable in the history of the Stephanois club. Aubameyang is now hot property. From perennial AC Milan loanee, Aubameyang has transformed himself into an important first-team player for Les Verts and, with 17 league goals to his name this season, is well on his way to firing his side to a place in next year's Champions League.
Name: Viktor Fischer Age: 18 Club: Ajax Position: Forward Nationality: Danish It's a tough life as a forward when you are not scoring, even more so when you are in just your first season of senior football. So for Ajax's young Danish star Viktor Fischer it must have been a relief to end his recent drought this weekend - and end it in some style. It will have been, though, a valuable reality check for a player who was flying after a bright start to his senior career. The talent of the young Ajax star has never been in doubt, especially following a stunning arrival in the first-team scene in the early season, but he had started to find his immediate role in the side questioned after a recent drop-off in effectiveness.
The Football League Awards took place in London on Sunday night and youth was the order of the day, with the two biggest individual prizes claimed by players still eligible to play at Under-21 level for another season. Matej Vydra, Watford's 20-goal Czech centre-forward claimed the top prize on the night, earning the Championship Player of the Year crown, while Blackpool's 21-year-old winger Thomas Ince was named Young Player of the Year for his contributions this season. While some will continue to debate the decisions, both are undoubtedly deserving winners of their prizes.
Name: Dede Age: 24 Club: Vasco da Gama Position: Centre-Back Nationality: Brazilian It's been a few months since Dede's name last cropped up in relation to the Premier League, so it was about time that links resurfaced. When Vasco director of football Cristiano Koehler announced this week that the Carioca club were anticipating his exit this summer, it was only going to be a matter of time. It was unsurprising, then, that on Thursday morning reports began to emerge of a battle between Manchester United and Liverpool for his 15-million-pound signature, with the latter said to be leading the race.