Simon Penrose makes his Golazo Argentino debut with the first in his ‘Next Generation’ series. Three of Argentina’s most exciting youngsters in Europe will be the focus, as Simon tracks their progress over the season but he will also be keeping an eye on any impressive performances from young Argentine players in Europe.
As a convert of Argentinian football since the early 90’s and with more young players than ever plying their trade in Europe, it appears almost impossible to keep up with the various players playing all over the continent.
The premise of this is to focus on any of those talented youngsters to have already made the jump but with a focus on three players, who could be set for big seasons.
Giovanni Lo Celso, Ezequiel Ponce and Giovanni Simeone could all play key roles for their clubs and each week, we will see just how they are progressing.
However, since these players are all under 23 and some are more likely than others to see action, information, match ratings and useful titbits about other under 23 Argentinians impressing across Europe will feature.
Here are some bold predictions about how the three focused players will get on throughout the season and the opportunity to review and reflect on these predictions at the halfway point and end of season.
Giovanni Lo Celso
An elegant, behind the front two, attacking midfielder signed from Rosario Central in January 2017, Lo Celso is a well balanced runner with a great first touch and outstanding vision. At a club like Paris Saint-Germain, the 21-year-old may still have to contend with limited playing time this season and could end up on loan at some stage of the season.
However, the young enganche impressed in PSG’s recent preseason friendly against Roma.
A bustling centre forward, in the mold of Martin Palermo, Ezequiel Ponce has an eye for goal and is well adjusted to the European game after a loan spell last season with Granada. Playing under Bielsa will benefit him greatly and the 20-year-old could well finish as top scorer for Lille, prompting him to be one of the most sought after young strikers in Ligue 1 come the end of the season.
Ponce has already been on target in preseason, as Lille defeated Bastia.
A graceful, two footed attacker who loves to cut in from the wing, Simeone has speed and strength and already a successful full season in Serie A to build on. A goal scoring first half of the season for Rossoblu could see the 22-year-old make a big money move come January.
With eleven goals last season, Simone proved himself to be a real threat in and around the penalty box.
With the Russian season already underway one player who could spark a huge bidding war next year is Sebastián Driussi. The €15 million move to Zenit is a very positive one and by the look of the two goals on the 21-year-old’s first start, both the player and the club will reap the rewards this season. Roberto Mancini is one of the best managers to develop him and it is exciting to see his potential over the coming season.
There will be more ‘Next Generation’ every week so keep your eyes peeled.
Simon Penrose, a 30 something football nut from South-West England. Love football and reading. Have loved River Plate since I signed Javier Saviola on Championship Manager. I look forward to any comments, positive or negative.
Give Simon a follow on Twitter here @penner3012