Golazo 50 2019: Argentina’s best young players (40-31)

Hot on the heels of the first part of the Golazo 50 2019, here are the next ten in the countdown.

To be eligible for the list, the players simply need to be born on or after January 1st 1996.

Cutting to 50 as ever was an almost impossible task and as means of some explanation there will be an accompanying podcast in which we discuss how we come up with the list and explain some of those not included.

Thanks to Tom Robinson and Jimmy Lee for helping with the decisions and writing.

Maximiliano Lovera
Olympiacos
09/03/1999
Last year position: 48

Olympiacos supporters might be excused for wondering why Maximiliano Lovera belongs on this list given how little the Greek club have seen of the 20-year-old since his signing in August. A handful of appearances in the league and Champions League prior to their group stage exit hardly showcased Lovera’s talent. Time is still very much on the diminutive playmaker’s side after all it took a while for things to click back in Rosario and that is perhaps what is most frustrating. Always a top prospect, Lovera had just broken into the starting eleven regularly and was making a real impact on the Superliga before Olympiacos swooped.

 

Julián Carranza
Inter Miami
22/05/2000
Last year position: 41

Just like Matías Pellegrini (see number 41) Julián Carranza has now sealed his move to Inter Miami and will be spearheading the exciting new MLS franchise’s attack in 2020. Unlike his new teammate, Carranza has had a decent season since confirming that transfer in July and while Banfield have struggled, the 19-year-old has scored twice gaining plenty of first team experience in the process. Intelligent movement, a decent burst of pace and a strong finisher, Carranza thrives in the penalty box and with better service should find the net. 

Agustín Urzi
Banfield
04/05/2000
New Entry

It’s with good reason that scouts from Argentina’s grandes and further afield are keeping a close eye on Agustín Urzi after a breakthrough season has established the 19-year-old as a regular in the Banfield starting eleven. Urzi’s pace and ability to beat defenders has been equally valuable to the Taladro as it has Argentina’s under-20s and under-23s and should La Albiceleste book a spot in Tokyo, the Olympic tournament  could further enhance the winger’s burgeoning reputation.

Fernando Valenzuela
Barracas Central
22/04/1997
New Entry

It is certainly no reflection on the quality of Fernando Valenzuela that he is the only player included in the 50 playing outside the top flight in Argentina. Snapped up by Racing Club at a young age, the once dubbed Messi santiagueño looked poised to graduate from the academy to the first team after a summer friendly appearance against Independiente. Chances however never materialised and after a loan at Nueva Chicago and his contract expiring, Barracas Central picked up Valenzuela for free. If his trickery and eye for goal with Argentina’s under-23s is anything to go by, Racing may live to rue that decision. 

Maximiliano Romero
Vélez Sarsfield (loan from PSV)
09/01/1999
Last year position: 20

Another swift drop in the rankings is evidence of another frustrating year in the fledgling career of Maxi Romero. Still only 20 and with all the raw materials to be a top number nine even a return to Vélez this season hasn’t helped to reignite Romero. Two goals and three assists from ten starts isn’t too bad yet the PSV loanee has slipped down the pecking order under Gabriel Heinze as the season has progressed. Powerful and good in the air, Romero can hold the ball up well and is an alert penalty box threat but really needs a good 2020 to kick on. 

Damián Batallini
Argentinos Juniors
24/06/1996
New Entry

Something of a late bloomer by Argentinian standards, Damián Batallini at 23 is producing the best football of his career and is a large factor behind Argentinos Juniors enjoying the Christmas break as Superliga leaders. Two goals and a sensational assist against Boca Juniors don’t quite capture Batallini’s involvement in the Bichos attack and it is why the likes of Boca and River are being linked to the winger. Terrific feet and a good crosser, the academy product is also able to cut in off the wings and after struggling for consistency for large parts of his career, Batallini is now impressing on a regular basis. 

Lucas Robertone
Vélez Sarsfield
18/03/1997
Last year position: 35

Unmoved from last year, Lucas Robertone remains a key part of Gabriel Heinze’s Vélez Sarsfield side and yet hasn’t really kicked on in the way some of his teammates have. The 22-year-old has been part of Argentina’s under-23 set-up and will be hoping to push for a place at the Olympics should La Albiceleste qualify. However, an upturn in 2020 will be required to persuade Fernando Batista. Hardworking and a good passer of the ball, Robertone looks to arrive late in the box to chip in with goals but that return needs to improve. 

Julián Álvarez
River Plate
31/01/2000
Last year position: 33

Still not yet established in River Plate’s first team, Julián Álvarez remains one of Marcelo Gallardo’s trusted options from the bench. Nothing proved that more than the 18-year-old’s Bernabéu cameo as River beat Boca to the 2018 Copa Libertadores but with the Millonarios managing to keep much of that team together this year, Álvarez has had to be patient. A versatile forward, who can operate out wide, in behind a centre forward or as a second striker, La Araña scored in River’s Copa Argentina triumph to end the year on a high.

 

Fabricio Bustos
Independiente
28/04/1996
Last year position: 17

A little over a year ago Fabricio Bustos looked destined for Europe and a potential long-term solution to Argentina’s problem at right-back. Marauding forward with boundless energy under Ariel Holan, Independiente were Copa Sudamericana champions and Bustos was firmly in Jorge Sampaoli’s plans. A thrashing against Spain resulted in no World Cup place and since then Bustos’ club form has declined steeply. So too has Independiente’s in general in fairness and the change of coaches haven’t helped El Tractor. Bustos will be hoping El Rojo make the right next appointment and the 23-year-old can compete for an international spot once more. 

Nahuel Bustos
Talleres
04/07/1998
Last year position: 47

The 21-year-old Cordobés has shown glimpses of his potential in previous seasons but over the past few months since being handed the number 10 shirt for Talleres, Nahuel Bustos has put it all together. His ability to pick out the right pass, cross the ball with purpose, dribble past defenders has always been apparent, but now he is adding goal scoring at a current clip of one every two matches. Bustos plays with a maturity beyond his years and has become the on-the-pitch leader for La T. His meteoric improvement these past few months will prompt lots of international eyes to take a look at purchasing him.