U-20 World Cup - Five players to watch

Just days after the conclusion of the European Under-21 Championship, football fans are being treated to another glimpse of the stars of the future in the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Eurosport
Premier League - Paper Round: Chelsea target Everton's Barkley
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Ross Barkley, Everton (PA Photos)

Eurosport will be broadcasting the tournament live from Friday, when games between France and Ghana and Cuba and South Korea open the tournament at 5pm.

Global superstars such as Ronaldinho, Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry have all cut their teeth at the competition, which was inaugurated in 1977.

But which names should you be looking out for this year?

1. Geoffrey Kondogbia (France)

The Sevilla midfielder is one of the most desired young talents in La Liga and is believed to be a £10 million target for Chelsea this summer. A strong, committed defensive midfielder who screens the defence with real purpose, it is no surprise that the 20-year-old has been likened to Claude Makelele, who did so much to establish Jose Mourinho’s previous Chelsea side as the pre-eminent force in English football. Kondogbia cost Sevilla 4 million euros when joining the club from Lens last summer but his price has quickly risen after making 23 starts in Spain’s top flight in the 2012-13 season.

2. Ross Barkley (England)

Everton have slowly eased the prodigiously talented midfielder into their first team with loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds presaging a little run in the starting XI under David Moyes last season. Moyes was always very careful not to allow the hype around Barkley to grow out of control, and a run of injuries have slowed his progress, but he showed in a 0-0 draw at Arsenal in April that he is a player of huge potential. Barkley can operate in a number of midfield roles and the player who made his debut aged just 17 was named Everton’s Young Player of the Year last season.

3. Gerard Deulofeu (Spain)

A very modern kind of forward who operates on the wings or through the centre, Deulofeu has a very respectable record of 27 goals in 68 games for Barcelona’s B team and has featured for the seniors on six occasions too. Deulofeu signed a new contract in May that ties him to Barca until 2017 but he is expected to leave the club on loan this summer following the arrival of Neymar , with the Premier League a likely destination. The 19-year-old has been bred in the Barca tradition and has a penchant for the spectacular.

4. Guillermo Varela (Uruguay)

The right-back has the honour of being David Moyes’s first signing as Manchester United boss, though the club have been tracking him for some time and were impressed by a trial spell towards the end of last season. An aggressive, determined full-back, Varela will aim to dislodge Rafael from the United side next season though he faces a tough task as he acclimatises to Premier League football. The Under-20 World Cup will be the first chance for United fans to see the new recruit as he featured little for previous club Penarol.

5. James Ward-Prowse (England)

Another one off the Southampton production line, Ward-Prowse has surprising maturity despite being only 18 and his use of the ball is always very considered from a central midfield role. He made a big impression when given a chance by Nigel Adkins in the Premier League last season and featured rather less under Mauricio Pochettino, but Saints fans will be optimistic his impressive development continues next season, even if it means a loan spell away from the club.

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