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Despite all being young stars, the players are all at differing stages of their development. From international regulars to raw 17-year-olds, from those who have already featured in the Champions League to those who have only made a handful of outings at club level.
I have focused on those players who have the capacity to excite, to enthral and to exhilarate, thus, perhaps it is no surprise that three of the five players featured are offensive stars.
However, this is not to say that attacking is the be all and end all.
This article is about the promise and electricity that only youth can harness, and thus I have included two players who are not attackers, but who have the potential to emerge among the world’s finest in their relative positions
While Africa’s talent production is perhaps not as exceptional now as at other times in the past, I was spoiled for choice in compiling this selection.
I have capped the age at 21, thus players such as Victor Wanyama and Victor Moses, despite being at the beginnings of their careers, have missed out.
I could easily have doubled this selection, and players such as Imoh Ezekiel, Moussa Konate, Khouma Babacar, Richmond Boakye, Christian Atsu and Jordan Ayew—just to name a few—have been unfortunate in their absence.
A successful six months could change everything, and when I revise this list at the end of 2013, don’t be surprised to see several of these forgotten stars make the cut.