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7 players who will become household names during this Champions League campaign

The Champions League is the perfect platform for boys to become men

It’s only the bloody Champions League, lads and ladies.

Sergio Ramos being a s***house. Obscure kick off times. Gazprom.

Yes everybody’s favourite competition is back in our lives with a ludicrously juicy set of group stage fixtures getting underway this week.


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Coming to wreck your hopes soon

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Coming to wreck your hopes soon

But which players are we backing to make so much of a splash they’ll be part of the furniture come the end of the season?

Here’s seven who will become household names if they live up to their billing…

Frenkie De Jong (Ajax)

Frenkie De Jong: Goals and Assists at Barcelona (2019/20)

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Frenkie De Jong: Goals and Assists at Barcelona (2019/20)

This lad couldn’t scream Barcelona more unless he has a dodgy tax history.

Ajax’s academy has a rich pedigree and De Jong – along with Matthijs De Ligt – are the next in line to make the breakthrough.

The holding midfielder has a bit of the Jorginhos about him and Ronald De Boer believes he’s already good enough to start for Barcelona.

What we’re trying to say is stick your house on him moving to Catalonia next summer.

Hirving Lozano (PSV)

Here’ssss Chucky

Reuters
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Here’ssss Chucky

It seems strange to say a player who scored a winning goal against Germany at a World Cup still needs to prove himself, but that’s the case with Lozano.

A lot of European heavyweights are monitoring his progress at PSV and he’ll have a real platform to impress with group games against Spurs, Barcelona and Inter Milan.

‘Chucky’ is PSV’s joker in the pack and fully capable of giving esteemed full backs nightmares.

Serge Aurier… be very afraid.

Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid)

Master and apprentice

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Master and apprentice

Many an eyebrow was raised when Real Madrid allowed Matteo Kovacic to join Chelsea on loan this summer, but then people were forgetting they already had a ready-made replacement in their ranks.

Ceballos is the archetypal Spanish midfielder, somewhere between Sergio Busquets and Isco, and kept the latter and Casemiro out of the Real side against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.

The 22-year-old is Spain’s next darling and he should see a lot of game time for the most dominant side in Europe.

Joao Cancelo (Juventus)

A £35m bargain

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A £35m bargain

£36m is a lot for a right back, but Cancelo looks worth every penny after an extremely impressive start to life in Serie A.

The 24-year-old saw Valencia as a stepping stone to something much bigger and Juve are ready to make the Champions League their number one priority.

With Portuguese compatriot Ronaldo leading the line, Cancelo can more than expect a run to the latter stages.

Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

Brit abroad

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Brit abroad

One of the stampede of young English players flying the nest to Germany, Sancho is undeniably the most developed.

Not yet a guaranteed starter for the German giants but making an impression every time he gets the chance, his assist per minute ratio is extraordinary.

Sancho has the style and temperament to really enjoy himself against the likes of Monaco and Club Brugge.

Houssem Aouar (Lyon)

France really needed another midfielder after all

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France really needed another midfielder after all

France don’t really need another dominant midfielder – but they’ve got one.

2018 Golden Boy nominee Aouar is already being tipped as a Lyon legend after just one season flitting in and around the first team.

His close control is to die for and his versatility sets him apart as one of the ones to watch over the coming years.

Matthijs De Ligt (Ajax)

Put ‘De’ in front of your surname and you’ll become an instant baller

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Put ‘De’ in front of your surname and you’ll become an instant baller

Back at Ajax again, are we?

De Ligt has recovered from a horror show on his full Netherlands debut a couple of years ago to become the most coveted young centre-back on the planet.

The 19-year-old redefines total football and, like De Jong, almost certainly won’t be playing in Holland this time next year.


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