The French top flight has been known to produce some of the brightest prospects in world football.
Ligue 1 is one of the top five football leagues in the world. Prominently dominated by Paris Saint-Germain, this league never fails to entertain. It is home to world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Lionel Messi and so on. It has also grown many prominent players who have gone on to become legends of the game. The list includes players such as Ngolo Kante, Eden Hazard, Robert Pires, Fabinho, Bernardo Silva, Didier Drogba among others.
In this article, we will cover the top five youngsters to look out for in the upcoming season of 2022-2023:
5. Lucas Gourna (AS Saint- Etienne)
Saint-Etienne’s academy has produced players such as Allan Saint-Maximin, Wesley Fofana and William Saliba. Now, Lucas Gourna will look to make his impact. He is regarded as the new Paul Pogba, although his defensive skills are considered to be better than the former Manchester United star.
Gourna has also spent some of his years at US Torcy, a club which is well-known for its youth development. Clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are currently monitoring the teenager’s situation and are keen on his signature. He made 31 league appearances last season.
4. Malo Gusto (Olympique Lyonnais)
Olympique Lyonnais have produced some serious talents over the years and Malo Gusto is one of them. The right-back is the youngest defender to start a league match for the club since Samuel Umtiti back in 2012. Manager Peter Bosz rates the 18-year-old highly.
He gave him 30 league games last season and six Europa appearances. Apart from defending, Gusto has a strong attacking game as well. Having played as a midfielder in the past, he can prove to be a versatile player and has a bright future. Last season, he provided five assists in all competitions.
3. Xavi Simmons (PSG)
The Dutch international was a sensation in Barcelona’s La Masia academy. Bu,t ever since his move to France in 2019, he has not been able to break through into the first-team at Paris Saint-Germain. He was pretty impressive in the UEFA Youth League and eventually managed to get some games from the start of 2022 under manager Mauricio Pochettino.
There were reports of the forward leaving the club, but it looks like he might renew his deal and stay at the Parc des Princes. He is expected to leave on loan though after renewing his deal.
2. Rayan Cherki (Olympique Lyonnais)
Cherki is known to be one of the greatest academy products of Olympique Lyonnais. This praise is given to him despite players such as Karim Benzema being one of their graduates. The 18-year-old is an excellent playmaker. He possesses great ability with the ball, although he is not that good defensively.
Clubs such as Real Madrid have Cherki on their radar. He recorded two goals and three assists in the Europa League last season. The winger also scored four goals in his first three games for France U-21s.
1. Nuno Mendes (PSG)
Nuno Mendes stands out in the list of top youngsters. The Portuguese has been a prominent player for PSG. He has shown excellent potential at a very young age. The left-back position has always been a problem for PSG. Players such as Layvin Kurzawa and Juan Bernat could not exploit their full potential at the club and never stood out with their performances.
Mendes looks like a player who can be instrumental in changing this fact. He arrived on loan from Sporting Lisbon in 2021 and PSG have made the move permanent ahead of the 2022-23 season.