Teenagers having significant impact in European football’s top-flight leagues is now commonplace in today’s game. During this 2016-17 campaign, we’ve seen our share of fledgling young stars emerge to the forefront on a global level and really prove to all that age is just a number.
Youngsters like Franck Kessié (Atalanta), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappé (Monaco) and Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) all have made their mark on their respective clubs, either in European competition or during the scramble for qualification. Yet, some – for reasons unknown – do not get the same opportunity during the club season, and as result, must introduce themselves to the world on the international stage for their country. For Juventus starlet Moise Kean, that may certainly be the case as his strike propelled Italy to an opening 1-0 victory over Croatia at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship last week.
Kean, 17, is widely considered to be Juventus’ top academy prospect, and because of that, ensured his career was in good hands by having famed Italian super-agent Mino Raiola representing him. On 16 November 2016, the Vercelli-born forward made his highly-publicized debut for the Bianconeri at sixteen, coming on from the bench in the 84th minute for Mario Mandzukic in a 3-0 win over Pescara. Days later on 22 November, Kean became the the first player born in the 2000s’ to appear in a UEFA Champions League match when he came on in the 84th minute of a 3-1 away victory at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium v Sevilla. Aside from his one off appearance for the ‘Old Lady’s’ first team, Kean has been nothing short of prolific for their Primavera side, appearing in a total of 19 matches while tallying an impressive 13 goals and 5 assists.
Quick, tenacious and skillful on the ball, there is little the teenager can’t do on the football pitch, giving us the indication that a great future lies ahead. But, at Juventus for the 2017-18 season, the attacking department projects to be a bit crowded. Argentine duo Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic, Juan Cuadrado and Marko Pjaca all seem to be in manager Massimiliano Allegri’s plans, leaving room for minutes few and far in between. That being said, where does that leave Moise Kean for the 2017-18? Let’s take a look at a few scenarios for the Italy U-17 star.