The 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup gets underway in South Korea later this week, the world’s best young players will take the stage for the biggest international tournament of their careers to date.
ESPN released their Top 10 players to watch and included were these two young African talents.
Patson Daka (Zambia)
Tall forward striker 18-year-old Patson Daka, scored twice at senior level for FC Liefering, who he has been on loan with since December when he moved to Austria from Kafue Celtic. He won the 2017 U20 AFCON player of the tournament award.
Daka’s standout quality is his athleticism, possessing explosive acceleration and the ability to manoeuvre his body to get shots away in tight areas.
Daka is in Zambia’s provisional squad for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 which kicks off on May 20. As African champions, Zambia are a potential outside threat in the tournament and Daka will be key to their hopes of success
Ibrahima Niane (Senegal)
Senegalese 18-year-old, Ibrahima Niane, scored a goal against Cameroon in the success (2-0) of the Senegalese under-20 selection, qualified for the CAN’s semi-finals in the category and for the 2017 World Cup. This front-center is fast and technical, also able to evolve on the sides.
Senegal finished as runner-ups in the CAF qualifying tournament, losing 2-0 to Zambia in the final. Ibrahima Niane scored twice in qualifying to be a top scorer.
This is the second time Senegal has earned a ticket to a U-20 World Cup. In 2015, their first appearance, they made it all the way to the semifinals before losing to Brazil and then losing to Mali in the third-place match.
You can view the entire ESPN list here.