10 Must-Watch Players Under 25 in Champions League

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Alexandre Simoes / Contributor

The UEFA Champions League returned this week and the opening round of matches certainly lived up to expectations.

Surprise results for Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United caused a stir in the football world after both clubs made significant transfer market splashes during the summer, but there were other top sides that managed to get the job done.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all managed to pull out wins in their opening matches, while Bayern Munich, Ajax and Juventus each earned convincing victories to kick off their campaigns.

While the attention is certainly on players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, this year’s tournament features a number of budding superstars looking to put their stamp on the competition.

Today, ONE37pm is taking a look at the top 10 must-watch players under the age of 25 in this season’s Champions League.

10. Mason Greenwood - Manchester United

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A number of Man United players could be featured on this list, but Greenwood’s upside is simply immense and the young Englishman has already shown plenty of glimpses of greatness in his time at Old Trafford.

Even though Jadon Sancho’s introduction into the team could mean less minutes early on for Greenwood, he should figure into the squad heavily and benefit greatly from the presence of Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes and United’s tremendous attacking depth.

9. Kai Havertz - Chelsea

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Last season’s UCL final winner has significant buzz around him after having an up-and-down campaign for Chelsea. Havertz’s game-winning finish to beat Man City in the 2020/21 final offered the German a magical moment to cap off his debut season at Stamford Bridge.

Now, Havertz needs to exceed his performances from last season in order to take his personal game to another level and aspire to be one of the best in England like many anticipate he will be.

8. Ruben Dias - Manchester City

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When City added Dias ahead of the 2020/21 season the move clearly depicted Pep Guardiola’s desire to lock down a defensive side of the ball where the club still had some uncertainty. 

Those questions have been answered with Dias’ presence at the heart of the defense and he’s now considered one of the top defenders in the world. After winning the Premier League in his first season with the club, he and his teammates will put everything into the Champions League.

7. Jamal Musiala - Bayern Munich

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Musiala figures to be a massive figure in Bayern’s attack this season and with Robert Lewandowski’s tremendous goalscoring record the German international will surely have a big role in the team’s attack.

6. Sandro Tonali - AC Milan

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Tonali is the latest regista to grace the pitch for Milan and the expectations for the midfielder are soaring as the Serie A giants aim for a successful return in Champions League.

The Italian has been called the next Andrea Pirlo because of his deep-lying position, but Tonali has shown his versatility by evolving into someone that can work himself into advanced positions as well.

5. Christopher Nkunku - RB Leipzig

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Leipzig lost two of its biggest stars this summer on the defensive end of the pitch, but Nkunku continues to be a highly-regarded Bundesliga attacker.

He backed that up on Wednesday with a hat-trick against Manchester City in Leipzig’s 6-3 defeat.

4. Antony - Ajax

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Antony is the latest in a long list of exciting Brazilian attackers and given Ajax’s supporting cast he will continue to draw engagement this season. 

After a 5-1 thrashing of Sporting Lisbon in Ajax’s opener, Antony played a significant role in the team’s dominance and the Dutch side figures to be a serious dark horse to make another deep run in the Champions League.

3. Eduardo Camavinga - Real Madrid

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Camavinga is highly regarded as one of the best young midfielders in the world, and the Frenchman’s move to Madrid is going to be a massive one for years to come.

Although Madrid weren’t able to secure a move for Kylian Mbappe this summer, a player of Camavinga’s ilk will draw Mbappe even more to the Santiago Bernabeu next year.

2. Kylian Mbappe - Paris Saint-Germain

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Everyone is aware of the accolades Mbappe already possesses at such a young age, including his World Cup title with France in 2018, but the PSG forward is seeking a legacy-altering accomplishment this season with the Parisians.

1. Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund

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Haaland is on pace to become one of the most prolific goalscorers in the sport and at the age of 21 the Norwegian has so much potential that is only beginning to be reached.

Through seven matches in all competitions, Haaland has scored nine goals and it will be a battle all season between him and Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga scoring title.

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