Battle of the 90s: Do England or Italy have the better youngsters?

With both sides set to be much-changed from their Euro 2012 quarter-final clash, the future is set to be showcased in Berne. And there are even more youngsters to come
By Kris Voakes & Oliver Platt

A whole host of new uncapped players have been thrown into the limelight over the past few days, with Roy Hodgson and Cesare Prandelli having each called up a number of previously unused youngsters for England's clash with Italy in Bern tonight.

Hodgson named four uncapped players among his squad for the friendly fixture, while the Azzurri boss has picked nine new faces among his 22.

But while some under-22s have been chosen and others who have already become internationals have been overlooked, there are also a large number of youngsters who have yet to be called upon by their national coaches despite breaking into the top flight with their club sides.

Below, takes a look at some of the players born since 1990 who have shown the potential to make a mark in their respective national teams in the future.



05/12/1993 DATE OF BIRTH
Mildfielder POSITION Forward
Everton CLUB
Manchester City
An intriguing mix of height and technical quality. Very impressive early last season for Everton before David Moyes wisely opted to field him as a key player in the club's reserve team rather than restrict him to substitute's minutes for the senior side. Energetic with a bag of tricks at his disposal.

Perhaps the most famous footballing youngster in the world after his exploits with Inter and Man City, he also hit a memorable double against Germany in the Euro 2012 semi-final. Has won admirers and critics in equal measure, but if he does the growing up he has promised will eventually come, he will become a true global star.



06/03/1990 DATE OF BIRTH
Defender POSITION Forward
Norwich City CLUB
Highly impressive in the few appearances he made at the end of the season for Norwich City after signing from Championship outfit Peterborough United. Yet to receive a call-up to the England squad but unlike many of his competitors, will be a key player for his club next season. Tall centre-back with plenty of class on the ball.

Borini's stock only rose last term thanks to his fantastically driven style as a right-sided forward for Roma, having previously made his name in Swansea's promotion run. Reunited with Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool this summer and now a Euro 2012 veteran, he could well be about to make the next step up in his drive to become an Italy regular.



29/12/1991 DATE OF BIRTH
Defender POSITION Midfielder
Tottenham CLUB
Did well on loan at Swansea last season and that he was compatible with Brendan Rodgers' tiki-taka style is attractive. With Ledley King retiring and William Gallas ageing he should stay at Tottenham this season, but how many opportunities he will receive remains to be seen. Very mobile and now receiving international attention, featuring at the Olympic Games and earning a place in the squad to face Italy.
Made his debut with a late substitute appearance for the Rossoneri in their Champions League clash at BATE in late 2011 at the tender age of 16. Spent most of last term turning out for the club’s Primavera outfit despite still qualifying for the Allievi side, such is the promise he has shown. With great physical presence, he shows a cool head, picks his driving runs well and has a superb eye for a pass, short or long.



17/06/1990 DATE OF BIRTH
Midfielder POSITION Defender
Liverpool CLUB
Impressed at Sunderland but unspectacular with Liverpool and opportunities could be restricted given the return of Lucas from injury and arrival of Joe Allen. Needs to regain his energy and confidence but in all likelihood a depth player at international level.
De Sciglio was the silver lining in the cloud of a Milan injury crisis in the final throes of last season. The young right-back was brought into the first team to cover for the numerous absentees in the back line, and has quickly built a reputation as one to watch out for with his solid displays.



21/02/1992 DATE OF BIRTH
Defender POSITION Forward
Manchester United CLUB
Can play at right-back or in central midfield, but most believe his future lies at the heart of defence. Athletic, brave and spirited, he started the season in fine form for United, but his performances fluctuated more as the campaign went on, but he still played over 40 games and is only 20 years old. Probably the best of the next generation in defence.
Ex-Genoa and Siena striker, formally of Inter's youth division, whose performances for the Robur last term were enough to attract attention from some of the biggest clubs in the country. Roma were lucky enough to snap up a player whose goals, crafted from power, poise and anticipation around the box, kept Giuseppe Sannino’s side in the league.


01/03/1993 DATE OF BIRTH
Midfielder POSITION Forward
Chelsea CLUB
Endured a frustrating spell on loan at Swansea last season, making only four league appearances. Another member of the promising young generation of midfielders that seem to be technically a level above those that have gone before them. Andre Villas-Boas admired his instincts and creativity but he is yet to really establish himself at senior level.

The key man behind Padova’s near-promotion in 2010-11, the Italo-Egyptian was not expected to be quite the hit he became when signing for Milan the following summer. However, his great ability and movement between the lines added something the Rossoneri had sometimes been lacking, and he was important during their late-season injury crisis.



11/03/1991 DATE OF BIRTH
Midfielder POSITION Forward
Manchester City CLUB
Splits opinion, but his potential was enough to persuade Roberto Mancini and Manchester City to part with up to €21 million to secure his services. Athletic and intelligent, he grew up as a centre-back before his ability on the ball persuaded Everton to push him further forward into midfield. Injury problems have set him back but he is still only 21.
Called up to replace Balotelli, the former Empoli loanee could well get game time against England to add to the great experience he racked up last season with Udinese. His unusual gait does not give the air of a player full of ability, but he has plenty of tricks in his locker and has shown more maturity with each performance since breaking into the first team.



28/05/1990 DATE OF BIRTH
Defender POSITION Midfielder
Tottenham CLUB
Enjoyed a superb season with Spurs that ended with the PFA Young Player of the Year award and a place in the top flight Team of the Year. Injury ruled him out of Euro 2012 and he will now have to continue to impress to displace Glen Johnson, who performed well. An explosive, powerful and very attacking full-back in the mould of Dani Alves.
Almost lost in the emotion of Alessandro Del Piero’s farewell game for Juventus was the performance of Marrone, who has continued where he left off in pre-season. His cool head on the ball has not been affected by the pressure of playing at the top level, with his ability having first been spotted during his loan spell with Siena under Antonio Conte in 2010-11.



26/11/1990 DATE OF BIRTH
Forward POSITION Midfielder
Manchester United CLUB
Paris Saint-Germain
An intelligent and eminently likeable young striker. Quick and strong but also very aware, constantly making smart runs that create space for others. Scored a sublime goal against Sweden at Euro 2012 and as long as England persist with Wayne Rooney as a No.10, the striking role is really there for the taking.
A virtual unknown outside of Italy, the youngster was thrust into the spotlight by his move to Paris Saint-Germain. Verratti’s qualities have been likened to those of Andrea Pirlo, and he showed with his performances for Pescara in their promotion-winning season that those calls are not wide of the mark



01/01/1992 DATE OF BIRTH
Midfielder POSITION Midfielder
Arsenal CLUB
There are now serious concerns that England could lose their finest young player since Wayne Rooney. Arsenal's player of the season for 2010-11 has not played for over a year due to different setbacks in his recovery from an ankle injury. Possesses bite and tenacity combined with the technical quality that his England predecessors sorely lacked.
The inspirational midfielder for Roma’s Primavera side as they racked up the trophies in 2010-11, Viviani has shown signs of being able to transfer such displays to the first team. Despite having the likes of Daniele De Rossi and Miralem Pjanic to force out of his club side, he is tipped by many for a top future at international level.

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