Greenwood, Demiral & the hidden gems to watch out for in Europe in 2019-20

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With the new season upon us, Goal picks out some young players, new signings and top-flight newcomers to keep an eye on

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    #1 Merih Demiral (Juventus)

    Merih Demiral's arrival in Turin was completely overshadowed by the signing of fellow defender Matthijs de Ligt, and it even initially appeared that the acquisition of the Dutchman would result in the €18 million (£16.5m/$20.2m) purchase from Sassuolo being immediately sent out on loan.

    However, the Bianconeri are now set to fast-track the 21-year-old centre-half – who has already been capped at senior level by Turkey – into Maurizio Sarri's first team after some commanding performances in pre-season.

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    #2 Enric Gallego (Getafe)

    An even later bloomer than England international Jamie Vardy, Enric Gallego worked as a lorry driver, builder and air-conditioning installer during the early days of his career.

    Indeed, he only became a full-time professional last year, at the age of 31, but after a prolific spell at Extremadura, he was snapped up by Huesca in January and then signed by Getafe this summer.

    As a result, he is now looking forward to the biggest season of his life!

  3. #3 Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)

    Despite being one of the most talked-about youngsters Manchester United have produced in years, 17-year-old Mason Greenwood was being heavily linked with a loan move away from Old Trafford for the 2019-20 campaign.

    Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was having none of it, though, and has strongly hinted that the versatile, two-footed forward that he describes as "a natural" could even start his side's massive Premier League opener, against Chelsea, this weekend.

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    #4 Mario Hermoso (Atletico Madrid)

    Mario Hermoso could be just as pivotal to Atletico's hopes of success this season as Portuguese sensation Joao Felix, given the Spain international has been handed the responsibility of replacing the peerless Diego Godin at the heart of the toughest defence in La Liga.

    City rivals Real had the chance to re-sign their former youth team player by enacting a buy-back clause but they passed, preferring instead to pocket the money owed to them for owning 50 per cent of the 24-year-old's playing rights.

    However, the Blancos could come to regret that decision, as Hermoso is capable of going to another level under the tutelage of Diego Simeone.

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    #5 Theo Hernandez (AC Milan)

    Given Real Madrid's early-summer spending spree and the subsequent drama surrounding the proposed departures of Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez, it's hardly surprising that Theo Hernandez's Santiago Bernabeu exit went almost unnoticed.

    After all, the left-back failed dismally to make any kind of impact with the Blancos following his arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2017, but now, after a loan spell at Real Sociedad, the 21-year-old has the opportunity to kickstart his career in Serie A following a €20m (£18.4m/$22.4m) move to AC Milan that could prove a bargain.

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    #6 Manuel Lazzari (Lazio)

    Manuel Lazzari might not be well-known to those that do not follow Serie A closely but that could be all about to change this season.

    The versatile and dynamic right-footer, who excels as a wing-back, was arguably SPAL's best player for the past two seasons and has been rewarded for his fine form with an €11m (£10m/$11.3m) move to Lazio, where he looks ideally suited to Simone Inzaghi's system and style of play.

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    #7 Benjamin Lecomte (Monaco)

    Benjamin Lecomte was playing in Ligue 2, with Dijon, two years ago but he has now established himself as one of the most reliable goalkeepers in France after two solid seasons at Montpellier.

    The challenge now is for him to earn his first cap for Les Bleus – he earned his first call-up last September – and he has the perfect platform on which to prove his worth to Didier Deschamps, having been snapped up by Monaco during the summer.

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    #8 John McGinn (Aston Villa)

    Jack Grealish will be the Aston Villa midfielder Premier League fans are most familiar with but John McGinn is arguably just as vital to the newly promoted side's hopes of staying in the top flight.

    Scotland international McGinn is a huge crowd favourite at Villa Park because of his tough tackling, seemingly endless stamina and propensity for scoring with spectacular strikes from distance with his fantastic left foot.

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    #9 Mason Mount (Chelsea)

    Chelsea's appointment of club legend Frank Lampard as their new manager was greeted with widespread euphoria at Stamford Bridge but nobody is happier than Mason Mount.

    It was under the former England international's guidance that the 20-year-old Mount flourished on loan at Derby County last term, scoring 11 goals in all competitions from midfield and, judging by his pre-season performances, he is set to play a prominent role in the Blues' 2019-20 campaign.

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    #10 Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

    RB Leipzig have developed a well-deserved reputation for nurturing quality youngsters and Christopher Nkunku could be the next player they launch towards superstardom.

    The versatile 21-year-old midfielder has been signed from Paris Saint-Germain for €12m (£11m/$13.4m) and should prove a bargain, given he seems ideally suited to Julian Nagelsmann's attacking brand of football.

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    #11 Daishawn Redan (Hertha Berlin)

    Despite competition from several top clubs, Hertha Berlin won the race to sign Daishawn Redan, who scored freely at under-age level for Chelsea.

    The forward is only 18 and never made an appearance at senior level for the Blues but Hertha sporting director Michael Preetz says the Javier Hernandez-like goal-poacher has "enormous potential".

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    #12 Teji Savanier (Montpellier)

    Nimes enjoyed a sensational return to Ligue 1 last season, finishing ninth, and Teji Savanier was key to their success.

    The midfielder racked up a whopping 14 assists – more than any other player in France's top flight – and the 27-year-old is now determined to dismiss claims that he is a one-season wonder after joining Montpellier for €9.5m (£8.7m/$10.6m).

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    #13 Daley Sinkgraven (Bayer Leverkusen)

    During his time in charge of Ajax, Peter Bosz made no attempt to play down the hype surrounding Daley Sinkgraven, claiming the versatile left-back had everything in his repertoire to become "an elite player".

    Unfortunately, the Dutch defender's progress over the past two years has been severely checked by a serious knee injury but now, having returned to full fitness and been reunited with Bosz at Bayer Leverkusen, he looks perfectly placed to finally realise his potential.

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    #14 Oliver Torres (Sevilla)

    Despite making his Atletico Madrid debut at just 17, academy product Oliver Torres failed to become a regular under Diego Simeone and was eventually allowed to join Porto, after a couple of seasons on loan at the Dragao.

    The 24-year-old midfielder is now back in La Liga, though, having joined Sevilla for €12m (£11m/$13.4m), and he should prove a big hit at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, given he has previously played under coach Julen Lopetegui at Porto and under-age level for Spain.

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    #15 Lucas Torro (Eintracht Frankfurt)

    Coaches love to claim that long-term injury absentees are like 'new signings' and that's exactly how Adi Hutter feels about Lucas Torro.

    After joining Eintracht Frankfurt last summer, the former Real Madrid Castilla midfielder saw his first season in Germany decimated by injuries, but the fit-again 24-year-old has hit the ground running now, netting in the Europa League last week, and is expected to play a pivotal role in the 2019-20 campaign.