There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!
DoB: December 5th, 1994 (21)
PoB: Snina, Slovakia
Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Advanced Forward
Height: 1, 81m
Club: Legia Warsaw, Polish Ekstraklasa
Club Career Record: 137 Games, 22 Goals, 22 Assists
National Team Record: 10 Caps, 2 Goals, 1 Assist
The Grand Stand View
Playmakers have always held a special place in the hearts and minds of football managers, fans and writers alike; there is something almost superhero like about being gifted with the powers to make those around you aspire to be just as brilliant as you can be, when that cape comes on. For a little period in football, we went through a phase where genuine playmakers were looked at as “luxury players”, who were benched or overlooked for more hard-running midfielders that tried to compensate for a lack of creativity and attacking quality with tireless running and industry.
Ondrej Duda is a throwback to the classical Continental playmakers that look to play almost exclusively “in the hole”, often making it impossible for defenders and midfielders to contain them or get close enough to nullify their threat quickly enough. Gifted with great vision and awareness of what’s going on around him, Duda is a technically well rounded footballer who can create chances for his team, facilitating with his great passing ability, or even bag some goals for himself with his composed finishing at the end of late runs into the box. The greatest facet of Ondrej Duda’s game is the great work rate and determination he brings to the field, for a naturally gifted attacking midfielder, Ondrej get about the pitch putting in a good shift and is unafraid of making a challenge or two when needed.
Slovakia will be looking at their gifted young trequartista to pull the strings in midfield and afford them some hope of navigating their way out of a very tough group; Duda himself will be all too aware of the opportunity he has to cement his reputation as an elite young talent to watch out for. The European Championship is always a great shop window for players to catch the eye of scouts and managers looking to do some off-season business, a good tournament could open more doors for Ondrej Duda to continue his development into an elite level star.