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!
Full Name: Viktor Viktorovych Kovalenko
DoB: February 14th, 1996 (20)
PoB: Kherson, Ukraine
Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista
Height: 1, 82m
Club: FC Shakhtar Donetsk
Club Career Record: 50 Games, 4 Goals, 8 Assists
National Team Record: 6 Caps
The Grand Stand View
Youth International tournaments often allow us to witness young talents that stand a great chance of progressing even further up the ranks, and make that natural progression from promising youth international, to established senior national team campaigner, after having paid their dues. One such tournament was that2015 FIFA u/20 World Cup, where Ukrainian wunderkind Viktor Kovalenko picked up the Golden Boot award for his 5 goals & 2 assists in New Zealand, beating out Hungarian forward Bence Mervó, who also netted 5 goals, but lost out on the award due to his inferior assists.
A gifted young footballer who has represented Ukraine as a youth international from u/16 to u/21 level, before graduating to the senior national team; Viktor Kovalanko is a promising young midfielder who has quickly established himself as one of the best players to come out of Ukraine in recent times. A natural playmaker with the passing range and vision to orchestrate the attack of his team with great aplomb, Viktor is a technically well-versed young lad who makes use of his outstanding levels of creativity and composure to turn playing in midfield into something of an art form. An accurate deliverer of direct and indirect free-kicks, Viktor combines great playmaking abilities with sound finishing technique and an impressive level of composure in front of goal, to make for one potent attacking threat.
The outrageously talented Kovalenko made his professional league debut as a 19 year old, and hasn’t looked out of his depth since at the elite level; the onus will now be on him to follow-through on his initial promise and endeavour to fulfil his great potential. A good playmaker can often transform a decent side into a pretty good team, with their ability to link play up and inspire some attacking confidence amongst their teammates; Viktor Kovalenko will be hoping to develop into a player that can be relied on for regular inspiration on the offensive end for club and country.