Chelsea and Man City youngsters among those vying for international recognition


Another international break presents stars from across the world the chance to earn a first senior cap for their respective nations. Here we pick out 10 hoping to make their debut for their national side, with stars from PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Celtic all featuring. 


Warren Zaire-Emery - France 


All eyes are on France, and specifically PSG teenage sensation Warren Zaire-Emery over the next couple of weeks. The 17-year-old is vying to become the youngest French international since before World War One I and the call-up is certainly justified. Zaire-Emery has been the heartbeat of this PSG side, returning a pass success rate of 92% from 58.9 passes per game, while no player has registered more assists than the Frenchman (3) in the Champions League this season. Unfazed at this level, international recognition is deserved. 


Endrick - Brazil 


Another 17-year-old looking to make his international debut this month, Endrick has been one of the star players in Palmeiras' Brasileirao surge. Indeed, the teenager is his side's top scorer with nine goals to his name this season and while Brazil are blessed with an array of attacking talent, there is a general consensus that Endrick can go on to become a star. He'll join Real Madrid when he turns 18 next year and he may yet do so as a Brazil international in what has been a whirlwind career so far. 


Joao Pedro - Brazil 


Brighton's league form has nosedived following a bright start to the season with the Seagulls now winless in six, drawing four. However, despite their disappointing results of late, Brazil caretaker boss Fernando Diniz has opted to call Joao Pedro up to his squad for meetings with Colombia and Argentina. The 22-year-old, like Brighton, started the campaign well though has failed to start his side's last three league outings with Roberto De Zerbi using the striker frequently in the Europa League, where he has scored four goals; no player has netted more. 


Marvin Ducksch - Germany 


Another German forward for Julian Nagelsmann to assess in the upcoming round of friendlies, Marvin Ducksch has made a solid start to the campaign for Werder Bremen. The 29-year-old has scored five and provided three assists and has been in good form for the German side since the start of September having been directly involved in a goal in eight of his last nine league outings. Former Werder star Niklas Fullkrug was a late bloomer on the international stage. Ducksch is hoping to follow in his former teammate's footsteps. 


Rodrigo Riquelme - Spain 


Rodrigo Riquelme may not be a first team regular for Atletico Madrid this season having started just five league games but the 23-year-old has evidently done enough to catch the eye of head coach Luis de la Fuente. Nevertheless Riquelme has been directly involved in three league goals for Atleti, netting twice, and has been a revelation both in and out of possession having made 3.1 tackles and 6.4 dribbles oer 90 in the Champions League this season. 


Aleix Garcia - Spain 


Another midfielder looking to earn his first Spain cap, Aleix Garcia has been the driving force behind Girona's surprise title push. Only Jude Bellingham (8.04) and Gerard Moreno (7.55) have earned a better WhoScored rating than Garcia (7.49) in La Liga this season, who not only has four assists and three goals to his name, but has been a pass master in Spain's top tier this term. The 26-year-old ranks fourth for passes per game (71) and boasts the ninth best pass success rate (91.4%). Should he earn international recognition this month, it will be thoroughly deserved. 


Rico Lewis - England 


A late call up to the England squad on Monday, Rico Lewis is highly thought of by Pep Guardiola at Manchester City and to some, his inclusion, albeit due to injury to others, is well deserved despite his tender years. Two assists in the Champions League this season is the joint-third best while his versatility is a key trait that Gareth Southgate could utilise not just this month, but in the years to come. 



Cole Palmer - England 


Ezri Konsa and Cole Palmer joined Lewis in the England squad on Monday, and there are those of the opinion the latter should have been included in Gareth Southgate's initial selection last month. Palmer has been a key man for Chelsea following his high profile move to the Blues from Manchester City in September. The 21-year-old already has four goals and two assists to his name for Mauricio Pochettino's side and despite no pre-season for the west London outfit, the young forward already looks a seasoned pro for Chelsea. 


Matt O'Riley - Denmark 


With Christian Eriksen withdrawing from the Denmark squad due to injury, Matt O'Riley will fancy his chance of earning a first cap for the Danish Dynamite in the coming days. While intially omitted, the 22-year-old was then added to the squad by Kasper Hjulmand on Friday and his inclusion is certainly deserved. O'Riley is the best rated player in the Scottish Premiership this season (7.89) having scored six and provided five assists, the latter coming from 35 key passes, that ranking third in the division. This may not be the Celtic star's first call up but he warrants a first cap, that goes without saying. 


Andrea Colpani - Italy 


Monza have exceeded expectations this season and head into the international break ninth in Serie A. Key to I Biancorossi's solid start has been Andrea Colpani, who has earned a better WhoScored rating (7.16) than any other player for Monza in the 2023/24 campaign. The 24-year-old has netted six times for the Italian outfit this term - only Lautaro Martinez (12) and Olivier Giroud (7) have scored more - while 23 key passes is also a solid return for the midfielder.

Chelsea and Man City youngsters among those vying for international recognition