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FIFA could merge U17, U20 World Cups

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Potential WC stars: Jann-Fiete Arp, Willem Geubbels, and more

Jann-Fiete Arp is in a rich vein of form, having scored goals recently for Germany and HSV's U-17 sides.
Jann-Fiete Arp is in a rich vein of form, having scored goals recently for Germany and HSV's U-17 sides.

Top German players to watch out for

(Compiled by Stephan Uersfeld)

Jann-Fiete Arp, Hamburger SV, forward

Having already caught the eye of clubs such as Chelsea, Dortmund and Juventus, the Hamburg forward, 17, instead committed his near-term future to his current side, saying it "doesn't make any sense to join Chelsea as a 17-year-old." While still without a Bundesliga appearance, he has been busy scoring goals for both the Germany U-17 as well as HSV's U-17 and U-19 sides in recent seasons.

Elias Abouchabaka, RB Leipzig, midfielder

The 17-year-old joined RB from Hertha for €250,000 when he was 15, and has already appeared for the Champions League club's senior squad during the season, most notably at the Emirates Cup in London. While playing in an attacking role for the academy teams, his versatility has seen him move back to a more holding role at senior level. The half-Moroccan's role model is Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane. "He made me love football," Abouchabaka says.

Sahverdi Cetin, Eintracht Frankfurt, midfielder

Cetin, 17, joined the Frankfurt senior squad for their winter training camp earlier this year, and, like Arp, is focusing on school and club football. He was courted by RB Leipzig in 2016, but instead vowed to stay near his home. Can play as a No. 6 and No. 8.

Noah Awuku, Holstein Kiel, forward

The Kiel-born forward, 17, signed his first pro contract with the newly-promoted 2. Bundesliga club in April, and while still waiting for his senior team debut, he continues to find the back of the net for Holstein's U-19 team.

Erik Majetschak, RB Leipzig, midfielder

The attacking midfielder, 17, is one of the few Leipzig locals in the RB academy, as well as one of its biggest talents. The youngster can also play in a more defensive role and has named Toni Kroos as the player he bases his game on.

Top French players to watch out for

In September, Willem Geubbels, right, became the fifth-youngest player ever to play in the Ligue 1.
In September, Willem Geubbels, right, became the fifth-youngest player ever to play in the Ligue 1.

(Compiled by Julien Laurens)

Claudio Gomes, PSG, midfielder

The holding midfielder, 17, is the captain, guide and leader of the French team. His tactical intelligence and neat passing make him one of the best in Europe in his position. He has already been dubbed the next Claude Makelele in France.

Willem Geubbels, Lyon, forward

Last week, the 16-year-old striker became the fifth-youngest player ever to play in the French top-flight at 16 years and 1 month when he came on against Dijon. He is the new prodigy of French football. Tall, quick and technically gifted, he is wanted by all the big European clubs.

Amine Gouiri, Lyon, forward

He finished top-scorer of the U-17 European Championship back in May with nine goals from five matches. Strong, powerful and clinical in front of goal, the 17-year-old gave France the win against Hungary to send them to this World Cup.

Yacine Adli, PSG, midfielder

Tall, elegant, good with both feet and with great vision, the 17-year-old offensive midfielder is one of the leaders of this French generation. He will be the creative touch for France during the tournament, where he will provide service for Gouiri or Geubbels.

William Bianda, Lens, defence

The left-footed centre-half is the boss of the defence. Tall, powerful, quick, good in the air as well as on the ball due to his younger years as a defensive midfielder, the 17-year-old is the complete defender.

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