After just one season at Borussia Dortmund, Ousmane Dembele has been hand-picked by Barcelona as a replacement for Neymar.
Dembele joined Barca on Friday in a move that could end up reaching €147million, the 20-year-old just one of many French youngsters to have quickly emerged and made a name for themselves in recent times.
With just seven France caps to his name, Dembele has yet to fully establish himself on the international stage.
The same can be said of many of the brightest prospects and here we look at eight other players who could join Dembele in forming a golden generation for France.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2017
Kimpembe made his Paris Saint-Germain debut back in 2014 but did not really break through until last season, making 19 appearances in Ligue 1 and earning a call up to the France squad for the World Cup qualifiers with Bulgaria and Netherlands last October.
The highlight, though, came as he played the full 90 minutes in PSG’s emphatic 4-0 win over Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 first leg. Kimpembe appeared at home on the big stage and, with Thiago Silva soon turning 33, he and Marquinhos look set to be the long-term centre-back pairing in Paris.
After impressing Pep Guardiola so much that he signed him for Manchester City from their Champions League conquerors Monaco, expect Mendy to quickly add to his four France caps.
The left-back was a key component of Monaco’s charge to the Ligue 1 title and the semi-finals of the top continental competition, and Didier Deschamps will not be able to ignore him if he continues to impress in the Premier League.
57 – Benjamin Mendy fired in 57 crosses from open play in the Champions League last season, more than any other player. Centred. pic.twitter.com/7hLru985lY
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 22, 2017
A stellar start to his professional career at Lyon convinced Barca to make a move for Cameroon-born Umtiti, whose first season at Camp Nou proved solid.
Barca’s defence looked vulnerable as they surrendered LaLiga to arch-rivals Real Madrid and crashed out of the Champions League to Juventus, but Umtiti provided one of few positives.
Lemar is behind only Monaco team-mate Kylian Mbappe and Dembele as the hottest French property right now.
Reportedly a target for Premier League side Arsenal, Lemar served as a key creative presence in Monaco’s incredible 2016-17. He had nine goals and 10 assists in Ligue 1 and keeping hold of him would serve as a huge boost to the seemingly slim hopes Leonardo Jardim’s side have of retaining the title.
Talk of Rabiot departing the Parc des Princes has been quashed by his emergence as a pivotal figure in the PSG midfield in recent seasons.
Comfortable on the ball, going forward and adept at winning it back, Rabiot provides an assured presence in the engine room and should be a mainstay for the Parisians and France for years to come.
While the highlight of Bakayoko’s 2016-17 campaign with Monaco perhaps came when he scored the decisive goal in their Champions League last-16 tie with Manchester City, it is his ability to win possession in the middle of the park that prompted Chelsea to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Playing with the tenacious N’Golo Kante, Bakayoko will be expected to make further strides in west London as Antonio Conte plots a defence of their Premier League crown in 2017-18.
Tolisso’s contributions for Lyon flew under the radar somewhat in the face of Monaco’s astounding exploits. However, no other midfielder in Ligue 1, the Premier League, the Bundesliga, LaLiga or Serie A had a bigger goalscoring impact than Tolisso, who netted 14 times in all competitions.
Thrust into the spotlight at Bayern Munich following a €41.5million move, look for the 23-year-old to become much more of a household name should he flourish under Carlo Ancelotti.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) June 14, 2017
An unknown teenager at the start of last season, Mbappe’s talismanic efforts in spearheading Monaco’s charge both domestically and in continental competition has led him to becoming the metaphorical white whale for teams across Europe.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Arsenal and Liverpool have all been linked with the 18-year-old but, if Mbappe does move in this transfer window, the team he helped Monaco dethrone, PSG, appears the most likely destination.
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