Goal-Getters to Game-Changers – Rising Stars of 2024 Euros

The UEFA 2024 Euros return on June 14th, with Germany vs. Scotland kicking off the group stage. With some big names like Modric playing what could be some of their last international matches, it’s an exciting time for soccer fans everywhere. But what’s more exciting is the number of young footballers showing up to play come June, some returning, and others making an appearance for the first time.

So, with the Euros on the way this summer, it seemed like a good opportunity to take a look at some projections for these young athletes and see where they are, how they’ve improved, and how they might improve in the future. And what better way to do so than through the player’s overall and potential ratings in the hit game EA Sports FC 24.

Overall Ratings are made up of a combination of offensive, defensive, physical, and technical criteria all rated 1-100. A player’s “Potential” is a projection of the highest rating that player could reach in the future.

With that in mind, here are eight of the young, up-and-coming footballers to keep an eye on during the 2024 Euros:

Florian Wirtz (20) – Germany, CAM, Overall Rating: 85

At 20 years old, Florian Wirtz has been an integral piece of the puzzle at Bayer Leverkusen this season, with 5 goals and 10 assists in 24 games. After proving his ability in Germany’s U21 team, his role in the German National team has grown since his first cap in March of 2021. Thanks to his influential role as Leverkusen’s number 10, Wirtz has been given an 85 overall rating in EA FC 24, with a potential of 91.

Originally rated a 76 Overall with a Potential of 89 in 2021, Wirtz’s overall player value has skyrocketed. Despite this being the first year in which his potential did not increase, players like Jude Bellingham and Kevin Debruyne are also rated at a potential of 91, meaning Wirtz should be more than satisfied with his projected in-game rating as time goes on.

Xavi Simons (20) – Netherlands, CAM, Overall Rating: 79

Dawning the infamous orange kit is inevitable for Xavi Simons. On loan from PSG at RB Leipzig, Xavi has played a diverse role as the team’s central attacking midfielder, from creating goalscoring opportunities to taking some opportunities himself. A combination of pace and speed alongside superb technical ability on the ball makes him a difficult player to defend. While his performance in the qualifying stage was lackluster, inexperience can get the best of these younger players, so perhaps we can see him in better form come June.

Xavi’s overall rating has risen tremendously, starting from an overall of 65 in 2020, and rising to his current rating of 79. His potential sits at 89, among some of the top players in the world like Neymar Jr., Mohamed Salah, and fellow Dutchman Virgil van Dijk. His EA FC 24 stats highlight his speed and dribbling, even outlining his flashy playstyle and tremendous first touch as unique in-game attributes.

Cole Palmer (21) – England, CAM, Overall Rating: 66

Leaving Manchester City to play for Chelsea was the right move for the 21-year-old, as Palmer has been a big help in keeping the Blues afloat this season. While England’s squad is filled with talents like Foden, Bellingham, and Saka, we may see Palmer play some as a substitute.

He’s currently rated at 66 Overall with a Potential of 81. His highest potential is down from where it was in the 20-21 season at 86, but his overall has increased since the 2019 season when he had an overall rating of 56. Due to the Depth of England’s squad, Palmer will be struggling to get minutes, but hopefully, management is looking at his abilities as Chelsea’s winger, not his EA FC Overall.

Giorgio Scalvini (20) – Italy, CB, Overall Rating: 75

Scalvini has played fantastic for his club this season, taking part in the team’s offensive buildup and staying aggressive on the defensive end. Scalvini played well during the team’s qualifying games in his 4 appearances, but as a young player, there is room for improvement, especially in his passing. With continued improvements, he could be stepping in to fill the role that Giorgio Chiellini left vacant after retiring from football in December of last year.

In EA FC 24 you’ll find Scalvini on Bergamo Calcio instead of ‘Atalanta’, alongside the rest of his teammates. With a potential rating of 86, some improved quality in his passing and some strengthening over time could make him better suited for the Chiellini role in the back. As for his strengths, Scalvini’s aggression and well-timed tackles are highlighted in his ‘bruiser’ playstyle, allowing him to win possession by physically imposing himself. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs against some world-class strikers in the group stage and potentially later on.

Benjamin Sesko (20) – Slovenia, ST, Overall Rating: 75

At RB Leipzig, Sesko has showcased his talents which could develop into a world-class player. His physicality and speed have been a recipe for success for club and country, putting on a show with his dribbling abilities all the while. His consistency in the final third is what really makes him stand out among the competition, with the power and finesse capabilities to score and finish under pressure.

With an Overall of 75 and a potential of 85, Sesko has come a long way since his 63 Overall rating in 2021. His in-game playstyles improve his power shot, and technicality, and pay tribute to his on-the-ball flair, making him a quick and capable player inside the 18. With opponents like Denmark and England, it may be more difficult for the Slovenian against some more capable defenses.

Johan Bakayoko (20) – Belgium, RW, Overall Rating: 75

The PSV winger had some good performances in the qualifying rounds of the European Competition. We’ll likely see him as at least a substitute during the coming group stage, as he’s shown he deserves a spot on the roster of 23. He has proven to be a threat out wide with his speed and the skills to send defenders in the other direction. It’s hard to believe he’s only 20 years old and even harder to stay in front of the guy.

Bakayoko certainly has the skills that constitute an effective winger, combining speed and ball control, which is acknowledged in-game through his technical play style attribute. His difficulty finishing is apparent oftentimes though, leaving his EA FC Overall to a 75. However, his potential has been rated an 86 and has increased every year since his first appearance in FIFA 22.

Antonio Silva (20) – Portugal, CB, Overall Rating: 78

While his performance as center-back for Portugal was mediocre during the qualifying games, there were glimpses of a strong player as well. As with all these younger players, pressure is going to get the best of them at times. But his strength on the back foot and composure with the ball could serve as a foundation for his development in the future. There’s a good chance of seeing him make an appearance during the group stage, it’s just a matter of what formation the team will play, and whether he will start over Goncalo Inacio.

Rated at 78 overall, Antonio Silva has a Potential rating of 88. His form at Benfica this year shows how influential he can be defensively, averaging 1.6 blocks and 2.2 tackles per 90 minutes. These strengths in the back are highlighted in his character’s in-game playstyles, which improve his ability to play long balls, intercept passes, and block shots on goal.

Lamine Yamal (16) – Spain, ST, Overall Rating: ???

At a ridiculous 16 years of age, Lamine Yamal is certainly THE youngster to watch out for during this year’s European Championship. Emerging from Barcelona’s youth academy, his ability to progress the ball and take on defenders at such a young age has been inspirational, to say the least.

Due to EA’s policy, Yamal is TOO YOUNG to have a card in EA FC 24, as they’ve stated that for privacy reasons players cannot be featured in games until they are at least 17. It’s safe to say that his rating will likely float around the mid to high 70s, but a place in Spain’s squad of 23 could mean big things for his development and his potential rating…

With so much time for these young players to develop, we could be looking at an entirely different set of ratings by June. So if you’re a football fan make sure to tune in and catch some of these young players a few months down the road, and if you’re a gamer, maybe keep an eye on those cards, if not for your ultimate team, then at least for your fantasy league.

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