Having covered both the established and potential young talent in England, we cross the channel over to France, where we run our eye over the top young talent in Ligue 1, all 22 or under.
Part I sees us take in the accomplished young players who are already household names in the league, while Part II will cover those on the cusp of establishing themselves.
Ligue 1's Emergent List:
Eden Hazard - Lille - Still only 20, the best player on this list and one of the stars of the league. The Belgian attacker was a potent presence on either wing or up front for title winning Lille while attracting plenty of interest from clubs abroad. Played over 3000 minutes of football in 35 appearances while registering seven goals and nine assists. He is the premier forward for both country and club and one of the most eye-catching players in Europe.
Miralem Pjanic - Lyon - At 21, Pjanic is fast becoming the future of Lyon's attack. A full two seasons after shocking Real Madrid with an excellent goal in their round of 16 knockout match in the Champions' League, Pjanic is now firmly established for the Lyonnais. 27 games, close to 2200 minutes of game time, six goals with 10 helpers. A Bosnian international, he lines up against France in their Euro 2012 qualification group.
Andre Ayew - Marseille - Very much the go-to man at Marseille, Abedi Pele's older son dovetailed perfectly with creative fulcrum Loic Remy. If senior strike partner Lucho Gonzales does leave, Ayew will inherit the main striking role. Played 37 times with 32 starts and registered an impressive 11 goals and four assists. Part of Ghana's World Cup 2010 squad, he is central to the national team's plans.
Mamadou Sakho - PSG - Despite being only 21, Sakho is a beast of a defender whose strength, tackling and presence at set pieces make him into one of the best defenders in the division. The bulwark holding PSG together at the back, Sakho played 3036 minutes in 35 starts, chipping in with one goal and four assists. Already capped four times for the senior French side.
Ideye Brown - Sochaux - The Nigerian marksman was one of the most prolfic forwards last year in the league with 15 goals in 33 starts and over 2800 minutes of football. Instrumental in helping Sochaux getting to Europe in 2011-12, Brown is the future of the national team's strike corps.
Yann M'vila - Rennes - The 21 year old won a national team call up on the back of some excellent performances for Rennes. After moving from Caen he impressed for the one time league leaders by nailing down a starting place at the club for whom he started 37 games while chipping in with 2 goals 1 assists from midfield.
David Ospina - Nice - Just 22, Ospina is the best young goalkeeper in the league and a veritable save machine in net for Nice. The first name on the team sheet, he played over 3000 minutes during which he kept 12 clean sheet in 35 starts. Highly rated by coaches across the continent, he is widely rumoured to make a move to Italy or Spain before the summer ends.
Cesar Azpilicueta - Marseille - Going from strength to strength at the back for Marseille, the Spanish U-21 winning defender is closing in on a coveted starting spot. Played 15 times with 12 starts and chipped in with an assist at a corner. His heading and tackling are way ahead of his years and will soon become a corner stone of a Champions' League defence.
Anthony Modeste - Bordeaux - We'll make an exception and include this 23 year old striker who announced himself while on loan at Angers in 2009-10 (20 goals in 37 games). A 3.5 million euro move to Bordeaux from parent club Nice brought a decent season back in Ligue 1 - 10 goals and three assists in 27 starts and 37 apps. Has also scored six in 15 for France U-21 and will hope to feature in Laurent Blanc's plans for the upcoming season.
Franck Tabanou - Toulouse - At 22, he recorded impressive numbers as he becomes on the mainstays at the southern club with 32 starts and a couple of substitute appearances that returned five goals and six assists. Versatile anywhere on the left side, he has filled in at left back, as well as his usual position on the wing, both for club and the French U-21 side, for whom he has played 10 times.
Ryad Boudebouz - Sochaux - Another 21 year old forward who featured heavily and scored freely, being a kep component of Sochaux's Europa League place finish in 2011. 3244 minutes over the full complement of 38 games returned eight goals and seven assists. After having come through the French youth setup, he decided to play for Algeria, the country of his parents, for whom he has won 7 caps.
Yohan Mollo - Monaco / Caen - The 21 year old winger, flourished in the company of leading club striker Youssef El-Arabi, the youngster played a pivotal part of Caen's season. 2367 minutes, 35 appearances, 27 starts, four goals and three assists display a growing sense of responsibility being placed on his shoulders. With Monaco going down, the principality club may have rued sending him out on loan.
Emmanuel Riviere - St. Etienne - The 21 year old saw lots of playing time up front this season as he helped the Green and Whites to the top of the table, a position they held through much of Autumn 2010. Having come through the ranks, he will tasked with carrying the load for his club again in 2011-12 as he seeks to add to the impressive tally of eight goals and six assists he racked up in 35 appearances last season.
Moussa Sissoko - Toulouse - The best of a quartet of young players who have established themselves for Toulouse, Sissoko played close to 50 hours of football over his 36 games during the season, chipping in with five goals and one assist. At Toulouse since signing youth forms in 2007, the tall and powerful midfielder has represented France at all youth levels, he will hope to add to his 3 caps for the senior side in 2011-12.
Part II will cover the up and coming young talent in France.