The best young players in the world often fade. But sometimes the first signs of brilliance are worth noting because the player becomes a force to be reckoned with, a decade down the line. Signing a young player could save some serious cash – and give a club an excellent player in the years to come.

Ahead of the 2017 summer transfer window, we take a look at 5 of the footballing world’s most wanted U-23 stars.

1. Kylian Mbappe (Monaco, 18, forward)

Kylian Mbappe was relatively unknown last season but exploded for Monaco this campaign

Mbappe is a versatile forward who can play wide or up top and has intrigued people this season thanks to his languid and oddly effective dribbling style.

Kylian Mbappe made his ability known by banging in seven goals in 11 matches for the U-19 French team. The mainstream European media took note however, when he scored a hat-trick for Monaco in a 7-0 thumping of Rennes in mid-December.

Only one teenager has been directly involved in more goals than Kylian Mbappe (9) this season, and that’s Ousmane Dembele (12). What makes that more impressive is that Mbappe has played approximately half the minutes (609) that Dembele (1123) has. It’s fair to say he’s making the most of his chances on the pitch.

Latest reports suggest Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a monster bid for the teenager and Mbappe admitted “anything is possible” when he was quizzed about a potential move to Real Madrid this summer.

“Today, I am at Monaco. Real Madrid? We will see after,” the 18-year-old told reporters, per Goal. “You should go to Real Madrid when you are at the top of your game. I’m not at the top of my game. But anything is possible.”

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