With a current strike force of Messi, Higuain, Aguero and then the likes of Di Maria supplying – you may be forgiven for thinking this is a rather silly question – but three of those 4 are 27 now, and Aguero is 26, so still plenty of legs. Probably another World Cup in them. However – you must look to the future – who have they got to replace them?
Well, this season 3 forwards have begun to make a name for themselves in Europes elite league, and several others are starting out on what could be incredible careers – there may well be another Messi or Aguero in there…
Luciano Vietto, 21 (Villarreal) – 16 Goals in 30 Appearances
Vietto flopped a bit in the last Under 20’s tournament he appeared in for Argentina – although he was impressive for his then club side. Since then, he has moved to Spain, and Villarreal where he has been given the chance to shine – but was not expected so quickly. In recent months, many have waxed lyrical about his intelligence – and ability to be in the right place at the right time, his sublime touch, composure, his agility and very high pace and fitness levels. At 21, he could find himself in the Argentina setup very quickly at this rate.
Mauro Icardi, 21 (Inter Milan) – 18 Goals in 30 Appearances
Icardi has been in Europe for a few seasons now. He started to impress for Sampdoria before earning his big move to Inter, where he initially struggled. Now though, as the main man (in rotation with Rodrigo Palacio, or often paired in a 4-4-2 diamond) he has hit form. He is wanted by many clubs in England, and its his finishing ability that is impressing many – with Shaqiri now joining him there – better service could lead to more goals. More of a Higuain type player than a Messi or Aguero. Strapping lad who is good in the air, can drop deep and link up play too. A top prospect!
Paulo Dybala, 21 (Palermo) – 12 Goals in 23 Appearances
Dybala turned up at Palermo a few years ago now and initially struggled. He has been dubbed ‘The New Messi” and has really impressed this term, pretty much carrying his team. He has some way to go yet – and is apparently on his way out of the club for £30m, and possibly to Chelsea – one can only hope he does not as he will end up like every other youngster there – on loan god knows where. He is better them and should look at all the examples such as De Bruyne and Lukaku. I think a stay in Italy would do him the world of good, or even Spain where he will not be kicked out of games by rough defenders.
And onto the others – these have not done as well as those three, but have begun to impress:
Angel Correa, 19 (Atletico Madrid)
He is seen as the future of Argentine football. Later we will look at Giovani Simeone (who scored 9 in 6 games at the recent Under 20’s Championship) but it was Correa who impressed the most. At 19 he is already a highly rated player (75 for FIFA 15 Fans) and after recent heart surgery his move to Madrid was ratified. He has not played a league game yet, but under Simeone should feature soon.
Rodrigo de Paul, 20 (Valencia)
He followed in the footsteps of Vietto this summer, moving from the same club in Argentina. He has not done quite so well, with just one goal in 19 appearances so far – but a plethora of Assists – including one yesterday for Andre Gomes. A talented winger who should really rise to prominence over the next few seasons.
Juan Iturbe, 21 (Roma)
Signed for Porto 5 years ago nearly – he only ever played a handful of games before going back to Argentina for a season in 2013 (on loan to River). Porto seemed to have let him go too soon (to Verona) where he bagged 8 goals inside a season which was initially a loan – on completing a permanent switch he was sold straight on to Roma for over £30m Euros. They (Verona) effectively used his buyout clause to make a quick and easy profit, almost double what they paid! Currently injured however after a quiet start to the season for him – just one goal in nearly 20 games – should only get better, with the huge fee possibly having an adverse effect mentally.
Lucas Ocampos, 20 (Marseille/Monaco)
Impressed at just 17 for River Plate and soon earned a £17m Euro move to Monaco, where he has scored 17 in 99 games in the total. He has stagnated recently, with the likes of Falcao and James Rodriguez leaving him with a team full of average players, and Berbatov. A loan move to Marseille has gone through recently, and with a goal in 1 game already, and playing right now against St Etienne. This could be the start of something good for him.
Giovani Simeone, 19 (River Plate)
Son of Diego, this lad has shot to prominence after a fantastic Under 20’s tournament (as mentioned). 9 Goals in just 6 games – and starting to get more game time at River. One good season and that would be enough for even Atletico Madrid to snap him up and put him into their youth system with Angel Correa – which could be a masterstroke!
These 5, plus Dybala, Vietto and Icardi could well be the future of Argentine football. All very talented players and bar Simeone all in very good European leagues where they should flourish.