10 Currently Uncapped Stars to Watch Out for in the New UEFA Nations League

The first set of international fixtures after a major tournament is always an opportunity for coaches to bring new players into the fold. This year is certainly no different.

As Europe gears up for the start of the eagerly anticipated UEFA Nations League, here’s a look at 10 uncapped players who have been called up and could make their debuts…

10. Marco Benassi (Italy)

Current Club: Fiorentina

Age: 23

Nations League Fixtures: Poland, Portugal

Fiorentina midfielder Marco Benassi established himself as a key player for La Viola last season following a summer move from Torino and has enjoyed a fine start to 2018/19 after scoring three times in only two Serie A appearances so far.

He was twice called up by Italy back in 2016 but never made it onto the pitch.

9. Djibril Sow (Switzerland)

Current Club: Young Boys

Age: 21

Nations League Fixture: Iceland (plus friendly vs England)

Previously capped over 30 times for various junior Switzerland international sides, emerging midfielder Djibril Sow was part of a Young Boys team that finally ended Basel’s dominance in the Swiss Super League last season.

He will soon be facing Manchester United in the Champions League this season.

8. Alphonse Areola (France)

Current Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Age: 25

Nations League Fixtures: Germany, Netherlands

Rather bizarrely, PSG goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has a World Cup winner’s medal despite still being uncapped for France at senior level after he was a non-playing member of the country’s squad during the summer triumph in Russia.

He has been preferred to Gianluigi Buffon at PSG in recent weeks and injury to usual starter Hugo Lloris should present Areola with an opportunity to finally make his international debut.

7. Timothy Castagne (Belgium)

Current Club: Atalanta

Age: 22

Nations League Fixture: Iceland (plus friendly vs Scotland)

Timothy Castagne will be looking to establish himself as a regular starter for Atalanta this season after playing 26 times in all competitions in 2017/18 and should take confidence from the fact that he has earned a call up to the squad that finished third at the World Cup.

Castagne was previously at Genk where he’d made his senior debut at the age of just 17.

6. Dani Ceballos (Spain)

Current Club: Real Madrid

Age: 22

Nations League Fixtures: England, Croatia

Despite only limited game time last season and starting neither of Real Madrid’s first two La Liga games of the new campaign, Dani Ceballos has obviously shown enough potential to impress new Spain national team coach Luis Enrique.

5. Nicolo Barella (Italy)

Club: Cagliari

Age: 21

Nations League Fixture: Poland, Portugal

Despite Cagliari’s place in Serie A being threatened by a relegation battle last season, midfielder Nicolo Barella enjoyed a strong individual campaign that has now been rewarded with an international call up – he was previously called up last October but didn’t play.

Barella is already valued at £22.5m by Transfermarkt.

4. Jose Luis Gaya (Spain)

Club: Valencia

Age: 23

Nations League Fixtures: England, Croatia

After helping Valencia return to the Champions League, Jose Luis Gaya will be battling with Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso for a place in the Spain team after new coach Luis Enrique opted to overlook 66-cap Barcelona star Jordi Alba.

Gaya will come up against Manchester United in the Champions League this season.

3. Krzysztof Piatek (Poland)

Current Club: Genoa

Age: 23

Nations League Fixture: Italy (plus friendly vs Republic of Ireland)

Krzysztof Piatek joins fellow strikers Robert Lewandowski and Arkadiusz Milik in the first Poland squad since a very disappointing World Cup for the country ranked firmly inside the top 10 of FIFA’s World Rankings ended prematurely.

After a prolific 2017/18 season in Poland with Cracovia, he has has joined Genoa in Italy and has hit the ground running with seven goals in his first three appearance in all competitions.

2. Thilo Kehrer (Germany)

Club: Paris Saint-Germain

Age: 21

Nations League Fixture: France (plus friendly vs Peru)

PSG invested a reported €37m in young German centre-back Thilo Kehrer in the summer, with the player a product of Schalke’s prolific academy. He has immediately been handed game time in France and will seek to learn from Thiago Silva and Marquinhos.

So far in his international career, Kehrer has won the European Under-21 Championship.

1. Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands)

Club: Ajax

Age: 21

Nations League Fixture: France (plus friendly vs Peru) 

The latest big talent to roll off the famed Ajax production line, Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong commanded plenty of media attention during the summer as a result of persistent rumoured interest from Barcelona.

That move could happen next year, while there is also still time for other big clubs to take note of the immensely promising youngster.