On New Years’ Day 2015, a 20-year-old Tottenham striker named Harry Kane (not pictured) scored two goals in a 5-3 win over eventual Premier League champions Chelsea. Twelve months later, Kane finished as the Premier League’s top scorer in 2015 and the England national team’s bearer of new hope, showing just how much is possible, how quickly in football. Who will be 2016’s Harry Kane? We have a few guesses. Here are 16 rising stars (24 years old or younger) to monitor this new year. -- FOXSoccer.com's Thomas Hautmann and Danny Michallik
Paulo Dybala, Juventus/Argentina
Why you should care: Dybala and Mario Mandzukic were brought in over the summer to help offset the loss of Carlos Tevez in Juve’s attack, and the 22-year-old especially has lived up to the billing. Dybala leads the team in goals (9), assists (4) and is just one behind fellow phenom Paul Pogba for total shots (53). Pogba, by the way, recently backed Dybala to reach the same level as Lionel Messi some day. Stay tuned.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
Nabil Fekir, Olympique Lyon/France
Why you should care: Lyon’s midfield jewel broke through in just his second season at the senior level, tallying 13 goals and 9 assists, being named Ligue 1’s Young Player of the Year and making his national team debut with France. Fekir started strong again this season, scoring four goals in four games before a cruciate ligament tear saw him miss the next 6 months. If he regains his form, he’s a lock to make France’s Euro 2016 squad.
AFP/Getty ImagesJEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER
Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City/Algeria
Why you should care: The only player on this list over the age of 22, Mahrez came out of nowhere to set the Premier League alight this season and power Leicester City’s stunning title challenge. The biggest question looming over Mahrez, and the Foxes, for that matter, is whether his utterly unprecedented start will continue to surge or fade. Expect Marhez’s star to only shine brighter in 2016.
Getty ImagesMichael Regan
Leroy Sane, Schalke 04/Germany
Why you should care: Of all the talents coming down Germany’s pipeline, Sane might be the most promising. The son of former Bundesliga professional Soulemayn Sane has emerged as the catalyst to Schalke’s youth movement this season, and, at only 19, has a good shot at making Germany’s Euro 2016 squad. Already drawing interest from Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal, Sane looks a surefire bet to break out in 2016.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesAlexander Hassenstein
Jose Gimenez, Atletico Madrid/Uruguay
Why you should care: Combative in the air and strong in the tackle, Gimenez has become a force to be reckoned with and has shown substantial signs of maturity despite his young age. With Miranda having moved on to Inter, the time is now for the Uruguayan to continue his fine form and become one of the best young centerbacks in world football.
Getty ImagesGonzalo Arroyo Moreno
Anwar El Ghazi, Ajax/Netherlands
Why you should care: A fleet-footed forward with an enormous bag of tricks, El Ghazi has taken great strides in his second season at Ajax. Leading his team in goals (8) and among the Eredivisie’s top dribblers this season, El Ghazi has already drawn comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo from his coach, Frank de Boer. A high-profile move abroad looks more than likely for El Ghazi this year.
VI-Images via Getty ImagesVI-Images
Geoffrey Kondogbia, Internazionale/France
Why you should care: Kondogbia’s impressive exploits at Monaco took many by surprise last season, and justifiably so, the 22-year-old certainly earned his way to a big-money move to Inter over the summer. The France international has struggled to get accustomed to life in Serie A this season but there's no denying Kondogbia's talent. Expect the see more from this youngster later this summer.
Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani
Dele Alli, Tottenham/England
Why you should care: At just 19 years of age, Alli’s extraordinary leap from League One to becoming a regular fixture in Mauricio Pochettino’s side has been inspiring. With five goals in 18 league appearances, the Tottenham midfielder could even make a valid case for himself to be included among Roy Hodgson’s England setup come Euro 2016.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Gianluigi Donnarumma, AC Milan/Italy
Why you should care: By far the youngest name on this list, Donnarumma supplanted Diego Lopez in October to become the youngest starting goalkeeper in Serie A history. Like his boyhood idol Gianluigi Buffon and Iker Casillas before him, the 6’6” Donnarumma could well be in line for a legendary career between the sticks for one of the sport’s most storied clubs.
AFP/Getty ImagesJOHANNES EISELE
Paco Alcacer, Valencia/Spain
Why you should care: Having come through the revered youth setup at Valencia, Alcacer has done well to prove himself again this season, with eight goals and four assists to his credit in La Liga. The 22-year-old is quick, strong on the ball and particularly clever at finding space for himself. Should he continue to impress, a place on Spain’s roster for Euro 2016 should beckon.
Getty ImagesManuel Queimadelos Alonso
Anthony Martial, Manchester United/France
Why you should care: With Wayne Rooney’s career in flux and a lack of forward options at Louis van Gaal’s disposal, Martial is slowly becoming one of the players the Red Devils can’t do without. A box full of tricks and initiative going forward, the youngster has justified the hype (and colossal transfer fee) thus far, and is primed for a breakout year in 2016.
Getty ImagesDean Mouhtaropoulos
Julian Weigl, Borussia Dortmund/Germany
Why you should care: When Dortmund signed Weigl from 1860 Munich for $2.5 million, few could have predicted that he’d leapfrog the club’s biggest signing of the summer, Gonzalo Castro ($12 million) in the midfield pecking order. Yet his assured, consistently mistake-free performances have made him a constant in Thomas Tuchel’s side. Big things appear to lie ahead for the Bundesliga’s surprise star of the Hinrunde.
AFP/Getty ImagesCHRISTOF STACHE
Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich/France
Why you should care: You’d never know Bayern played most of this season without their famous dual threat of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, but thanks to Coman and fellow breakout star Douglas Costa, Bayern’s wing play is as potent as ever. At 19, the France international already possesses the speed and ball control to terrorize opposing fullbacks, and his potential appears to be limitless.
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Federico Bernardeschi, Fiorentina/Italy
Why you should care: One of the most gifted all-around talents in Italy, Fiorentina’s new No. 10 can seemingly play every position. After starting his career out on the wing, Bernaderschi was thrust into the central playmaker role under new boss Paulo Sousa, before recently excelling in either fullback spot. The giants of European football have taken notice, with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich reportedly interested.
Getty ImagesGiuseppe Bellini
Hector Bellerin, Arsenal/Spain
Why you should care: Bellerin’s rise from the Barcelona and Arsenal youth systems has been quite incredible, and after cracking the Gunners’ first team, his play has turned Mathieu Debuchy into a bit of an afterthought in north London. Bellerin’s unmatched pace and anticipation has helped him adapt and quell some of the Premier League’s most potent attackers and he’s quickly become one of the best right backs in England.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
Ruben Neves, FC Porto/Portugal
Why you should care: Despite considerable competition for places in Porto’s midfield, the 18-year-old Neves has quickly risen all the way to club captain under Julen Lopetegui -- becoming the youngest Champions League captain in history in the process. Neves has fine positional sense, can read the game well and looks to have all the makings to become Portugal’s next great midfield general.