xvalue’s Advanced Player Report: EURO 2024 Insight & Analysis

With the 2023/2024 club season now behind us, eyes are now set upon EURO 2024, which will see Italy try to defend their title won at Wembley in 2021. We also provide hints on which young talent might establish themselves as stars of the tournament. Discover innovative data visualisations and tools such as our advanced player reports which will allow you to uncover every detail regarding upcoming wonderkids and the stars of the next European Championship.


As the kickoff to EURO 2024 approaches, we will uncover the most exciting prospects participating at the tournament. At Soccerment, we have always had a keen eye on emerging wonderkids. In 2021, we released the  “Wonderkids – 2021 outlook”, which featured some of the most exciting U20 prospects of the time. We have seen many of them blossom into stars (Bellingham, Wirtz, Saka, Pedri, and Rodrygo among others), some hit rough patches (Ihattaren, Greenwood or Fati), while others are steadily improving (Elliott, Collins and Truffert among others). In the Wonderkids Outlook, we considered players from all nationalities. Naturally, we cannot do this in this newsletter, where we will uncover the best players at EURO 2024 born from 2003 onwards (there will also be a second part). However, with also the Copa America set to start soon, we will also uncover some of the best emerging players from the tournament (now with North American countries such as the USA, Mexico and Canada!).

We have the feeling that there is an increasing number of very young players who are already making a big impact on professional football. Football analytics may help in being among the first to uncover such hidden gems (the 2021 Wonderkids outlook was just an example) and may prove to be a fundamental competitive advantage. Here we will look at the point of the iceberg, however in the following newsletters we will uncover even younger players, so stay tuned for more!

EURO 2024 wonderkids:

Jude Bellingham: The new football prototype

Jude Bellingham made his senior professional debut in 2019 with Birmingham. Fast forward less than 5 years and he has just won the Champions League playing as a regular starter for Real Madrid against Borussia Dortmund, the same club which heavily invested on him to bring him to Germany. This season has been very significant for the young Englishman, transitioning his function on the pitch from that of a tireless box-to-box midfielder to a more attacking role which allows him to make runs into the box.

With such a wide array of technical and physical skills, Bellingham is on course to become one of the most iconic players in world football. To complete the package, Bellingham doesn’t look like a 20-year-old, he doesn’t behave like a 20-year-old. Such mental fortitude is a key element to reach success. To top it off, Bellingham is the spear of a generation of talented English players who could finally bring the Three Lions some long awaited silverware. Below, we can see his year-to-year evolution on the pitch.

This transition has enabled Bellingham to considerably increase his attacking output and goal contributions. In fact, he has been the Pichichi of La Liga for a large part of the season (he eventually finished 3rd with 19 goals, the same as Lewandowski). The following slide summarises well his constant improvements in shooting and positioning.

Florian Wirtz: The (almost) invincible Trequartista

Not many players can say that they scored their first professional goal against Manuel Neuer. Florian Wirtz did just that in 2020, not long after turning 17. From then on, the German quickly became a regular starter at Bayer Leverkusen, imposing himself as the new star of German football alongside Jamal Musiala and the aforementioned Bellingham. In 2022, he tore his cruciate ligament and was sidelined for a long time. He came back during the course of last season and also thanks to Xabi Alonso he has returned to perform at an elite level with 11 goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga. If it weren’t for the defeat in the Europa League final, Wirtz could have ended the season unbeaten in all competitions, a really rare feat nowadays. Below, his evolution among the years.

Wirtz is a naturally gifted player with uncommon technique and vision, he thrives in between the lines where he is able to serve precise through balls and cutting passes.

With now significant international experience under his belt, Wirtz could help Germany reach the final stages of the tournament (they do not reach the final since  2008, when they lost against Spain) maybe in partnership with the next wonderkid.

Jamal Musiala: The silky dribbler

Much like Wirtz, Jamal Musiala debuted very young and quickly became an important part of his team. Achieving such a feat with Bayern Munich is truly remarkable considering the competition upfront (Gnabry, Sané, Müller and Coman). He has gone from strength to strength showcasing silky ball control, good vision and already very solid finishing. Starting as an attacking midfielder or as a left winger doesn’t change much: Musiala is capable of creating danger from both positions by beating his man on the dribble in tight spaces or through combinations with his teammates. Here below we show his main dribbling stats over the course of the season (with an outlook on the past ones as well), clearly an elite performer.

However, it isn’t just that, his involvement in ball progression and chance creation is remarkable as underlined by his involvement in all major metrics displayed below such as Expected Threat (xT) and one-twos:

Xavi Simons: Past and future star

Xavi Simons was one of the most talked about teenagers when growing up in PSG’s academy, he had an impressive following on social media. However, he was eventually able to live up to the enormous expectations set upon him. However, this wasn’t immediate. He made his debut with PSG but struggled to break into the first team. Eventually, his move to PSV would see him finally blossom and become an elite performer in the Eredivisie capable of creating heaps of chances while also regularly finding the back of the net. His performances earned him a move to RB Leipzig. He has also shone in the Bundesliga, finishing the season with 11 assists and 8 goals.

Shotmaps and passmaps

In our advanced player reports, you will find numerous data visualisations which will help you contextualise data. Among these we have shotmaps and passmaps.

Shotmaps allow to compact all shots taken in a season by a player and evaluate his finishing skills in a quick and intuitive manner. Here is an overview featuring wonderkids:

Thanks to this, we can quickly see how shot locations change from player to player (as to be expected more offensive players such as Rasmus Højlund and Bellingham shoot closer to goal and have higher xG/shot). Contextual information regarding goals and xG allows to quickly assess the amount of chances a player has had and the efficiency of his finishing.

Passmaps, instead, do a similar job by highlighting the locations (with starting and ending coordinates) of the most dangerous completed passes by players. Here is a brief overview of some wonderkids:

Here we can clearly see that Chance Creators (Wirtz and Simons) and One-to-one explorers emerge (Musiala). However, unlike with shooting, it’s harder to sustain an overperformance in assists since it depends on teammates rather than individual skill, so having teammates with above-average finishing definitely helps.

Explore Soccerment’s Professional Services:

Discover our tailored solutions for football professionals, including detailed player reports and team analytics. Enhance your game strategy with our data by downloading a free advanced player report demo at https://xvalue.ai/professionals.

Leverage Our AI-Driven mobile app:

Dive deeper into the season’s stats and get instant insights with AIDA, our AI-driven mobile app. Start your data-driven exploration of your favorite player’s seasonal performance at https://xvalue.ai/AIDA.

Stay tuned and don’t miss out on the latest updates and insights from Soccerment. We’re here to bring you closer to the heart of football analytics, helping fans and professionals alike understand the beautiful game on a deeper level.

Warm regards,

The Soccerment Team