The weight of being termed as one for the future can be taxing on the growth on any youngster in modern day football and while some have made the grade to emerge as the next in line of top talents, many have succumbed to the pressure of performing on a consistent basis. This article only consists of players that were once branded as wonder-kids and have since failed to justify their potential.
Also any under the radar signings have been omitted and only those players are considered that are available for a low price this January.
Adama Traore graduated from the famed La Masia academy with FC Barcelona fans excited to see his growth into a devastating forward. The winger showed signs of a special player for Barcelona B side, destroying defenses in the second tier of Spanish football, prompting a call up to the senior squad. However having to compete with the likes of Messi and Neymar forced him to secure a move to Aston Villa.
A side which was doomed for the relegation battle, Adama found it hard to find minutes under Remi Garde as the then manager went for a conservative approach towards securing points on the table. Still the breathtakingly quick forward made an impression with the time he got for Middlesbrough to take him back to the Premier League.
The Spaniard boasts an incredible dribbling ability which wooed the likes of Chelsea and Milan to enquire about his services in 2016. However his time at Middlesbrough has since failed to materialize with his selfish nature costing his development.
An absolute mountain driving with momentum, Adama is a defender's nightmare yet a sinking feeling exists that he might never be able to fulfill on that promise as his sense of space and decision making continiously lets him down. If a manger can harness his physical attributes and polish the technical flaws, he could still go on to become a world beater.
Bologna midfielder Godfred Donsah is an explosive package. A combative midfielder with a burst of pace, the midfield man does it all for the Serie A side. While his partner Amadou Diawara has moved on to Napoli, Donsah has bided his time at the top level yet somehow has evaded the eye of the world.
Going through a hit or miss campaign since his breakthrough season hasn't helped with Donsah himself claiming that his performances were not good enough. 2017/18 season has seen the Ghanian reclaim the starting berth at Bologna as 21 year old looks to finally come good on his potential.
A player similar to Radja Naingollan with seemingly endless stamina to motor up and down the pitch, whichever team takes the punt on the Ghanaian will be getting their hands on a future star. Equally adept at winning the ball and driving up the pitch or taking a shot from distance, 2018 might be the year he becomes a household name.
Lazar Markovic surprisingly is still a Liverpool player. Having spent more than a year in the wilderness with multiple loan deals never materialising into a decent enough campaign for the Serbian, he is back at Anfield among the reserves. The £20 million signing from Benfica was once regarded as a major coup by Brendan Rodgers as the Reds beat competition from the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham for his signature. However Markovic failed to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League eventually getting loaned out.
At Fenerbahce, the winger produced moments of individual brilliance which had endured him to the World during his time at Benfica. A player which once made the entire Juventus defence look like mannequins, the Partizan product is still only 23 and possess lightening speed.
He needs a manager who is willing to use him in a system suited to his strengths and Markovic might explode into one of the most lethal wingers on the counter. With the 2018 World Cup approaching, it's now or never for the Serbian.