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Five Young Argentina Primera Forwards Europe Should Be Focusing On

Boca Juniors - Luca Langoni

As the summer transfer window is preparing to open its doors, Nathan Joyes brings five Argentina forwards under the age of 25 plying their trade in the top flight to the table. Inter Milan have their eyes on Tigre's Italian forward, but he shouldn't be alone.

Boca Juniors - Luca Langoni

After a successful 2022 campaign, 21-year-old Luca Langoni scored six goals in 18 Primera appearances for Boca. Having impressed for the reserves, Hugo Ibarra was keen to call Langoni up to the first team who hasn't looked back since.

In 2023, the Argentine striker started the season strong with three goals in eight appearances, before tearing a muscle during a league match against San Lorenzo. After a 43 day absence and nine games missed, Langoni returns to the squad with a new manager at the helm, but two appearances off the bench against Tigre and Arsenal Sarandi indicates Jorge Almiron recognises his talent.

Often found operating on the right hand side, although he can play on either flank, Langoni possesses a natural instinct in front of goal. Not only can he sniff out a goalscoring opportunity, his dribbling ability and pinpoint passing makes him a defenders nightmare in the final third.

Despite only five foot eight inches, he possesses great strength when travelling with the ball, as well as when turning out of tight positions. His confidence and skilful nature makes him one of the most exciting talents currently in the Primera Division. Valued at £5m according to Transfermarkt, Langoni could be a real coup if the young prospect can get his season back on track after his injury setback.

River Plate - Lucas Beltran

River Plate's Lucas Beltran

River's young prospect was very highly rated by former boss Marcelo Gallardo, who is regarded as one of the best managers in South America.

Having already surpassed his goal tally from 2022, Beltran is proving to his new head coach, Martin Demichelis, why he should be in the starting XI on a regular basis, which is why links to Premier League outfit Tottenham are circulating. The spot kick specialist is very reliable from 12 yards, a quality which shows great resilience and ability to deal with high pressure situations. Four from four is a record to please any striker.

To date, the 22-year-old has scored 10 goals in 2023, including six away from the penalty spot. As Total Football Analysis pointed out, he's scored six in open play, all inside the area. The fox in the box is lively when called upon and River Plate can heavily rely on Beltran to be in the right place at the right time.

The five foot nine striker isn't the tallest, but that doesn't stop him from being an aerial threat for River when called upon.

Valued at around £5m according to Transfermarkt, the former U20 Argentine international looks to be a bargain buy for a striker whose progression is on the right trajectory.

Rosario - Alejo Veliz

Perhaps a few weeks ago not many people would have known Alejo Veliz's name in Europe but all that will have changed after a successful U20 World Cup with Argentina on a personal level. Having scored in all three group stages matches, Argentina were knocked out by Nigeria in the last 16. However, just three days later Veliz was back doing what he does best and scored his seventh league goal in just 15 appearances.

His positional play is something all strikers can admire, knowing when to arrive in the six-yard box, peeling off his marker and instinctively finishing when given half a chance.

Whether its first time finishes from outside the box, or bullying defenders to create room for himself, Veliz is establishing himself as the complete package at a young age.

What is astounding is his level of confidence, in which he bullies defenders who try and mark him tightly, bulldozing his way down the channels in order to get his team higher up the pitch and create goalscoring chances for others. Veliz possesses such natural goalscoring ability for his age, and there is undoubtedly plenty of European clubs who will be keeping a close eye on him. At just 19 years of age, Veliz is lining up a promising career ahead of him, and with a market value of around £10-12.5m, this natural goalscorer can reach the very top.

Tigre - Mateo Retegui

Tigre's Mateo Retegui

All eyes are firmly on Tigre's main man, who made it public knowledge of his interest to join Serie A this summer transfer window.

Having chosen to represent Italy over his native country, he scored on his international debut against England in the European Qualifiers, before scoring against Malta three days later. Back in the Argentine Primera, the 24-year-old has scored 10 goals in 16 appearances, building on his 19 goals in 27 in 2022. In a top European side, Retegui should flourish. The Italian international has pace, power and natural ability in front of goal - three qualities which have seen him succeed in Argentina and why Italian clubs are willing to battle it out for his signature.

He's also proven capable of scoring with either foot, creating space inside the opponents box with his nimble footwork, as well as creating opportunities for his teammates when they are in a better position. Tigre's top goalscorer is keen to build relationships in Italy for both his club and national team, with the Azzurri desperate to not miss out on Euro 2024 after failing to reach the Qatar World Cup. Although the forward has a value of £15m according to Transfermarkt, there's simply too much interest for him to go for that amount. Both Inter and AC Milan have been monitoring his situation over the last few months.

Central Cordoba - Lucas Besozzi

Perhaps the wildcard selection out of the four other players mentioned, but there's no reason why Lucas Besozzi doesn't deserve his place on this list.

The 20-year-old attacker plays on the left wing for Central Cordoba, scoring three goals in 16 league appearances. After 15 league appearances last campaign, Besozzi scored his first goal for the club in an eight minute cameo as his side beat Instituto 2-0. Besozzi also scored for Argentina's U20 side against Uruguay in a friendly back in September 2022, but didn't make the World Cup squad. However, he's doing his best of late to show why that might have been a mistake, with two goals in as many matches while he country was being knocked out of the tournament. His goals mirrored each other, with well timed runs into the box from the left, before getting in front of his man to tap home in a calm manner.

Prepared to drop deep to get on the ball, the young Argentine also enjoys running at his opponents as well as looking to steal a yard from wide positions and whip dangerous balls into the box.

His direct, skilful nature stands out as he looks to always play direct balls through the heart of his opponents defence when he finds himself on the ball in the middle of the pitch. As well as his attacking qualities, his work rate really stands out off the ball, which is a pleasing quality for any manager.

Valued at less than a quarter of a million, Besozzi is rather unfancied at the moment to be the next Lionel Messi. However, there's certainly a player in there who catches the eye and he has the potential to move up the ladder in Argentina.

Keen to more about other South American talents?


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