Predicting the future of football is never easy, especially when looking at players who could really have legacy-defining eras. With the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, it seemed pretty guaranteed where football's crown was heading for as long as they were playing at the top of European football.

Back in 2019, however, French outlet L'Equipe attempted to predict the stars that would come next, tipping six young players to dominate European football.

Since the prediction four years ago, those players have had incredibly mixed spells, though, and it's fair to say that some have simply failed to live up to their potential.

With that said, we've taken a look at just how their respective careers have gone so far.

6 Karamoko Dembele

Karamoko Dembele for Celtic

Tipped to become the next best thing, Karamoko Dembele was 16 at the time of his inclusion on L'Equipe's 2019 list. Now only 20, it's far too early to completely write off the former Celtic winger.

The pressure at 16 would have been incredibly difficult, and since leaving Scotland, Dembele has struggled to ever kickstart what is still an early career. At Brest last season, though, summing up recent years, the 20-year-old failed to score a single goal.

5 Ansu Fati

Ansu Fati

Also included on the list was Barcelona's Ansu Fati. And this came as no surprise, considering the winger's emergence as one of the most exciting players at the Nou Camp. Injury issues have halted his rise to the top since, however, with the Spaniard missing 35 games since the 21/22 season.

In the last campaign, he at least started getting things back on track as Barcelona won their first La Liga title under Xavi, and Fati scored seven goals.

4 Sebastiano Esposito


You'd be forgiven for not exactly knowing the name Sebastiano Esposito. Once tipped for great things at Inter Milan, the forward has so far failed to reach his potential.

Still only 21, he has plenty of time to become the player that L'Equipe once tipped him to become back in 2019, but after a failed loan spell at Anderlecht, it's far from looking promising for Esposito.

3 Joelson Fernandes

Once again a name that may not be too familiar with a number of fans, Joelson Fernandes has never really got going at Sporting, despite initially being tipped to become the next best thing.

Making just four appearances for the first team, the winger never looked like reaching his potential in Portugal, and has since spent a season on loan at FC Basel, where he scored four goals, before ending up at Turkish side Hatayspor.

2 Mohamed Amine Ihattaren

Mohamed Amine Ihattaren

Mohamed Amine Ihattaren has had the most difficult journey of these players since being included in L'Equipe's list of young players. There was even a point that the midfielder was reportedly considering retirement due to mental health issues.

The Juventus midfielder didn't feature last season, and it remains to be seen where his future lies in football.

1 Karim Adeyemi

Karim Adeyemi for Borussia-Dortmund

Onto a player that everyone should be familiar with, Karim Adeyemi is well on his way to reaching his potential at Borussia Dortmund. After making the move to the Bundesliga giants back in the summer of last year, and has since enjoyed a promising debut campaign.

Ending the season with nine goals, and six assists, the only way is up for the 21-year-old.