The #European Under-21 Championship starts on Friday with #England opening the tournament against current holders, Sweden. The Under-21 championships haves seen some of the best talents in the world take their first steps to becoming top-level footballers, talents such as Isco, David De Gea, Marco Verratti and Christian Eriksen to name a few.

England go into the tournament with a chance of becoming champions but will need to beat excellent competition in the form of Italy, Spain, Portugal and the possible surprise package, Czech Republic, to take home the silverware.

This year's competition could be one of the most competitive in recent years due to the sheer amount of top talent already seeing solid match time at their respective clubs, so let's have a look at the five players to look out for.

Patrick Schick (Czech Republic)

Recently moved to Juventus, Patrick Schick is one of the brightest talents in Serie A, if not Europe. Indeed the talented forward scored ten goals in qualifying whilst also registering four assists.

A tall striker with good pace, superb balance, excellent ball control and a cool head in front of goal, Schick could well lead the line of a pesky Czech Republic team that will also feature, Ajax's Vaclav Cerny. Such is Schick's huge talent that his former Sampdoria coach, Marco Giampaolo, jokingly stated that he had to keep him on the bench for fear of him attracting too much interest.

At this tournament, those fears may well come true, watch out for Schick in the next few years.

Tammy Abraham (England)

Will Chelsea's Abraham get a chance with the first-team next season or will he be loaned out? Time will tell but this tournament could be the perfect platform for him to prove himself to Antonio Conte.

Abraham had an outstanding season for Bristol City, scoring 26 goals to keep Lee Johnson's team in the Championship.

Tall, quick and a fox in the box, Abraham is a typical number nine, watch out for him as a possible top goalscorer for the tournament, if the ball drops in the six-yard box, expect him to be there.

Daniele Rugani (Italy)

The only defender on the list, Rugani will play a huge role in an underrated Italy team. Already regarded as the future of Italy and Juventus' defences, Rugani looks set to be another Italian defensive stalwart.

Although Rugani has spent most of his time on the bench or out with injury, the young defender is gaining invaluable insight into the art of defending from the masters that are Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. Not the quickest but an excellent reader of the game, Rugani is one of the many Italian prospects to watch out for, it's not all about Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Ruben Neves (Portugal)

Heralded as a mix between Sergio Busquets and Andrea Pirlo by then teammate, Cristian Tello, Ruben Neves is seen as Portugal's future midfield general. Breaking onto the scene as an unknown 17-year-old three years ago, Neves has gone on to become the youngest Porto player to score in the league, the youngest Portuguese international to play and youngest player to captain his side in the Champions League.

Last season, however, the young midfielder saw himself spend a lot of time on the bench. Needing to improve defensively, Neves saw himself looked over in favour of the defensive-minded Danilo Pereira. With the ball though, the 20-year-old is an incredible passer and should use this tournament to show Porto that he needs to the centrepiece of their midfield.

Marco Asensio (Spain)

This may be a slightly premature call but Marco Asensio could well follow in the footsteps of Juan Mata and Thiago Alcantara to receive the Golden Player trophy - that's how good he is. The 21-year-old managed 23 appearances in La Liga to go along with eight appearances in the Europe, scoring three goals in both competitions - one in the Champions League final as Real Madrid won the competition for the 12th time.

A clever player capable of featuring on the wing or in the number 10 role, Asensio is incredibly gifted with the ball at his feet. When he picks the ball up in midfield, the Spaniard is a nightmare for opposing defences, he just needs to add more to his end product. If you're looking for a current player comparison, think Isco.