Dybala, El Ghazi, Gnoukouri, Minamino, Semedo - Five uncapped stars to watch
England manager Roy Hodgson caused a bit of stir when he called up 19-year-old Dele Alli to his squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania this month. But the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is not the only promising young player set to get his first taste of senior international action over the next week or so.
Here are five other young and uncapped call-ups to look out for during the international break.
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Paulo Dybala | 21 | Forward | Argentina
Dybala refused to follow the lead of his fellow Argentinian and former Palermo teammate Franco Vazquez in declaring for Italy when asked last season and has now been called up to Gerardo Martino's Argentina squad for their opening World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Paraguay. The 21-year-old has not previously represented his country at youth level and will therefore pull on the Albiceleste shirt for the first time if given a chance.
The youngster earned himself a €32 million move to Juventus this summer following an excellent campaign at Palermo in which he notched 13 goals and 10 assists. A small and determined forward with excellent close control and finishing ability, he already has three goals and one assist to his credit in Turin. Argentina have plenty of forward options with the likes of Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain but, in the absence of Lionel Messi, Dybala will hope to stake a claim for regular inclusion by impressing Martino over the coming week.
Anwar El Ghazi | 20 | Forward | Netherlands
Netherlands have endured a disastrous qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 and could very easily miss out on the tournament altogether -- even if they win both of their final two fixtures against Kazakhstan and Czech Republic. With six points a necessity, it is therefore unsurprising that Danny Blind has decided to hand a first summons to the Eredivisie's joint top scorer El Ghazi, who joins up with the squad on the back of seven goals in eight starts for Ajax.
The 20-year-old has previously represented Netherlands up to under-21 level but had considered declaring for Morocco, the homeland of his parents, prior to his senior call-up. He burst onto the scene last season as an explosive wide forward blessed with rapid acceleration and a powerful shot, and he will now look to convert his domestic form into a decisive contribution for his country in their moment of need.
Assane Gnoukouri | 19 | Midfielder | Ivory Coast
Gnoukouri started twice for Inter Milan at the back end of last season and was selected in the first XI for their opening match of the current campaign at home to Atalanta. He has not made it off the bench since, but it is clear that coach Roberto Mancini has high hopes for this confident young midfielder, whose simple yet swift distribution and emerging athletic capabilities bode well for a bright future.
Ivory Coast coach Michel Dussuyer has been keeping tabs on Gnoukouri's progress and travelled to Italy to speak with him last month. The result is a first national team call-up for the 19-year-old ahead of Friday's friendly away to Morocco. Amid speculation over the international future of Yaya Toure, Dussuyer will be keen to take a closer look at a player who has been touted as a potential long-term successor to the Manchester City midfielder.
Nelson Semedo | 20 | Full-Back | Portugal
Nelson Semedo has been called into the Portugal squad for their decisive Euro 2016 qualifiers against Denmark and Serbia after impressing for Benfica during the early part of the new campaign. Performances such as the one away to FC Porto in which he effectively shackled the tricky Yacine Brahimi in a strong and decisive display persuaded Fernando Santos to bring him into the squad to cover for the absence of regular right-back Vieirinha.
The 21-year-old spent last season with Benfica's B team but was promoted to the senior group by new coach Rui Vitoria this summer. He made his debut in the Super Cup defeat to Sporting and has since started all nine of their league and Champions League engagements. He is of Cape Verdean heritage but was born and raised in Lisbon and elected to accept Portugal's request despite reports of interest from his parental homeland.
Takumi Minamino | 20 | Forward | Japan
Japan have regularly been accused of lacking a potent goal threat but there have been promising signs for coach Vahid Halilhodzic during the first couple of months of the new season. Yoshinori Muto has made an encouraging start to his Bundesliga career at Mainz, while the Bosnian coach has rewarded Minamono for his fine goal scoring form at RB Salzburg in Austria by handing him his first call-up to the senior national team.
Minamono joined Salzburg from Cerezo Osaka in January and scored three goals during the second half of the campaign as he settled into his new surroundings. This season, he has already netted nine goals in 14 appearances in all competitions, including the equaliser in Salzburg's 2-1 win away to league leaders Rapid Wien on Sunday. A quick wide forward or attacking midfielder with neat touch and a crisp shot, he is starting to fulfil his potential.
Nick Dorrington is a freelance football writer. Twitter: @chewingthecoca.