Source: BBC UK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zpx87hv
I have always taken a long-term view to player development.
Based on my observations of working with Elite players in North America since 1998 and the study visits I have made to top academy programs in England (Wolves/West Ham), Spain (RCD Espanyol/Sevilla/Malaga), Portugal (FC Porto ) and Italy (Chievo Verona) the top predictors for young players playing at the highest levels of the game are listed below. Predictors are player attributes that professional clubs look for in young players when assessing their potential.
I have validated this information through my studies in a Masters in Performance Coaching program at the University of Stirling in Scotland and my recent studies in Talent Identification through the Professional Football Scouts Association. I have also enclosed below some articles outlining what professional clubs look for in young players.
Gentle contact on the ball
Ability to pass long and short with correct pace/accuracy
Close control of ball when dribbling at pace
Capable of shooting with instep drive and finishing using multiple areas of the foot
Ability to change direction quickly and maintain control of ball in tight spaces
Uses leading edge of foot (small toe) to dribble
Ability to look up when dribbling
Ability to protect the ball
Psychological and Sociological Predictors
Demonstrate confidence by always wanting the ball and looking for opportunities to take on defenders
Ambition and Desire - motivated to do what is required to maximize potential
Mental toughness - capable of overcoming set-set-backs and adversity
Attention - focused and can fully concentrate during every training session/game
Communication - help team-mates through game situations by providing information
Education - good interpersonal skills and well-educated
What Professional Clubs look for when assessing young players
Bayern Munich https://thepfsa.co.uk/timon-pauls-id/
Manchester United https://thepfsa.co.uk/david-hobson-id/
Major League Soccer https://thepfsa.co.uk/bruno-costa-id/