Who are Southeast Asia's best young footballers?

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Thanin Phanthavong

Age: 17

Country: Laos

Position: Midfielder

Club: Bangkok Glass FC

Highest level reached: Laos under-19s

Senior international caps: Nil.

From a young age, attacking midfielder Phanthavong had long dreamed of playing in one of Southeast Asia's top leagues and that dream came true when Hans Rudolf Emser, Thai Premier League side Bangkok Glass FC’s head of youth development, brought him into the team’s academy three years ago.

He began rising to prominence when he was a crucial member of the Laos under-16 team that made it all the way to the 2011 AFF U-16 Youth Championship final. Despite losing that match 1-0 to Thailand, Phanthavong’s performances were well received and caught the eye of Emser, who then brought him to Bangkok.

The only Laotian player in Thailand, he hasn’t been given a chance to show his skills with the Rabbits in the TPL yet, mostly spending his time with Rangsit FC, Bangkok Glass’s affiliated club in the regional league. But given his great potential, it is fair to assume he will get his chance sooner rather than later. - TK