AFC – KUALA LUMPUR, With the qualifying stage for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship in China set to kick-off on July 15, the-AFC.com highlights the hottest prospects who could feature as 39 of the continent’s teams compete for 15 places at the biennial competition, which was won by Japan in 2016.
Mehran Derakhshanmehr, Islamic Republic of Iran
Despite being just 18 years of age, Mehran Derakhshanmehr already boasts valuable experience at the top level, having played all six games for his club Zobahan in the group stage of the 2017 AFC Champions League.
Derakhshanmehr has been a part of Iran’s youth set-up for almost three years and was a member of the side that reached the last eight of the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship in Thailand.
The left-sided player is comfortable in both defence and midfield and, having only made his debut for Zobahan in 2016, has already established himself as a first-team regular.
With the senior team having already secured their place at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018, Derakhshanmehr will be one of a number of Iran players looking to shine in the coming months and catch coach Carlos Queiroz’s eyes.