The Next Big Thing tells the stories of 15 footballers who were tipped for the top as youngsters yet were unable to fulfil their potential. With each player exclusively interviewed and insight provided by former team-mates, coaches and expert journalists, Ryan Baldi explores the pitfalls facing young players and what happens when plans go awry. The players featured share much in common, having played for some of the world's biggest clubs - such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham, Internazionale and Ajax - represented their country at various levels and been tipped for the very top. They all fell desperately short of expectations, but the reasons for their struggles differ greatly. Myriad factors can prevent gifted young footballers from fulfilling their true potential, from catastrophic injuries to issues of addiction and temptation, from managerial misunderstandings to bad advice and bad decisions. The Next Big Thing uncovers what becomes of football's wonderkids when the stars fail to align.