25 of the best young players in the world are present on the Golden Boy Award shotrlist. Realistically there is another group within the list that are fighting for the award itself. Kylian Mbappe Lottin is the natural favourite. His performances at Monaco were sublime and it secured him a move to PSG. Marcus Rashford is another contender after fortunes at Manchester United have turned around. Also amongst the front runners are recent Barcelona signing Ousmane Dembele and Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus. But what about the quality young players who are on the list and not fancied to win the trophy? We look at 4 of these players hoping they can pull off a surprise and lift the Golden Boy Award.
- Age – 18
- Position – Goalkeeper
- Club – A.C Milan
- Nationality – Italian
It is insane to think that a goalkeeper at the highest level of Italian football is holding down the position at only 18 years of age. Donnarumma has played 80 times for the Milan senior team already with his Serie A debut coming in the 2015/16 campaign. In that time the keeper has conceded 86 times. Milan have not been at their best but the tide may be changing with big money signings coming in and Donnarumma being a consistent high quality member of the first team.
Donnarumma is not one of the front runners for the award. However, he still has time to claim the prize. If he keeps his form and remains vital to the Milan team this season he may find himself on the list again next year.
- Age – 20
- Position – Centre Midfield
- Club – Monaco
- Nationality – Belgium
As Monaco lost players left right and centre over the summer they were able to attract highly rated midfielder Tielemans to the club. The 20 year old is experienced beyond his years representing former club Anderlecht a staggering 185 times scoring 35 times and providing 31 assists. 19 of those goals came in the 2016/17 season, not bad from midfield! His five caps at international level will soon increase, especially now he is playing Champions League football. His versatile game from the middle of the park make him truly exciting. He has a good work rate, can pick a pass and can strike the ball from distance well with both feet. It will be a difficult year for Monaco, but the signing of the Belgian midfielder will take some of the sting away.
Tielemans is a terrific talent but has not had enough exposure to really claim the trophy. Next year he will not be available for selection in the award so it looks as if he will never win the trophy.
- Age – 19
- Position – Winger
- Club – Borussia Dortmund
- Nationality – American
With Dembele leaving for Barcelona and Marco Reus’ injury problems the chance is there for Pulisic this year. The speed of the American is one of his biggest assets, but the rest of his skills are developing ahead of schedule. The winger, who has just turned 19, has represented the German club on 61 occasions, scored 9 and chalked up 14 assists. His ability to play anywhere in the attacking third and even in central midfield if needed makes him a good squad player. He will be looking to nail down a position on either flank this year. His international form is excellent having played for the United States of America 16 times and scoring 7.
It may be a year too earlier for the Dortmund winger. Other youngsters have had better seasons, but with him looking likely to get more game time this season who knows? Next year could see him become the first American to win the award.
- Age – 19
- Position – Striker
- Club – Ajax
- Nationality – Danish
The Ajax man was a vital part of the team that reached the Europa League final last season. The Dane has been vital to the Dutch side while he has been in the first team scoring 23 goals in his 57 appearances. He has become the first choice striker at Ajax and will be looking to add more goals to his record this season. His movement and ability to finish make him one to watch in the coming seasons.
Expect Dolberg to be in contention again next year and with another goalscoring season under his belt at Ajax he may be able to push closer to the award.
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