In recent years, football clubs, especially some very important ones like Real Madrid CF, began to target less established players and more young players in order to sign the stars before they become stars and thus pay less in transfer fees in addition to being assets that can be revalued in your club.
That is why more and more young players are being monitored in different ways and from there, lists of, for example, the best U-20 players emerge, such as the one published by L’Équipe.
The French newspaper has produced a list of the 50 best that is topped by the FC Barcelona player, Ansu Fati, who, at just 18 years old, has become a benchmark of the present and future of the Catalan club and has even made his debut with Spain’s national team. At his young age, he already has 13 goals with FC Barcelona, of which 5 were scored in 10 games this season, before getting injured.
The second is Eduardo Camavinga, from Stade Rennais FC, who has been playing professionally since he was 16 years old. A very complete midfielder that started from a more backward position but as time goes on he moves to more offensive areas of the pitch. Real Madrid CF and particularly Zinedine Zidane, have been following in his footsteps for some time.
AFC Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch ranks third. The Dutchman is a regular in the starting eleven of the ajacied team and his way of playing and his physical characteristics are very reminiscent of Paul Pogba. Another FC Barcelona player, Pedri, appears in position 4 on the list. The young Spaniard had a good start with the Catalan club he arrived at when he was just 17, from UD Las Palmas.
The American winger of Borussia Dortmund, Givanni Reyna, completes the top 5, beating some of his teammates such as Jude Bellingham (6th) or Youssoufa Moukoko (15th), with the latter being the youngest player on the list as he was the only one born in 2004. The North Rhine-Westphalia club is the one that contributes the most players to the French newspaper’s list.
It is a bit surprising that the 7th place is held by Yari Verschaeren, from RSC Anderlecht since, although he is a very technical and skillful player, he is above others such as Mason Greenwood (8th), Florian Wirtz (11th) or Curtis Jones (17th). The first 10 places are completed by Bukayo Saka (Arsenal FC) and Myron Boadu (AZ Alkmaar).
Of the list, only Thiago Almada (CA Vélez Sarsfield), Gabriel Veron (SE Palmeiras), Kaio Jorge (Santos FC), Matías Arezo (CA River Plate de Montevideo) and Alan Velasco (CA Independiente) play outside of Europe, which speaks a bit about how players from countries outside of this continent quickly emigrate to Europe. Finally, I would like to highlight the case of Rayan Cherki, young promise of Olympique Lyonnais who, curiously, L’Équipe ranks last on the list despite his great skill and self-confidence at just 17 years old. He may have been affected by not being a regular in his club’s starting elevens.