Prestigious French football magazine of Ballon d’Or fame L’Equipe has recently released their list of the top 50 players born since 1 January 1999, ahead of FIFA’s Under-20 World Cup this summer.
Ajax captain and this summer’s hottest transfer property Matthijs de Ligt appears top of the list of the world’s best teenagers, while the likes of Vinicius Junior, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Kai Havertz all make the top 10.
There are nine starlets owned by Premier League clubs, while there are eight English talents on the list in total. Only France has more names represented among L’Equipe’s 50, with 10. Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Italy all have four players featured.
Jadon Sancho (2nd)
The most recognisable English name on the list, Sancho has enjoyed a breakout season with club side Borussia Dortmund whilst also making his senior debut for the national side.
An exciting attacking force, Sancho has terrorised defences in the Bundesliga, scoring 13 goals and providing 19 assists in 43 appearances in all competitions as Dortmund came close to winning the title last season.
Although more likely than not to stay put in Germany for the time being, he has been the subject of intense transfer rumours this summer with figures as high as £100m being suggested, such is the hype surrounding the young star.
Declan Rice (9th)
Making the top 10 is West Ham star Rice, who has enjoyed an impressive first full season with the London club.
Rice has established himself as a first-choice midfielder under Manuel Pellegrini, whilst also (controversially) switching international allegiances to England and winning his first senior caps.
Having made 38 appearances in domestic competitions last year, he looks set to be a key player for club and country in seasons to come.
Like with Sancho, eye-watering price tags have already been suggested.
Callum Hudson-Odoi (13th)
The Chelsea winger made headlines in January when German giants Bayern Munich approached the Blues with an offer to take him to Bavaria. Chelsea stood firm, believing the young Englishman to be a key component to their future.
With the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, Hudson-Odoi will hope he gets more opportunities to shine next season and build on the impressive performances he put in last campaign, which led to him his senior international debut in March.
He has just a year left on his contract however and Bayern are still lurking.
Ryan Sessegnon (15th)
Despite ending the season by being relegated with Fulham and failing to set the Premier League ablaze as many anticipated, Sessegnon is still a hot property.
The left-sided star caught the eye in Fulham’s promotion campaign in the Championship and will be frustrated he couldn’t replicate this form, as he was shunted from pillar to post under three managers, in the Cottagers single Premier League season.
Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly interested in acquiring the services of the player L’Equipe rank higher than Justin Kluivert and Samuel Chukwueze.
Under the right tutelage, a raw talent like Sessegnon could become a key player for club and country.
Phil Foden (19th)
When you can count Pep Guardiola as an admirer then there is clearly something special about you.
Manchester City fan and player Foden has enjoyed another good season with the Champions, adding another Premier League winners medal to his collection before his 20th birthday.
When given the chance, the youngster has impressed with some mature performances in City’s star-studded attack. If he can get more game-time, the sky’s the limit.
Reiss Nelson (21st)
Arsenal forward Nelson was sent out on loan by Unai Emery last season and found himself in the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, where he enjoyed a very good campaign.
He made 25 appearances for the German side and scored seven goals – an impressive tally as he was mainly used as a substitute. His time in Germany will have provided him with valuable experience and he will be hoping to become more than a bit part player for the Gunners next season.
Mason Mount (30th)
Ranking one place higher than Benfica’s Tottenham-linked star Gedson Fernandes is Chelsea’s Mason Mount, who spent last season on loan at Championship side Derby County and under Blues legend Frank Lampard. Mount impressed in the second tier and even earned a call-up to the senior national side in October 2018.
Like Nelson, he will be hoping to feature for Chelsea in the coming season, if he avoids being sent out on loan again. But with former boss Lampard in the frame to take over at the Blues, Mount’s fortunes may be looking up.
Dwight McNeil (40th)
Despite only making his Burnley debut in May 2018, McNeil has made 22 appearances for the Clarets and has scored three goals, a decent return for a winger who has made mostly substitute appearances.
The 19-year-old will be hoping for more opportunities to showcase his ability and show why he has been included on L’Equipe’s prestigious list. He will also be looking to impress Gareth Southgate following some impressive displays for England Under-20s