Every year, NXGN drops its list of young, up-and-coming players that boast the potential to be the next generation’s world-class players. While the previous edits of the NXGN Awards have had three players chosen as the winner and runner-ups in respective years, this year, nine players were selected from the pool of 50 players. Let’s look at the nine names that made the prestigious award for young stars. All players mentioned below were born after Jan. 1, 2004.
Dubbed “The Turkish Messi,” Arda Guler is Fenerbahce’s new face of the team. The attacking midfielder possesses excellent ball control and dribbling skill. Guler is the youngest goalscorer in the club’s history and has had two goals so far this season. The Turkish talent has caught the eyes of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and a few other giants.
Mohammed Ali-Cho is the product of PSG’s and Everton’s youth teams. The youngster is a versatile forward who can play well on both the wings and as a number nine, thanks to his pace and finishing skill. A great showing at Angers earned him a move to Real Sociedad. Despite struggling with injuries, he is a real threat whenever he is on the pitch. He is eligible for England, Morocco, Ivory Coast, and France. If he stays healthy, his potential can attract many big names.
The Palmeras sensation, and soon-to-be Real Madrid’s, is an attacking threat from Brazil. His game resembles Arsenal’s Gabriel Jesus – an undersized forward with excellent positioning, skills, and finishing. At only 16 years old, he still has much time to hone his craft before moving to Spain to join Real Madrid. But when we see Florentino Perez splashing 60 million on the youngster, we know Endrick is the real deal.
The reigning Golden Boy title is enough said of Gavi’s talent. The La Masia product has had over 80 appearances in the Spanish top flight at 18. He is also the starter in Spain’s World Cup campaign after becoming the youngest player to debut for Spain in 2021. There are concerns about his reckless playstyle, but things can change as he matures. His talent is no doubt the brightest among the NXGN stars.
The Argentinian star is Manchester United’s superstar in the making. Despite being only 19, Garnacho has appeared in some crucial games for The Red Devils in the past year. His game-breaking speed and agility have earned him the trust of Erik Ten Hag and Lionel Scaloni, as he was recently called up for international duty. Playing with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo can give him some good lifts for a bright future.
Not many young players can show such a calm presence in the Premier League midfield quite like Southampton’s Romeo Lavia. The 19-year-old Belgian caught the attention of Pep Guardiola and Manchester City but was then shipped to Southampton for only 12 million dollars. Lavia is the bright spot in The Saints’ struggling team, which might earn him a move to bigger clubs like Chelsea in the summer if Southampton fails to battle relegation.
Another player bursts onto the scenes from the Dortmund academy. Moukoko has broken many records, from being the youngest debutant in the Champions League and the youngest goal scorer in the Bundesliga to the youngest player in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He has provided six goals and four assists this season and can be a crucial contributor for Germany in the upcoming years.
After becoming Rennes’ youngest debutant and leading France to the U17 European Championship, Mathys Tel caught Bayern Munich scouts’ eyes, bringing him to the Allianz Arena for 22 million dollars. The Frenchman became the youngest goal scorer in Bayern’s history and can be a future center forward for the German record champion. His versatility and finishing touches are matured beyond the age of a 17-year-old, earning him the trust of Julian Nagelsmann.
The 17-year-old PSG midfielder is the youngest player to play in a Champions League knockout stage after getting the nod for a starting spot against Bayern Munich. He is also PSG’s youngest goal scorer. The French giant has recently struggled to keep talents in the Parc de Princes, but Zaire Emery can be a different story. His passing skill and tempo control can help the team rebuild the midfield.
The Notable Players in the NXGN Top 50
Some notable names in the top 50 of NXGN include the likes of Liverpool’s Stefan Bajcetic, Dortmund’s Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, Brighton’s Evan Ferguson, and Manchester City’s Rico Lewis.
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