Who are the best young players in the world and what makes them so special?

Who are the best young players in the world and what makes them so special?

There are some prodigious talents in the world of football right now. Some of them have already made big-money moves this summer while others are on the shopping list of every elite club in Europe.

Who are our favourite superstars aged 22 or younger and what are they all about?



Frenkie de Jong 🇳🇱 

  • Age: 22
  • Club: Barcelona
  • Position: Box-to-box midfielder

What’s special about him? 🎨 

De Jong can do anything on a football pitch and is regarded as the man to lead the Netherlands into its latest golden era. Watch out for him in LaLiga this coming season as Barcelona look to rebuild their midfield around the versatile Dutchman. He has frills, nuts & bolts and everything in between, meaning that he possesses the ingredients that make up a total footballer in the fabled traditions of Ajax Amsterdam.



Matthijs de Ligt 🇳🇱

  • Age: 19
  • Club: Ajax Amsterdam
  • Position: Centre back

What's special about him? 👑

He's already the Ajax Amsterdam club captain at age 19 and he scores clutch goals in big games. He might even be the next Sergio Ramos and has caught the eye of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG. 



Jadon Sancho 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 

  • Age: 19
  • Club: Borussia Dortmund
  • Position: Winger 

What's special about him? ⚡️

He's unlike any Englishman we've seen before with his incredible pace, directness and sheer goal output. Sancho notched 12 goals and assisted 14 more in the Bundesliga this season, staggering numbers for a teenager. England's future looks bright. 



Kylian Mbappé 🇫🇷 

  • Age: 20
  • Club: Paris Saint-Germain
  • Position: Striker



What's special about him? 🥇

France’s Golden Boy is the likeliest contender to claim a stranglehold on the Ballon d'Or, an accolade monopolized by Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for so long. He won the World Cup aged 19 and his devastating pace and power gives defenders nightmares and makes him virtually impossible to stop.  

Kylian Mbappé can go on to break all sorts of records if he stays fit and grounded.

Vinícius Júnior 🇧🇷 



  • Age: 18
  • Club: Real Madrid
  • Position: Winger 

What's special about him? 🤹🏽‍♂️

Real Madrid didn't enjoy seeing Neymar electrify audiences while he was at Barcelona, so they found their own Brazilian flair merchant. Vinicius has explosive pace and a bag of tricks and he's still only 18. 

Kai Havertz 🇩🇪 



  • Age: 20
  • Club: Bayer Leverkusen
  • Position: Creative midfielder 

What's special about him? 🥽 

The tall, elegant midfielder has been called the next Mesut Özil. He can play anywhere in midfield, although he's most destructive in Özil’s favoured "number 10" role just behind a striker. Havertz's versatility means that he will be a huge asset to club and country managers. 17 goals from midfield in the Bundesliga last season is also a great return for a creative player.

Luka Jović 🇷🇸 

  • Age: 21
  • Club: Real Madrid
  • Position: Striker

What's special about him? 🎯 

The 21-year-old striker has burst onto the scene, almost singlehandedly guiding Eintracht Frankfurt to the Europa League semifinals with his instinctive, predatory finishing

Put Luka Jovic in on goal and he'll put the ball in the back of the net. At least, that's what Real Madrid fans are now expecting from the Serbian after his recent move to the Bernabéu.

Trent Alexander-Arnold 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

  • Age: 20
  • Club: Liverpool
  • Position: Right back



What's special about him? 🔴 

He's a Liverpool boy through and through.  

A recent Twitter thread showed pictures of current Liverpool stars when they were at their first clubs. Because Alexander-Arnold has been at Liverpool his whole life, his "before" picture was of him hugging Steven Gerrard, despite being roughly half his height. Now 20, Trent has competed in two Champions League finals, lifting the trophy less than two weeks ago, and is a Liverpool captain in the making. 

With an average age of 19.8, this crop of eight outstandingly talented youngsters is going straight to the top of the game if they haven’t already. 

Read more: This is why Real Madrid spent the big bucks on Luka Jovic