After hours of heated debate from the Premier Sports Memorabilia staff over 3 continents, we have compiled a list of the 100 best young football players in 2016.
Which players on this list will go on to become the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
1. Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – Forward
After bursting on to the scene last year, Harry Kane has proven he is more than a one season wonder by scoring over 20 goals in consecutive seasons. He is poised to take home the Premier League top goal scorer award and he has also transferred his scoring form to the international scene, bagging a goal every other game for England.
The only senior striker in the squad, alot of pressure has been placed on the young home grown talent. Will Kane continue to improve as the takes on the best Europe has to offer in the Champions League at White Hart Lane next season?
2. Dele Alli – Tottenham Hotspur – Midfield
Dele Alli has just won the Premier League Young player of the year award after an amazing debut season in the top league. It didn’t take long for the former MK Dons star to cement his starting spot in the youthful Tottenham lineup. Alli scored 10 goals in his debut season and linked flawlessly with the Spurs attack. Dele also announced himself on the international stage by scoring a 30 yard screamer on debut against France. Can Alli push Tottenham one better in 2017 and win the Premier League?
3. Anthony Martial – Manchester United – Forward
The 20-year old Manchester United forward represents the highest fee ever paid for a teenager in history after signing for United in the summer of 2015 for a fee of £36million rising to a potential £57.6million from AS Monaco. He is an extremely quick forward and was named Premier League player of the Month in his first month of playing in England. Martial has represented France at every age group from U16 upwards and has 6 senior caps. He has a massive future and will be an integral part of United’s attacking prowess in the next few years.
4. Martin Odegaard – Real Madrid – Midfielder
Odegaard holds the record for the youngest ever player to represent his country at senior level when he featured in a Euro 2016 qualification match for Norway at the age of 15. He shortly signed for Real Madrid after and is currently playing for the Castilla side but regularly trains with the first team. He became the youngest ever player to play for Real Madrid when he made his debut on 23 May 2015. He is a forward thinking midfielder who thrives on his technical ability and creating goal scoring opportunities.
5. Leroy Sane – Schalke – Midfielder
Sane has had a breakthrough season this year in the German Bundesliga. The attacking midfielder has gained some plaudits and was rewarded in 2015 with his international debut against France which was unfortunately dominated by the tragic Paris terrorist attacks. He hit the headlines for his performance against Real Madrid in his first ever Champions League match where he scored the leveller to make it 3-3 before assisting the winner.
6. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City – Midfielder
Sterling is a wide player for Manchester City that transferred from Liverpool for a British transfer record of £49million. The 21-year old has pace in abundance and is a very tricky winger that is capable of going past his full back time and time again. He has already made 20 appearances for England despite being just 21 and has over 100 Premier League appearances since making his debut in 2012.
7. Kingsley Coman – Juventus – Midfielder
It isn’t often that you see a player of 19 years of age going on loan from one top European club to another but Coman falls in this category as he is currently on loan to Bayern Munich from Juventus. He has been involved regularly for Pep Guardiola’s this season which demonstrates his ability already. He has signed on a two-year loan to Munich with the German outfit having the option to sign him permanently for 21million Euros once the loan expires.
8. Kurt Zouma – Chelsea – Defender
Has been touted as one of the best young defenders in the world with France more than happy with the next decade or so with Zouma coming off the grapevine after Raphael Varane. Chelsea forked out £12million which looks a snip for the bullish defender who is solid but also boasts a quick turn of speed. The ex-St.Etienne defender was signed as a long term replacement for John Terry but Zouma has found himself playing a lot more than he initially thought given Chelsea’s struggles.
9. Luke Shaw
Manchester United – Defender – Only a serious leg injury prevented Shaw from being further up the list after a very impressive start to the season. He now looks to battle back to be fit for the Euro 2016 tournament as he was a regular for England at left back at the age of 20. Only Martial has a bigger transfer fee for a teenager as United spent £30million back in 2014 to sign the full back from Southampton. United will be desperately hoping that he can return from his injury and build on his massive potential.
10. Gianluigi Donnarumma
AC Milan – Goalkeeper – The 16-year old goalkeeper has found himself playing first team football at the San Siro. He would’ve been proud to just be 3rd choice as he was at the start of the season but the 6’5 shot stopper has proved what a massive future he has. At 16 years 8 months, he became the youngest ever goalkeeper to start a match in Italian football history. Italy feared they had no one in the pipeline to replace Gigi Buffon but in Donnarumma they hope to have a successor.
11. Maximilian Meyer
Schalke – Midfielder – Meyer has been a big player for Schalke since making his senior debut in 2013 and has made 75 Bundesliga appearances already. His ability really came to light when he played 15 matches for the U19 side at Schalke and scored 11 as well as assisting 11. He has already inherited the No.7 jersey and the attacking midfielder has been linked with moves to Bayern Munich already.
12. Breel Embolo
Basel – Forward – Embolo is a very powerful centre forward that at 18-years of age has become the main focal point of Basel’s attack. He scored within 5 minutes of his Swiss Super League debut and later that year scored his first ever Champions League goal against Ludogorets at the age of 17. Embolo’s strength has been speculated to suit the English Premier League with Tottenham keen admirers of the Swiss forward.
Here is the rest of the list:
13. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United – Forward
14. Angel Correa – Atletico Madrid – Midfielder
15. Alen Halilovic – Barcelona – Midfielder
16. Hector Bellerin – Arsenal – Defender
17. Calum Chambers – Arsenal – Defender
18. Divock Origi – Liverpool – Forward
19. Kelechi Iheanacho – Manchester City – Forward
20. Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich – Midfielder
21. Sergi Samper – Barcelona – Midfielder
22. Pione Sisto – Midtylland – Midfielder
23. Adama Traore – Aston Villa – Midfielder
24. Jordan Ibe – Liverpool – Midfielder
25. Niklas Sule – Hoffenheim – Defender
26. Daniele Rugani – Juventus – Defender
27. Julian Wiegl – Borussia Dortmund – Midfielder
28. Alessio Romagnoli – AC Milan – Defender
29. Jesus Vallejo – Real Madrid – Defender
30. Jean-Kevin Augustin – PSG – Midfielder
31. Kenedy – Chelsea, – Midfielder
32. Vanja Milinkovic Savic – Manchester United – Goalkeeper
33. Jose Gimenez – Atletico Madrid – Defender
34. Filippo Romagna – Juventus – Defender
35. Leon Goretzka – Schalke – Midfielder
36. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Bayern Munich – Midfielder
37. Youri Tielemans – Anderlecht – Midfielder
38. Bernardo Silva – Monaco – Midfielder
39. Abdelhak Nouri – Ajax – Midfielder
40. Oliver – Atletico Madrid – Midfielder
41. Marco Asensio – Real Madrid – Midfielder
42. Ante Coric – Dinamo Zagreb – Midfielder
43. Bruno Fernandes – Udinese – Midfielder
44. Donis Avdijaj – Schalke – Forward
45. James Ward-Prowse – Southampton – Midfielder
46. Will Hughes – Derby – Midfielder
47. Levin Oztunali – Bayer Leverkusen – Midfielder
48. Saul – Atletico Madrid – Midfielder
49. Emanuel Mammana – River Plate – Defender
50. Jairo Riedewald – Ajax – Defender
51. Joe Gomez – Liverpool – Defender
52. Adrien Rabiot – PSG – Midfielder
53. Teddy Bishop – Ipswich – Midfielder
54. Dele Alli – Tottenham – Midfielder
55. Doria – Marseille – Defender
56. Jose Gaya – Valencia – Defender
57. Alex Grimaldo – Barcelona – Defender
58. Adnan Januzaj – Manchester United – Midfielder
59. Serge Gnabry – Arsenal – Midfielder
60. Anwar El Ghazi – Ajax – Midfielder
61. Moi Gomez – Villarreal – Midfielder
62. Allan Saint-Maximin – Monaco – Midfielder
63. Gabriel Barbosa – Santos – Forward
64. Domenico Berardi – Sassuolo – Midfielder
65. Matheus Pereira – Sporting Lisbon – Midfielder
66. Gelson Martins – Sporting Lisbon – Midfielder
67. Bruma – Galatasaray – Midfielder
68. Demarai Gray – Birmingham City – Midfielder
69. Andrija Zivkovic – Partizan – Midfielder
70. Carlos Fierro – Chivas – Forward
71. Mason Holgate – Everton – Defender
72. Chancel Mbemba – Newcastle United – Defender
73. Andres Cubas – Boca Juniors – Midfielder
74. Ruben Neves – Porto – Midfielder
75. Balde Keita – Lazio – Midfielder
76. Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen – Midfielder
77. Lucas Ocampos – Marseille – Midfielder
78. Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Chelsea – Midfielder
79. Zakaria Bakkali – Valencia – Midfielder
80. Jack Grealish – Aston Villa – Midfielder
81. Ricardo Kishna – Lazio – Midfielder
82. Marko Pjaca – Dinamo Zagreb – Midfielder
83. Aleksandar Mitrovic – Newcastle United -Forward
84. Tin Jedvaj – Bayer Leverkusen – Defender
85. Riechedly Bazoer – Ajax – Midfielder
86. Simone Scuffet – Udinese, Goalkeeper
87. Jonathan Tah – Bayer Leverkusen – Defender
88. Predrag Rajkovic – Maccabi Tel Aviv – Goalkeeper
89. Cameron Carter-Vickers – Tottenham – Defender
90. Jordan Rossiter – Liverpool – Midfielder
91. Tiemoue Bakayoko – Monaco – Midfielder
92. Nathan Ake – Chelsea – Midfielder
93. Nabil Bentaleb – Tottenham – Midfielder
94. Bryan Cristante – Benfica – Midfielder
95. Mahmoud Dahoud – Borussia Monchengladbach – Midfielder
96. Nathaniel Chalobah – Chelsea – Midfielder
97. Ryan Gauld – Sporting Lisbon – Midfielder
98. Hachim Mastour – AC Milan – Midfielder
99. Joshua Onomah – Tottenham – Midfielder
100. Munir – Barcelona – Forward
Do you agree with our list of the 100 best young football players in 2016?
Is there a budding young talent at your club that we have missed? Let us know in the comments below for your chance to win a $50 Premier Sports Memorabilia gift voucher.