According to Goal‘s 37 international editions, Youri Tielemans is the best Under-18 footballer in the world, with five wonderkids from the UK making the list of 50.
The sports news website took a look at all players who were born after January 20, 1997. Anderlecht’s Tielemans comes out as the best in the world, with Goal being very clear on why he’s their top gun:
“He may only be 18 but to describe Youri Tielemans as a promising player would actually be offensive. The Belgian is already the real deal. Indeed, he has been an Anderlecht regular since making his debut as a 16-year-old in 2013 and has already racked up 18 appearances in the Champions League. A dyanamic yet patient and intelligent playmaker, he directs the game from in front of the defence with a maturity and confidence that belies his tender age. It is only a matter of time before he joins a European superpower.”
Manchester United have monitored Tielemans for quite some time, but are facing great competition from PSG and especially Juventus, who have reportedly offered £11.4 million plus bonuses to Anderlecht. Tielemans has played a total of 86 top league matches, recording 10 goals and 12 assists.
Second on the list is Basel’s Breel Embolo. The striker gets called a mix of Mario Balotelli and Samuel Eto’o, who’s been on the list of Juventus, Wolfsburg, Chelsea and Arsenal. Embolo has registered five goals and three assists in 13 league matches this season.
The top five is completed by Milan’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Porto’s playmaker Ruben Neves and Real Madrid’s attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard.
One UK wonderkid makes the top ten. Liverpool’s Joe Gomez comes in 10th, with Goal reconizing his versatily and class despite his tender age:
“Signed from Charlton during the summer, the 18-year-old full-back was not expected to challenge for a first-team spot for some time – and yet he forced his way straight into the starting line-up. Sadly, injury intervened, and he is expected to be out of action for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury but Gomez had already shown enough versatility and class to suggest that he will be a staple of the Liverpool and England defences in the coming years.”
Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts sits at 16th place, described as a “wonderful winger with a wand for a left foot.” The Citizens also have Spain’s Manu Garcia in at 18th place.
Next up for the UK is West Ham’s Reece Oxford at 27. Behind him are Manchester United’s Cameron Borthwick-Jackson at 33 and Chelsea’s Vitesse loanee Dominic Solanke at 41. Arsenal’s Polish talent Krystian Bielik is ranked 38th and their French talent Jeff Reine-Adelaide 26th.
The top 10:
1. Youri Tielemans (Belgium, Anderlecht)
2. Breel Embolo (Switzerland, Basel)
3. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Italy, AC Milan)
4. Ruben Neves (Portugal, Porto)
5. Martin Odegaard (Norway, Real Madrid)
6. Gerson (Brazil, Roma)
7. Ante Coric (Croatia, Dinamo Zagreb)
8. Renato Sanches (Portugal, Benfica)
9. Malcom (Brazil, Corinthians)
10. Joe Gomez (England, Liverpool)