U23 Team of the Season for 2022-23 campaign
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have two representatives
There are players across the top five leagues who are just starting to find their feet in the world of football; however, there are a few players who have been shining and performing in just these initial years, which has made people in football and around the world take notice of them. They are surely meant to be world performers and future winners, and we have made a list of such players who have made their mark in the 2022–23 season.
GK: Lucas Chevalier, 21, Lille
Matches played: 32, clean sheets: 10
At the start of the season, it wasn’t clear who would be Lille‘s first-choice goalkeeper, but, with a string of superb performances, Lucas Chevalier has made the position his own at the age of just 21. Lille ended up qualifying for Europe this season, and young goalkeeper Lucas Chevalier will deserve plenty of credit.
The 21-year-old pulled off another breath-taking stop to help clinch the win at Toulouse, a save in keeping with the young Frenchman’s brilliant season. His reading of the game and brilliant reflexes have even caught the eye of France’s senior boss, Didier Deschamps, while ex-France captain Hugo Lloris has also singled the youngster out for praise.
He has appeared in 32 matches this season in Ligue 1, playing a total of 2880 minutes. Lucas Chevalier concedes an average of 0.94 goals for every 90 minutes that the player is on the pitch. That means Lucas Chevalier has kept a clean sheet in 10 matches out of the 32 that he has played in.
In terms of raw goalkeeping, he’s saved 78 of the 109 shots faced, meaning Lucas Chevalier’s save percentage is 71.70%. Chevalier could hardly have made a better start: in just his fourth game, this boyhood Lille supporter excelled in a famous derby win over arch-rivals Lens. Lille were looking for a successor to Mike Maignan, and they seem to have found him.
LB: Alex Balde, 18, Barcelona
Matches played: 33, clean sheets: 23, goal contributions: 7 goals (1 goal, 6 assists)
The La Masia academy graduate, who has been one of the breakout stars in this season’s La Liga-winning campaign after being handed his debut under Ronald Koeman last term, was filling in at right back. His emergence, meanwhile, comes at a perfect moment for Barcelona, who may have eased their financial difficulties in the summer but did so at the cost of long-term assets. With Jordi Alba now 33 and entering the final years of his career, the club would have been forced to recruit for potential as early as next summer.
Spanish defender who has appeared in 33 matches this season in La Liga, playing a total of 2477 minutes. Alejandro Balde Martínez concedes an average of 0.51 goals for every 90 minutes that the player is on the pitch. Their clean sheet ratio is currently at 70%. That means Alejandro Balde Martínez has kept a clean sheet in 23 matches out of the 33 that the player has played in.
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CB: Joško Gvardiol, 21, RB Leipzig
Matches played: 30, clean sheets: 9, goal contributions: 1 goal
The Croatian started his career when he played for NK Tresnjevka Zagreb from 2009-2010, for GNK Dinamo Zagreb from 2010-2021, for GNK Dinamo Zagreb U 19 from 2019-2020 and has played for RB Leipzig since 2021. Since his arrival at the club, he has seen the highs of his career and has turned out to be a dominant figure at the back. His pass success rate amounts to 90.9%. This result has put the player in eighth place in the league ranking for this category. His tackle success rate amounts to 61%. Joško Gvardiol won the DFB-Pokal in 2021/22 with RB Leipzig.
The defender has appeared in 30 matches this season in the Bundesliga, playing a total of 2169 minutes. Joško Gvardiol concedes an average of 1.33 goals for every 90 minutes that the player is on the pitch. That means Joško Gvardiol has kept a clean sheet in nine matches out of the 30 that the player has played in.
CB: Matthijs de Ligt, 22, Bayern Munich
Matches played: 31, clean sheets: 10, goal contributions: 4 goals (3 goals, 1 assist)
The Dutch played for FC Abcoude from 2005-2009, for Ajax Amsterdam from 2009-2019, for Juventus FC Turin from 2019-2022 and for FC Bayern München in 2022. His arrival at Bayern Munich has made them solid at the back, and he won the Bundesliga in his debut season. He is astonishing in the air, and his goal-line clearances have become a trademark.
He has more seasons to come to develop and solidify himself as one of the best central defenders in the world, glimpses of which can be seen at times on the pitch. Playing for FC Bayern München, he won 2-1 against 1. FC Köln. He played as a defender throughout the entire game. In terms of total touches, he had 76 individual ball possessions. Furthermore, Matthijs de Ligt had 14 tackle challenges in the last match.
He was additionally able to make 52 successful passes, and the Danish appeared in 31 matches this season in the Bundesliga, playing a total of 2404 minutes. Matthijs de Ligt concedes an average of 0.94 goals for every 90 minutes that the player is on the pitch. That means he has kept a clean sheet in 10 matches out of the 31 that the player has played in.
His pass success rate amounts to 93.88%. This result enables Matthijs de Ligt to occupy second place in the league ranking for this category. His tackle success rate amounts to 61.41%. With this, he occupies second place in the team’s internal statistics. In terms of total touches, he had 76 individual ball possessions.
RB: Jurrien Timber, 21, Ajax
Matches played: 34, clean sheets: 10, goal contributions: 4 goals (2 Goals, 2 Assists)
The Dutch compatriot of de Ligt is another youngster who made it to this list. Coming through the ranks of Ajax’s academy, he has, in such a short period of time, made himself a recognised modern fullback. Despite suffering indifferent form so far this season at the club level (only 57% of his defensive challenges won, compared to 73% last season).
Timber is still an interesting prospect, along with De Ligt. Quick, mobile, and possessing the composure to find midfielders with a first pass, the Ajax youngster carries all the hallmarks of a modern, tactically flexible defender suitable to play in a high position.
This season so far, though Ajax haven’t made it to the top of the league as expected, his contribution has been nothing short of his expectations. He has been the second-highest player to make the most blocks and clearances, whereas his passing accuracy is 74.2 per 90 minutes (highest in the league), and he has a pass success rate of 91.7%. He has been on the radar of Ten Hag since his move to Manchester United and could soon make a move to one of the most elite clubs in Europe.
CM: Jude Bellingham, 19, Borussia Dortmund
Matches Played: 31, Goal Contributions: 12 goals (8 Goals, 4 Assists)
Jude Bellingham plays with maturity and intelligence well beyond his years. Though capable of occupying all roles in the centre of midfield, the England international is likely to operate as an attack-minded No. 8 in Qatar. Smooth on the ball with excellent vision, a varied range of passing, and great athleticism, he is as complete as midfielders come at this age.
A generational talent whose breakout at the World Cup could be pivotal to a successful campaign for England in the coming years and who is currently all but confirmed to be signed by Real Madrid.
Looking into the passing aspect of the game, Bellingham passes the ball roughly 52.11 times during a game, with a pass completion rate of 83.30%. He also plays 1.15 key passes each game, which leads to significant scoring chances. His goal involvement equates to 0.4 per 90 minutes, and he has taken 52 shots in 31 matches so far in the 2022–2023 Bundesliga season.
CM: Jamal Musiala, 20, Bayern Munich
Matches Played: 33, Goal Contributions: 22 goals (12 Goals, 10 Assists)
Another Chelsea and England U17 player who found his stride in Germany has found himself at home with the Bavarians. An exceptionally gifted attacking midfielder, Musiala floats around and interchanges positions with ease. He has been in such breathtaking form for Bayern this season—12 goals and 10 assists from 33 games. Courtesy of his brilliant on- and off-the-ball running, he links up well with his teammates, and his fine ball control can see him dance his way through the opposing defence to end with a composed finish and score the winner against FC Koln, which handed Bayern their record 11th title in a row.
With 63 shots taken so far, the 1.84-meter-tall forward has had the third-most attempts on goal of any FC Bayern München player. Until now, he has been responsible for 53 passes to a shot and has therefore earned himself a second place within the statistics of his club. In 26 of the previous 33 games of the season, he was in the starting lineup.
RW: Rodrygo, 22, Real Madrid
Matches Played: 33, Goal Contributions: 17 goals (9 Goals, 8 Assists)
While his talent has never been in dispute, Rodrygo has finally found the consistency to step out of the shadow of his teammate Vinicius Junior. Technically superb, full of imagination, and with a thunderous shot, the 22-year-old, who has been shining for Real Madrid this season, has the X factor to be the future of this team.
The Brazilian has taken 71 shots in 33 matches so far in the La Liga 2022–2023 season. Of the 71 shots, 32 were on target, and the other 39 were off target. That means that Silva de Goes’s shooting accuracy is 45.07%. He scores a goal for every 7.89 shots he takes and takes 2.79 shots per 90 minutes on the pitch. He passes the ball roughly 37.61 times during a game, with a pass completion rate of 90.18%. He also plays 1.73 key passes each game, which leads to significant scoring chances.
Rodrygo’s great season is unquestionable, and his finest moment came in the Copa del Rey final, where he was the hero with his brace against Osasuna at La Cartuja.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli, 21, Arsenal
Matches Played: 36, Goal Contributions: 20 goals (15 Goals, 5 Assists)
Gabriel Martinelli joined Arsenal from Ituano FC in 2019 and has since become a key player for Mikel Arteta’s side. The young Brazilian forward is known for his pace and dribbling ability, as well as his eye for goal. He is also an excellent passer of the ball and is capable of playing on either wing or through the middle. His versatility makes him a valuable asset for Arsenal, and he has already established himself as one of their most important players this season.
The Brazilian has been one of the top players in the Premier League for attacking involvement this season, according to the stats. If we look purely at open-play chance creation, Martinelli has 22 chances plus secondary chances this season, where “secondary chances” means the final pass to a player who creates a chance. The 21-year-old Arsenal winger has scored 15 league goals this season, surpassing Neymar’s 13 to become the highest-scoring Brazilian player in Europe’s top five leagues. Brazil will surely be more than prepared for the next World Cup with the youngest and most talented squad.
ST: Vinicius Junior, 22, Real Madrid
Matches Played: 32, Goal Contributions: 19 goals (10 Goals, 9 Assists)
Another Brazilian making this list is probably the most notorious one. He has matured into a complete striker within five years at the club, winning almost every trophy at the club level and arriving as a teenager from Flamengo. He was meant to be successful but the expectations that people had of him were humongous. What instead the Madrid Fan got is a player who already is putting up performances that are ahead of his age and time.
Vinicius Junior passes the ball roughly 33.76 times during a game, with a pass completion rate of 81.05% in La Liga. He also plays 2.10 key passes each game, which leads to significant scoring chances. His shooting accuracy is 63.64%, and he scores a goal for every 5.50 shots he takes and takes 1.80 shots per 90 minutes on the pitch. Though Madrid failed to defend their Champions League title, his performance and goal against City at the Bernabeu will still be etched into the memories of those who witnessed that game.
ST: Erling Haaland, 22, Manchester City
Matches Played: 35, Goal Contributions: 44 goals (36 Goals, 8 Assists)
The Norway international came to the Premier League with high hopes from his team and fans of this English competition around the world. Coming off his hot streak at Dortmund, where he made scoring goals look easy, he was expected to at least reach the 20-goal mark in his first season. Instead, this 22-year-old smashed the records in England like a pinata at a kid’s party.
He smashed Cole and Shearer’s record for most goals scored in a 38-match season and equalled Henry’s record for most goal contributions in a season. No doubt he won the Golden Boot and the Premier League in his debut season. Only a very few feats have been achieved by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Erling Haaland has taken 106 shots in 35 matches so far in the Premier League 2022–2023 season. Of the 106 shots, 59 were on target, and the other 47 were off target. He scores a goal for every 2.94 shots he takes, and he takes 3.43 shots per 90 minutes on the pitch. The Forward has appeared in 35 matches this season in the Premier League, playing a total of 2779 minutes.
Erling Haaland scores an average of 1.17 goals for every 90 minutes that the player is on the pitch. This attacking performance currently places him at 1st out of 442 Premier League players who’ve played at least 3 matches.