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Top 10 favourites to win 2024 Golden Boy Award: Ranked

Published at :April 22, 2024 at 7:09 PM
Modified at :April 22, 2024 at 7:10 PM
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Akash Mandal


Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham won the award in 2023

This season has seen the rise of a host of young talents who have broken into the senior squad of their respective clubs, impressing week after week and slowly making themselves indispensable to their team. From Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo at Manchester United to Mathys Tel at Bayern Munich, these wonderkids have already made themselves a fan favourites.

Here are the wonderkids who are the favourites to win the Golden Boy award for 2024:

10. Arthur Vemeeren (19, Atletico Madrid)

After impressing for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian League, Atletico Madrid snapped up Arthur Vemeeren this winter transfer window.

The young central midfielder, who has already been capped by Belgium, is versatile, having both good passing and ball winning abilities, which has led him to be deployed as a No. 6, No. 8 or sometimes even as a No. 5 to anchor the backline.

The Belgian starlet is tipped to lead the next generation of Belgian midfielders.

9. Jorrel Hato (18, Ajax)

It is rare to see centre-backs have enough maturity to be a mainstay in the first team during their teen years. However, Jorrel Hato has not only the talent, but also the maturity and mentality to lead Ajax’s defence at just 18.

After Ajax made a torrid start to the season where they were languishing in the relegation zone, the Dutch side have since surged up the table to 5th, with Hato leading their young defence. The 5’10 centre-back has started every game for the Dutch outfit and has exhibited leadership qualities too.

8. Rico Lewis (19, Manchester City)

While Pep Guardiola is known to hold back with young talent and gradually integrate them, Rico Lewis has broken into the team and made himself a viable competitor to veteran Kyle Walker for the right-back spot. Lewis has also earned high praise from Guardiola, tipping him to be one of the best players in the world in the future.

The diminutive fullback is pacy, creative and intelligent, while also being a decent defender. The Englishman has already 14 appearances in the league this season, while also featuring regularly in the Champions League.

 7. Kobbie Mainoo (19, Manchester United)

Manchester United fans haven’t have a lot of reasons to smile this season, but Kobbie Mainoo’s breakout has certainly been their biggest reason to smile. Rumoured to be in the fringes of the first team during the pre-season, he started his first game of the season in November against Everton, where he was the player of the match.

Since then, he has been unstoppable, looking creative on the ball, defensively adept, proficient at dribbling and having a knack of scoring wonder goals. He also forced his way into the English national team setup recently, where he again won Player of the Match on his debut. The sky is looking to less of a limit for the Englishman.

6. Savio (20, Girona)

On loan at Girona from Troyes, Savio has been the breakout star in La Liga with 10 goals and 7 assists so far. The Brazilian, already capped by this national side, is also set to join Manchester City in the upcoming transfer window.

The 20-year-old is a perfect winger, having completed the most dribbles in the league this season, while also being very direct, making him a difficult winger to mark for a defender.

5. Leny Yoro (18, Lille)

At just 18, Leny Yoro has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world already. Leading Lille’s defence, the team have conceded just 25 goals in their 28 league games. Tall, strong, and technically brilliant, Yoro is also a good passing outlet to build from the work.

The Frenchman has already been linked to big European clubs and is tipped to be one of the best defenders in the world.

4. Warren Zaire-Emery (18, PSG)

Despite breaking out last season, Warren Zaire-Emery has been given consistent game time only this season. The Frenchman is now an integral part of Luis Enrique’s side.

The 18-year-old is a brilliant passer, having a 91% pass success rate, and also an excellent dribbler, making him integral for breaking the opposition’s press. Warren has made 33 appearances for PSG this season and has 8 goal involvements.

3. Alejandro Garnacho (19, Manchester United)

Last year was the actual breakout for Alejandro Garnacho, but this year, the Argentine has become one of the trickiest wingers in the Premier League. Possessing incredible pace, dribbling and bags of flair, Garnacho’s 12 goal involvements have been a big reason for optimism for United fans during a rather disappointing season.

However, even more than the statistics, Garnacho provides a directness and a flair that very few possess. His overhead kick against Everton this season will be a strong contender for both the goal of the season and the Puskas Award.

2. Joao Neves (19, Benfica)

At just 19, Joao Neves has already mastered a position which normally requires years of experience and exceptional footballing intelligence to perfect.

The defensive-midfielder has stepped up and covered a big hole seamlessly since Enzo Fernandez’s departure to Chelsea, being an adept dribbler and a precise passer, which helps Benfica to have a reliable outlet while building up from the back.

He is also very good positionally, and takes up good positions off the ball to beat the opposition’s press.

1. Lamine Yamal (16, Barcelona)

The footballing world has never seen a footballer this young having such an impact in their breakout campaign. The closest to it was Lionel Messi’s breakout for Barcelona, but even the legendary Argentine was 17 at the time. At just 16, Yamal looks at home in the Barcelona first team, brimming with confidence, creativity and end product.

The La Masia graduate has already played 43 times this season and has been involved in 14 goals. Most importantly, at just 16, the Spaniard already plays with confidence and assuredness which is much beyond his years. He also debuted for the Spanish National Team this year.

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