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Top 10 U18 football prodigies making waves during 2023-24 season

Published at :March 10, 2024 at 7:58 PM
Modified at :March 10, 2024 at 8:10 PM
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(Courtesy : Ligue 1)

Govind


Age is just a number if you are good enough to play regularly for your club

The football world is becoming more youth-centric than ever. Many Under 18 players have been given chances across clubs worldwide in the past few seasons. But one thing is to be handed an opportunity for a match or two. But being a regular is a different ball game altogether.

Although there are many other names as well, we have selected the following top 10 U18 football prodigies making waves during the 2023-24 season. The list however is not ranked or the order doesn’t represent their calibre in comparison.

10. Archie Gray (Leeds United)

‘My childhood dream was to win the Champions League with Leeds’ are the words of a current Leeds United midfielder. Still just 17, a month back, the player penned a new long-term deal with his team. In his breakthrough campaign this season, Archie Gray has already played 33 games in all competitions.

9. Roony Bardghji (FC Copenhagen)

Do you know the name of the player who is the youngest ever to score against Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League? The answer is ‘Roony Bardghji‘.

Not only the player was the youngest to score against United but also the youngest to score for FC Copenhagen as well. A left-footed right winger by trait, Bardghji has managed to net 7 goals after appearing in 17 Superliga games.

8. Antonio Nusa (Club Brugge)

An 18-year-old left winger from Club Brugge in Belgium. Antonio Nusa has been handed regular opportunities in the first-tier division of Belgium, the Belgian Pro League. Nusa has 3 goals and 2 assists to show after 17 league games. The player also has a goal in the UEFA Europa Conference League as well.

7. Leny Yoro (LOSC Lille)

Aged just 18, Leny Yoro is towering at the centre-back position of French side LOSC Lille. The player also has scored 2 goals in his 20 league appearances. The defender has 28 games under his belt this 2023-24 season. Real Madrid are also one of the front-runner admirers of the teenager.

6. Vitor Roque (FC Barcelona)

FC Barcelona were involved in the 2024 January transfer window. They brought in the 18-year-old Brazilian forward named Vitor Roque. After 12 goals and a 3-assist season with Club Athletico Paranaense, Roque integrated into life in Spain quite well. The striker already has 5 appearances for the Blaugrana in LaLiga scoring 2 goals.

5. Kobbie Mainoo (Manchester United)

One Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand even went on to such heights as comparing Kobbie Mainoo with another legend of the game Clarence Seedorf. Ferdinand: “I’m not saying he’s of the same ability or that he’s that player yet, but he gives me Seedorf vibes”.

Involving Mainoo has been a game-changer move for United this season after he recovered from an ankle injury. The midfielder has a goal in 10 Premier League games of late.

4. Mathys Tel (FC Bayern Munich)

Many Bayern Munich fans were so into the greatness of 18-year-old Mathys Tel that they even weren’t sure if the club needed Harry Kane. The French teenager wears the number 39 and also is of similar grade to that of Nicolas Anelka. Anelka used to wear number 39 back in his career days. This season alone Tel has 6 UCL and 17 Bundesliga games under his belt.

3. Lamine Yamal (FC Barcelona)

Talking about a teenager playing week in, week out, Lamine Yamal is doing it like a walk in the park. After a brace of goals against Granada last game, Lamine Yamal became the highest-ever scorer under 17 in LaLiga history. Head coach Xavi Hernandez has used Yamal’s services in 24 league games this season.

2. Endrick (Palmeiras)

When Endrick was just 16, Real Madrid agreed to pay €60 million transfer fee including add-ons to sign the youngster back in December 2022. Although his move will go through in June 2024 when the player turns 18, it shows the surety of his calibre. Endrick scored 11 goals in 31 league games ensuring his side lifted the 2023 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A title.

1. Warren Zaire-Emery (PSG)

Even with the riches of Paris Saint-Germain and a good squad depth, manager Luis Enrique never misses the opportunity to field Warren Zaire-Emery. In 18 Ligue 1 appearances, Zaire-Emery has 2 goals and 2 assists. The player also has 3 assists and a goal after 5 UCL group stage games.

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