10 best young footballers in the world - September 2018
A couple of weeks ago, Luka Modric was announced as the UEFA Men's Player of the Year. Shortly afterwards, Lionel Messi missed out on the final shortlist for the FIFA Best Men's Player Award, the first time the Argentinian hasn't featured among the top three players in recent memory.
These occurrences signify a changing of the guard that we all knew would eventually arrive. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have dominated individual awards handed out by UEFA and FIFA for over a decade, but as they enter the twilight of their careers it is now time for some new, younger superstars to take their place at the peak of the game.
Luckily, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to young talent. Better youth academics, greater competition at youth level such as the UEFA Youth League, and broader scouting networks all combine to produce wonderful players who are just beginning their careers.
In the search for the next major football superstars, we have compiled a list of the 10 best young footballers in the world. We will update this list on a monthly basis to see if we can discover which player will become the first to lift a major individual award from this new generation.
There are several factors taken into account when compiling this list. First, and most importantly is age. Players must be under the age of 23 to qualify for this list. Once a player reaches their 23rd birthday, they are no longer eligible for entry as a best young footballer.
Other factors considered include market value, game time with their club, international appearances, trophies won, and average performance ratings. So, without further delay, here are the 10 best young footballers in the world for September 2018.
#10 Anthony Martial
Market Value: €65 million
Club: Manchester United
Just sneaking into the list ahead of Kingsley Coman and Leon Bailey, it is easy to forget that Anthony Martial is still only 22 years old.
Having moved to Old Trafford in 2015, Martial has endured many ups and downs over the past three years. His first season in Manchester was exceptional, but he has somewhat struggled for form under the tutelage of Jose Mourinho.
The summer fiasco involving rumours about a move away from the Premier League following the Frenchman's early departure from Manchester United's pre-season tour has now been put to bed. Both the player and club will hope that this will lead to Martial rediscovering his scintillating form and fulfilling his incredible potential.
If he is given an opportunity at Old Trafford this season, there is little doubt that Anthony Martial can quickly move up this list and become one of the best players in the world.