5 best U21 players in the world right now
During the past decade, we as football fans have had the privilege of watching some brilliant players turn up week in and week out in matches that will live in our memories forever.
The 2010s are synonymous with the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry, the Madrid threepeat of Champions League titles, the dominance of clubs such as Bayern Munich, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain in their domestic leagues.
Cristiano Ronaldo is now 34 years old, and Lionel Messi is 32. The likes of Georgio Chiellini, Marcelo, Luca Modric, and David Silva are also not getting any younger. Arjen Robben recently just retired, whereas Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are now managing European clubs.
Although the likes of Messi and Ronaldo are not here to leave any time soon, the 2020s brings with it a whole new generation of talent. It will bring to us a whole new pool of players who are young right now but are set to take over from their idols soon.
As we are about to enter a new era of football, we take a look at five of the best U21 players in the world who will be the torchbearers for the next generation of superstars.
#5 Kai Havertz
Dubbed as the next big thing by fans in Germany, the sky is the limit for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz. At 20, Havertz is arguably the most talented German youngster heading into the next decade, having already proven his worth in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen.
Havertz is a classic playmaker - he has great technique on the ball, gets into good positions on the pitch to receive a pass, and his vision rivals that of players more experienced than him. In addition to this, he has a deadly eye for goal.
Havertz was the first teenager since Thomas Muller to score more than 15 goals in the Bundesliga, and he did it playing in midfield. There's effortlessness and an incisive edge to the youngster's game, which makes him versatile and a complete player in the middle of the park. Goals, assists, ball distribution - the 20-year-old has it all, and he looks set for success in the coming years.
Amidst strong interest from several of Europe's heavyweight clubs, it will be interesting to see where Havertz ends up. Wherever he does, that team will have a gem for the future.