5 players who could have won the Golden Boy award ahead of Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe might have won the award, but these five players are worthy of the same title.
On Monday, Paris St. Germain striker Kylian Mbappe won the Golden Boy award for the best under-21 player in Europe. The Frenchman won convincingly with 291 votes to his name - a massive 152 more than second-placed Ousmane Dembele.
Newspapers Bild (Germany), Blick (Switzerland), A Bola (Portugal), l'Equipe (France), France Football (France), Marca (Spain), Mundo Deportivo (Spain), Ta Nea (Greece), Sport Express (Russia), De Telegraaf (Netherlands) and The Times (UK) were involved in the voting process.
Marcus Rahshford, Gabriel Jesus, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Christian Pulisic, Kasper Dolberg, Emre Mor, Federico Chiesa and Rodrigo Bentancur rounded off the top 10.
We take a look at five alternative players who could have been named as the best youngster in Europe:
#5 Kasper Dolberg
Ajax striker Kasper Dolberg enjoyed a phenomenal breakout season for the Dutch side in 2016/17. The 20-year-old took the entire continent by storm through his blistering performances in the Eredivisie and on the continental stage.
He was, in many ways, the flag bearer of the young Ajax squad that was on the cusp of Europa League glory. They faltered on their final hurdle against Manchester United but were one of the most impressive teams in Europe last season.
They netted a remarkable 79 goals in the league, and had Dolberg to thank for many of them. The Ajax talisman found the back of the net on 16 occasions in 26 league starts and provided another three assists.
Ajax legend Marc Overmars has likened Dolberg to Dutch footballing great Marco van Basten. The Ajax director of football stated that: "They are the same size, same speed and both have a good shot."
If Dolberg can continue to work on his performances and keep improving with each passing season, he may soon find himself playing for one of Europe's top sides.