Best under 23 XI so far this season
The 2018/19 season will be one of the seasons in which certain youngsters will enter the crucial stage of their career. Many exciting young players break through to the first teams every season but maintaining their developments especially in the bigger European clubs is a great challenge for them.
Young players need to have game time to gain playing experience and this is something that is not guaranteed especially in the big clubs. The pressure to perform brought about by too many expectations from the fans might also have a negative impact on their development. Perhaps this might be the reasons why young English players are moving away from their parent clubs in the premier league to try and establish their careers in the Bundesliga or the Championship. Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson and Mason Mount are just a few of them.
I have created a squad of 11 Under-23 players who have hit the ground running this season and managed to be the best in their positions at that age. I have created the squad based on their statistics from whoscored.com since the beginning of the 2018/19 season (all competitions included).
Goalkeeper; Alban Lafont (Fiorentina)
Lafont is one of the notable academy graduates to break through the Toulouse first team following the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Wissam Ben Yedder.
The 19 years old became the youngest ever goalkeeper in Ligue 1 after making his first-team debut at the age of 16. Lafont then went on to break a 30-year-old record by becoming the youngest goalkeeper to reach 50 Ligue 1 appearances. Signed by Fiorentina at a bargain price in the summer transfer window, Lafont has already proved to be one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe.
The 19-year-old France International has already kept 3 clean sheets in 7 games in the Serie A and conceding 5 goals. Lafont is a great shot stopper and he has the ability to pull out top draw reflexes on a consistent basis. He is also quick enough to close down attackers in 1 v 1 situation something that makes him such an exciting future prospect.
This season in the Serie A, he has already made over 15 saves continuing with his form from last season at Toulouse where he averaged 2.41 saves per game after playing more than 30 games. The 19-year-old is an all rounded goalkeeper with great shot-stopping technique and ball playing ability.
His passing accuracy of 69.2% this season shows that he is capable of building from the back and this can improve even further once he moved to a team which keeps possession more than his current team.