The Golden Boy Award is given to the best under-21 player plying his trade in Europe for their achievements over the course of a calendar year. All the nominees for the award should have played in any of the European top-tier leagues.
It's an award given out by a panel of sports journalists representing the likes of The Times (UK), L'Équipe, France Football (both France), Marca, Mundo Deportivo (Spain), Bild (Germany), Blick (Switzerland), De Telegraaf (Netherlands), A Bola (Portugal), Ta Nea (Greece) and Sport Express (Russia).
Some of the biggest names in football have won the prestigious award. Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, Anthony Martial, Raheem Sterling are a few of the big names to have won it. Matthijs De Ligt and Joao Felix are the latest winners of the award.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top 5 favourites to win the Golden Boy Award this year.
Honorable mentions: Ansu Fati (Barcelona), Rodrygo Goes (Real Madrid) and Ferran Torres (Valencia, Manchester City)
#5 Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
The 19-year-old winger has been an absolute revelation for Arsenal in a testing season. He was propelled into the first team scene when both Sead Kolasinac and Kieren Tierney became unavailable owing to injuries.
He was an instant hit and the Gunner fanbase had no problem taking to him after he helped them draw level against arch-rivals Manchester United in one of his earliest Premier League outings. He then went on to earn 10 assists across the Premier League and the Europa League in an impressive debut campaign.
Thanks to his exploits, Saka was given a new long-term contract at Arsenal. He is easily one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League right now. In the words of his manager Mikel Arteta,
"I think he represents every value that this football club stands for. He has come through the academy, and earned his respect with hard work and accountability and you can see the progression that he is having as a player but as well as a person."
#4 Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Though the 2019-20 season started off on a dismal note for Manchester United, by the time they finished their campaign they had quite a lot of reasons to be happy and proud about and one of the most prominent among those is the rise of Mason Greenwood.
Perhaps the most natural striker of the group, Greenwood's game is reminiscent of a certain Robin Van Persie's. The young Manchester United forward stands out due to his two-footedness and his incredible eye for goal. He keeps the defenders guessing and has scored with some thunderous strikes that have forced the world to stand up and take notice.
He equalled Wayne Rooney's record for the most number of goals by a teenager for Manchester United. He is also the first teenager since Michael Owen to have scored 10+ goals in a Premier League season. What's even more impressive is the fact that he only made 12 starts in the Premier League and came off the bench on 19 occasions.