Ranking the Top 10 U-21 players in Europe: Who will win the Golden Boy award?
Almost every club manager looks to have a rich mixture of experience and youth in their squads as they strive to build the perfect ecosystem for a club to progress and sustain themselves. While cash-rich clubs have tried to upset the balance, there are many idealists who still rely on youth players to do the job.
However, a select few have already made themselves invaluable with consistent performances in the top flight against rivals who have far more experience than them. While the world waits for a number of potential stars to build their career, these youngsters have already announced their arrival.
The list of nominees for the Golden Boy award (Best under-21 player in Europe) was also released today. We've ranked the top 10 contenders.
Note: Players who have already turned 21 were not eligible for this list.
10) Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus)
The young midfielder stands at 6'2" and has been described as the 'Uruguayan Pogba'. That comparison was made by his coach at Boca Juniors Guillermo Schelotto - the club where he made a name for himself before his big move to Europe.
His versatility allows managers to play him in different positions in midfield - be it a defensive role, a central role or even as an attacking midfielder. A player who idolises Juan Riquelme, Bentancur is an intelligent midfielder who can do his bit in attack thanks to his ability to use both feet while his aerial superiority is also very handy in the middle of the park.
Juventus knew exactly what they were doing when they let Carlos Tevez return to Boca in 2015, adding a clause that allowed them to approach the youngster first when his time came.
After playing a key role with Boca Juniors to win the Primera Division in 2015 and 2016/17, Juve activated the option to sign him permanently for a base fee of €9.5m.