Ranking the top 5 midfielders aged 20 or under

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad - Copa Del Rey Quarter Final
Best young midfielders: Top 5 midfielders aged 20 or under

The football world always produces prodigiously talented midfielders and some of them break through to the very top at a very young age. These players bring freshness, fearlessness and excitement to the game. These players took the football world by storm, stamping their authority on top level football at a very young age.

Playing in midfield requires a combination of hard work and intelligence. Midfielders are the link between defense and attack and some of these young talents have astonished fans across the globe with their unique skills and abilities.

In this article we look at top five young midfielders, aged 20 or under, who, with their skills and technical brilliance have already made a name for themselves.

#5 Eduardo Camavinga

Eduardo Camavinga- Real Madrid
Eduardo Camavinga- Real Madrid

Eduardo Camavinga played a crucial for Real Madrid last season, playing the holding midfield role as well as deputising exceptionally at left-back at times. The young Frenchman came to Real Madrid at 19 years of age having impressed in Ligue 1 with Rennes. Last season, Camavinga showed glimpses of his immense talent and potential and made a whopping 59 appearances across competitions.

The French midfilder is very comfortable on the ball, possesing close control to get out of tight space. He can also drive forward with the ball at his feet before making a pass, which makes him a potent ball-progressor from deep. He is the long term replacement for ageing Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

#4 Gavi

Gavi- FC Barcelona
Gavi- FC Barcelona

Gavi had already become a key member of the Barcelona midfield at the age of 17 after graduating from La Masia. The Spanish midfielder brings energy and urgency to the Catalan midfield, helping in both attack and defense owing to his immense work rate.

Still only 18, Gavi is also a regular in the Spain national team and has represented his country 21 times. Gavi's technical ability is often overshadowed by his teammate, another midfield sensation in Pedri. Gavi is very adept at retaining the ball and his direct approach and decisiveness adds dynamism to the Barcelona midfield. He made 49 appearances across competitions last season, scoring three goals and assisting seven.

#3 Jamal Musiala

Jamal Musiala- Bayern Munich
Jamal Musiala- Bayern Munich

Jamal Musiala joined the youth academy of Bayern Munich at the age of 16. He made his senior debut when he was 17 and became the youngest ever Bayern player to feature in the Bundesliga. Now 20, he is already a regular for both, his club and German national team. Playing as an attacking midfielder, the German scored 16 goals and assisted 16 times for Bavarians last season. He also scored the dramatic winner in the 89th minute on the final day against Koln which sealed the title for the Bavarians.

Musiala has great ball control and bursts of acceleration which makes him a potent dribbler. He is a versatile player whoch can play through the middle as an attacking midfielder and also out wide. The prodigious youngster's ability to find space between the lines makes him even more dangerous going forward.

#2 Jude Bellingham

Jude Bellingham,- Borussia Dortmund
Jude Bellingham,- Borussia Dortmund

Jude Bellingham has been one of the most sought-after wonderkids in football for a few years. Finally, Real Madrid snapped up the youngster from Borrusia Dortmund this summer for a whopping fee of €103 million plus add-ons. The England international, at the age of only 20, ranks amongst some of the best midfielders in the Europe.

At such a young age, Bellingham is a complete package in midfield. Physical presence, technical brilliance and ability to drive the ball forward from deep are his biggest assets. Dortmund manager Edin Terzic referred to Bellingham as: (per the Sun)

"He’s like the oldest 19-year-old I’ve ever seen."

These words are a testament to his maturity as a footballer despite the young age. Before making his move to Real Madrid, the Englishman made 42 appearances for Dortmund last season, scoring 14 goals and giving seven assists.

#1 Pedri

Pedri-FC Barcelona
Pedri-FC Barcelona

The 2021 Golden Boy award winner, Pedri, became an integral part of the first time after his move from Las Palmas in 2020. His exceptional ball control, dribbling and vision has drawn comparisons with Barcelona and Spain legend Andres Iniesta.

Pedri is one of the best young players in Europe at the moment, carrying the creative burden in the Barcelona and Spain midfield. He has an exceptional ability to find space for himself and make the right decisions. A combination of footballing intelligence and brilliant technical ability make him one of the very best midfielders in Europe. He scored seven goals and gave one assist in 35 games across competitions last season.

The initial years of these five extremely talented midfielders' careers are signs of what is to come. These prodigies are epitome of talent and already performing at the highest level despite their tender age. These players will only get better with time and we can expect to see them running the midfield for their club and country for years to come.

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Edited by Shardul Sant
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