Haaland, Sancho and Greenwood: Ranking all 20 Golden Boy nominees from worst to best

Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho

It's that time of the year again, awards season. 

2020 has been difficult for a whole host of reasons and earlier this year football came to a standstill. 

However, as the ongoing pandemic improved slightly, there was a feeling that in terms of sport, the show must go on.

Although fans aren't fully back in the stadiums yet, the players have been for quite some time and we've had some sumptuous displays to watch.

This year was a breakout period for a whole heap of young players throughout Europe and the time is very nearly here to announce the winner of the Golden Boy award - an accolade given to the best young player on the continent in a calendar year. 

Presented by Italian publication Tuttosport since 2003, there have been some illustrious winners, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney and Kylian Mbappe.

The winner in 2019 was Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix, taking the prize away from defender Matthijs de Ligt. 

Kylian Mbappe

Who wins this year is up for debate, so here at GIVEMESPORT, we've put together the 20 nominees and ranked them from worst to best.

They are, of course, all fabulous talents, but there has to be a winner.

20. Mitchel Bakker - PSG

5 senior apps in 2019/20

The Dutch left-back is one of very few defenders here so hats off to him for making the shortlist. However, by process of him having played the fewest senior appearances of anyone, he has to be considered the worst of our nominees. That being said, it'll be exciting to see how he breaks through under Thomas Tuchel at PSG. It's not easy making the XI in Paris.

Bakker

19. Ryan Gravenberch - Ajax

12 senior apps, 3 goals and 1 assist in 2019/20

The 18-year-old midfielder lit it up for Ajax's B team last term and consequently, has just started to make the transition into first-team football. He's certainly one to watch this season.

Ryan Gravenberch

18. Fabio Silva - Wolves

24 apps, 3 goals and 2 assists in 2019/20

Silva was at Porto last term and has only just turned 18 so clearly has enormous potential. After scoring three senior goals for the Portuguese outfit, it earnt him a club-record £35.6m move to Wolves. Look out for him in the Premier League.

Fabio Silva

17. Sergino Dest - Barcelona

36 apps, 2 goals and 6 assists in 2019/20

The second Ajax academy graduate on this list, Dest is one of the most eye-catching young-full backs in Europe and his form in the Netherlands earnt him a move to Barcelona. 

The Washington Post's Steven Goff recently told GIVEMESPORT: "Dest has been given an incredible opportunity to make his mark and secure regular playing time at a giant club. He shows enormous promise."

Sergino Dest

16. Sandro Tonali - AC Milan

36 apps, 1 goal and 7 assists in 2019/20

It's rare that a defensive midfielder gets much hype at a young age but that's where Sandro Tonali bucks the trend. The Italian is a proper midfield general and despite having an eye for a pass, knows how to tackle too, winning 1.1 challenges a match for Brescia last season.

Sandro Tonali

15. Callum Hudson-Odoi - Chelsea

33 apps, 3 goals and 6 assists in 2019/20

It might be a surprise to see Hudson-Odoi so low on this list but ultimately, he didn't set the world alight on a regular enough basis for Chelsea last term. He's only going to get better and better though so look out for him in 2020/21. Learning from the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz will only benefit him.

Hudson-Odoi

14. Rodrygo - Real Madrid

26 apps, 7 goals and 3 assists in 2019/20

Signed for €45m (£40m) from Santos, there has been a great sense of expectation in Madrid for Rodrygo. He didn't find opportunities too consistent last season but still managed to score seven goals during his first campaign in Europe. Impressive.

Rodrygo Real Madrid

13. Dominik Szoboszlai - RB Salzburg

40 apps, 12 goals and 18 assists in 2019/20

Who said the attacking midfielder was dead? 19-year-old Hungarian prodigy Szoboszlai has proven that the number 10 position is still very much alive. He may have been playing at a lesser level last season but his numbers speak volumes. Capable of playing on either flank as well, he is going to be some asset. Arsenal have recently been linked with making a move.

Szoboszlai vs Liverpool

12. Dejan Kulusevski - Juventus

39 apps, 10 goals and 9 assists in 2019/20

The Swedish winger was electrifying for Parma last season and after starring for them, earnt a move to none other than Juventus in a deal that cost £29.7m. He has hit the ground running in Turin, scoring against Sampdoria on the opening weekend of the new campaign.

Kulusevski

11. Ferran Torres - Manchester City

44 apps, 6 goals and 8 assists in 2019/20

The Spanish technician turned on the style for Valencia last season and already has four caps to his name at the age of 20. His bright displays earnt him a £20.8m move to Manchester City this summer. He seems the most likely successor to David Silva that Pep Guardiola has.

Ferran Torres and Pep Guardiola

10. Eduardo Camavinga - Rennes

36 apps, 1 goal and 2 assists in 2019/20

We're now getting into the real meat and drink of this list with 17-year-old Camavinga ranking at ten on our shortlist. The midfielder is very definition of a generational talent and is set for an impressive career at the top level. He recently earnt his debut for the French national team, scoring acrobatically against Ukraine. Camavinga is a serious player - a big move is surely lying in wait.

Camavinga

9. Ansu Fati - Barcelona

33 apps, 8 goals and 1 assist in 2019/20

The Spanish winger is one of the most exciting young players in the world right now and there is no reason he shouldn't make it right top the top. He became the youngest goalscorer in Champions League history last term, netting against Inter Milan just 40 days after he turned 17. Fati is a special player but we'd be jumping the gun by saying he could succeed Messi at Barcelona.

Ansu Fati

8. Vinicius Junior

38 apps, 5 goals and 4 assists in 2019/20

The Brazilian's stats don't amount to a great deal this term but let's just remember, he's playing for one of the most historic sides on the planet in a highly competitive league. He is a dynamo on the ball and like Fati, is set to tear La Liga defences to shreds for years to come. Vinicius feels like the full package.

Vinicius Junior

7. Phil Foden - Manchester City

38 apps, 8 goals and 9 assists in 2019/20

The Englishman may not have the flair of Vinicius or Fati but he had a stellar last season at Man City. It takes a great deal to work yourself into Guardiola's plans but that's exactly what Foden has done. The attacking midfielder still needs to mature but he should be a mainstay in the Three Lions team if he fulfils his potential. 

Phil Foden

6. Bukayo Saka - Arsenal

38 apps, 4 goals and 11 assists in 2019/20

One of the biggest debates when deliberating the order of this list was who was going to be top out of Foden, Saka and Greenwood. Well, the Arsenal prodigy just about usurps the former. At the age of just 19, Saka has the footballing brain of a seasoned professional and can pick out a man with remarkable ease and confidence. The teenager also has the ability to play at left-back, on the wing and as an attacking midfielder.

Bukayo Saka

5. Jonathan David - Lille

40 apps, 23 goals and 10 assists in 2019/20

David may have been playing in Belgium for Genk last season but it's hard not to include him in the top five. He earned a move to Ligue 1 after a breathtaking campaign where he contributed to 33 goals. The striker knows where the back of the net is and after creating ten assists, has proven himself a real team player too. You sense as though he has a much higher ceiling than Lille.

Jonathan David

4. Mason Greenwood - Manchester United

49 apps, 17 goals and 5 assists in 2019/20

Greenwood may have been evicted from the England squad last month but there is no denying his talent. He came alive in the second half of last season and has been one of a few bright sparks under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The number of senior appearances he made given he's only just turned 19 is quite something. He will get better and better.

Mason Greenwood

3. Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund 

44 apps, 20 goals and 20 assists in 2019/20

We're into the big boys now and the Man United target takes third spot on our roster. Sancho is a breathtaking footballer capable of scoring and assisting in equal measure. He knows how to beat players for pace and already has 15 England caps to his name despite being just 20 years of age. He is the definition of dazzling. 

Jadon Sancho

2. Alphonso Davies - Bayern Munich

43 apps, 3 goals and 9 assists in 2019/20

Is there anything this lad can't do? The Canadian sensation is one of the most exciting and down to earth footballers around right now and capped off a stunning breakthrough season by winning the Champions League. He has become one of the first names on Hansi Flick's teamsheet which says a lot considering he's only 19.

Alphonso Davies

1. Erling Haaland - Borussia Dortmund

40 apps, 44 goals and 10 assists in 2019/20

There was only ever going to be one winner in our minds. The Norway striker is a robust technical force capable of achieving just about anything he wants to. He looked scarily good in the Champions League for RB Salzburg and then took his game to a whole new level after signing for Borussia Dortmund.

Erling Haaland

Haaland has continued where he left off last season too, scoring a hat-trick for his country and finding the back of the net on five occasions for Dortmund in 2020/21. He is a modern phenomenan. 

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