Liverpool and Leicester City youngsters make 50-man UEFA shortlist

Liverpool youngster Curtis Jones

Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones has been named among UEFA's 50-man shortlist of young players to watch in 2021

Each year, UEFA's reporters, correspondents and editors collaborate to create a list of 50 youngsters who they've tipped to make headlines throughout the next twelve months. 

And the 2021 edition has seen Jones get a mention, with UEFA praising his game intelligence and remarking that comparisons with Anfield legend Steven Gerrard are "inevitable". 

The teenager was granted his Premier League debut last season and probably wasn't expecting to have already made 18 senior appearances this term, but Liverpool's injury crisis has seen him thrusted into the heart of the action. 

And on the most part, Jones has delivered - especially in the Champions League with his three starts returning one goal and one assist to help Jurgen Klopp's side progress to the competition's knockout rounds.

UEFA are tipping him for an even bigger 2021, and that's made all the more impressive by the fact he is just one of three English talents to make the list - the others being Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham and Bayern Munich's Jamal Musiala - and just one of two youngsters currently plying their trade in the Premier League, although incoming Manchester United signing Amad Diallo was included as well. 

The other Premier League representative is Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana, who has unexpectedly made himself a mainstay in the Foxes' starting XI this season at just 20 years of age, following a summer move from St. Etienne. 

Fofana has already made eleven Premier League starts, averaging 1.8 tackles, 2.2 interceptions and 3.3 successful aerial duels per game. 

It's hard to dispute UEFA's verdict on both players who seem destined for big things, although the exclusion of some other Premier League talents like Wolves' Pedro Neto, who ranks in Whoscored's top ten for performance ratings across Europe for players aged under 22 this season, is a little surprising. 

You can check out the full 50-man shortlist below...

Paulos Abraham (SWE, 18 – AIK)
Tyler Adams (USA, 20 – Leizpig)
Sergio Arribas (ESP, 19 – Real Madrid)
Mitchel Bakker (NED, 20 – Paris)
Jude Bellingham (ENG, 17 – Dortmund)
Jens Cajuste (SWE, 21 – Midtjylland)
Riccardo Calafiori (ITA, 18 – Roma)
David Carmo (POR, 21 – Braga)
Charles De Ketelaere (BEL, 19 – Club Brugge)
Yusuf Demir (AUT, 17 – Rapid Wien)
Amad Diallo (CIV, 18 – Atalanta)
Mohammed Diomande (CIV, 18 – Nordsjælland)
Igor Diveev (RUS, 21 – CSKA Moskva)
Jeremy Doku (BEL, 18 – Rennes)
Radu Drăgușin (ROU, 18 – Juventus)
Roman Evgenyev (RUS, 21 – Dinamo Moskva)
Wahidullah 'Wahid' Faghir (DEN, 17 – Vejle)
Wesley Fofana (FRA, 19 – Leicester)
Gianluca Frabotta (ITA, 21, Juventus)
Amine Gouiri (FRA, 20 – Nice)

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