Your club, your mates, your life!



Who is the best teenage footballer in the world right now?

Posted by john smith on

Bukayo Saka

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka has been a shining light in a tough period for the club.

The Englishman made his debut a couple of months after his 17th birthday and became the 2nd youngest player in the clubs history to play 50 Premier League games.

During his short career, he has shown a versatility playing left wing, left back, right wing and more centrally.

It is that versatility that saw him called up to the England squad making his debut the day before his 18th birthday at left back.

Still just 19-years-old, he has amassed 77 senior appearances for Arsenal, scoring 10 goals and 18 assists.

Ansu Fati

Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati has been the heir apparent to Lionel Messi’s throne since 2019.

It is incredible that the 4 times capped Spanish youngster is still only 18.

Fati is the 2nd youngster player to play for Barcelona, having made his debut at 16 years and 298 days.

He continually broke records, becoming Barcelona’s youngest ever goal scorer 6 days later. He is also the youngest player to score and assist in a La Liga game and the youngest player to score a brace. He is also the youngest player to score in El Classico.

Fati is also the youngest player to play for Barcelona in the Champions League and the competitions youngest goal scorer.

In 2020 he also became the youngest player to score for Spain – breaking a 95-year-old record in the process.

On 7 November, Fati suffered a knee injury against Real Betis and was subbed off at half-time. He is currently waiting to find out if he requires a 3rd surgery.

 There is no doubting Fati’s credentials. He is a generational talent. But 2 knee surgery’s, and a potential 3rd, before he is even 19-years-old could be devastating for his career.

Will he recover? Or will he go down as one of those who just played too much, too young?

Mason Greenwood

Having joined Manchester United at the age of 6, Mason Greenwood became the 2nd youngest player to represent the club in a European competition at 17 years and 156 days – only behind Norman Whiteside.

In September 2019 Greenwood the club's youngest ever goalscorer in European competition, a few days before his 18th birthday.

Despite being just 19, Greenwood is quickly closing in on his 100th senior game for Manchester United – and has 22 goals in his 92 games so far.

Greenwood made his debut for England in August 2020, but he had to be withdrawn from a squad in September due to breaking Covid19 quarantine guidelines. He has not been called up to a squad since.

England have not yet recalled him to the senior squad and his club form has suffered.

Greenwood is suffering from “second season syndrome” – having scored 17 goals in his breakthrough season he has just 5 in 2020/21.

The talent is there to see – quick, clinical and two-footed. It is only a matter of time until he comes good again.

Jude Bellingham

 

When Jude Bellingham left Birmingham City for Borussia Dortmund at just 17-years-old, his home town club retired his number.

At the age of 16 years and 38 days, Bellingham became Birmingham City’s youngest ever player. He is also the clubs youngest ever goal scorer.

His ability at such a young age drew suitor from across Europe but it was Borussia Dortmund who eventually signed him.

In Germany the records became to tumble as Bellingham became the club's youngest goalscorer in the DFB-Pokal, and also their youngest scorer in any competitive match. He also became the youngest Englishman to start a Champions League match.

At 17 years, 136 days, he became England's third-youngest full international; only Theo Walcott and Wayne Rooney had appeared at a younger age.

What is impressive about Bellingham is all of these records have tumbled whilst he plays central midfield.

Pedri

Whilst Ansu Fati has seen his career stall due to injury, team mate and compatriot Pedri has seen his own flourish this season.

In September 2019, Barcelona reached an agreement with Las Palmas to sign Pedri in June 2020. 17 days after the agreement was announced, Pedri became the youngest player to score in Las Palmas history.

Pedri has been compared to Barcelona legend Andrés Iniesta and recently made his Spain debut and it would not be surprising if he goes on to play over 100 games for his country.