Norway and Manchester City striker Erling Haaland is the best young football player in the world and he is also one of the most in-form strikers.
It’s always a treat to watch any young football player come from the academy, fight for his spot in the first team and then go on to become a hot prospect that captures the attention of the entire world.
These young football players are often valued very highly and become the subject of plenty of transfer interest and bidding. As a result, they end up being talked about and their legacy and reputation only increases with time.
Let’s discuss the best young football player in the world and who else are on the top 10 list.
Best young football player: Top 10 list
Erling Haaland, Manchester City and Norway
There’s no escaping the fact that Erling Haaland is the most in-form striker in the world. Since moving from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City, this summer he has set the Premier League on fire and is breaking scoring record after scoring record. Having played 20 matches, Haaland has already netted 25 goals so far and is on course to finish with the most goals in a single season.
The Norwegian has a lot of incredible abilities. He is physically unstoppable and combines both power and pace. His ball-striking accuracy is second to none and Haaland doesn’t need too many chances in the box to put a few away. He has already scored four Champions League hattricks already and is on his way to becoming a generational striker.
Pedri, Barcelona and Spain
Filling in the shoes of Andres Iniesta may be an uneven expectation of any young talent, let alone someone who didn’t even come up through La Masia, but Barcelona’s Pedri is living up to the billing with every single game. His own manager Xavi, who was Iniesta’s partner-in-crime, made that comparison and it’s easy to see why.
Also Read: Best midfielders in the world
Pedri is influential in all aspects of midfield play and has been utilised as a pivot, a controller, a make of chaos, as well as an attacking midfielder in the final third. He is being regarded as the greatest midfield promise in world football and has been improving his game with every season. Pedri has recently started scoring more goals which only makes him more difficult to deal with.
Vinicius Jr, Real Madrid and Brazil
Vinicius Jr is one of the best wingers in the world, let alone being one of the best young talents. Despite signing with the Madrid giants in 2019, he burst on to the scene in 2022 after improving his game and making it more well-rounded. The Brazilian has incredible speed, trickery, dribbling tenacity and flair.
Vinicius often proves to be the difference maker for his side and scoring the match-winning goal in the final of the UEFA Champions League at 21 just goes to show his credentials at the biggest of stages.
Phil Foden, Manchester City and England
Phil Foden first captured the attention of world football at the U17 FIFA World Cup in India where England won the tournament. He then broke through in the Manchester City first team under Pep Guardiola and quickly established himself as one of the hottest prospects in world football. Given how long Foden has been around, it’s difficult to imagine that he is still only 22 years old and has his peak years ahead of him.
Foden has been a crucial component of Manchester City’s all-conquering Premier League side in recent years. He has also been very versatile and Guardiola has not only deployed him as an attacking midfielder, but has also played him on the left wing quite frequently. Although his prominence has decreased in last year and a half, Foden is still an extremely intriguing talent.
Gavi, Barcelona and Spain
Still just 18-year-old, it’s difficult to imagine that Gavi burst on to the Barcelona first team at the age of just 16. The Spanish midfield maestro came through La Masia but seeing his play it makes it hard to believe. Because Gavi is not only technically proficient like some of his legendary predecessors but also plays with a certain kind of passion, aggression, physicality and tenacity that is a breath of fresh air at the Catalan club.
Gavi won the Golden Boy award in 2022 over the likes of Bellingham and Musiala and he has also become the youngest goalscorer for Spain after finding the back of the net at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Carrying his manager Xavi’s legendary number 6 on the pitch, Gavi is meant for big things.
Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund and England
Jude Bellingham is one of the most sought after midfield talents for the world of football and clubs from Liverpool to Real Madrid and from Manchester United to Chelsea are all enquiring about the services of the Borussia Dortmund man. It seems like only a matter of time before Bellingham secures a transfer to a big club in the summer of 2023. The Englishman is a midfield engine and performs various roles including a number 6 and number 8 for both Dortmund and England national team.
Bellingham also takes up strong defensive positions and helps his side in building out from the back effectively. Perhaps, the most unpredictable ability of Bellingham is his timing of late runs into the box that are hard to read and anticipate and makes him a strong goal threat.
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal and England
Bukayo Saka has emerged as one of the best wingers in the Premier League following his consistent improvement over the years. He can threaten the opposition full-backs with his pace and dribbling ability to get past men but what makes Saka stand out from the rest is the fact that his decision-making is like a veteran.
Also Read: Best right wingers in the world
Saka’s touch on the ball is smooth as silk and he is a reference point for young attacking players in the Premier League. The 2022/23 season which sees Arsenal taking the lead in the Premier League standings has especially been fruitful for Saka and is improvement since breaking into the first team is very clear.
Jamal Musiala, Bayern Munich and Germany
19-year-old Jamal Musiala is comfortably one of the best young talents in the world of football. What immediately stands out about Musiala’s game is his incredible composure under pressure, ability to turn quickly and more importantly, his brilliant dribbling ability. Musiala dribbled past three players recently to score one of the goals of the season in the Bundesliga recently.
Musiala also impressed a lot in his first World Cup campaign with Germany. Although they couldn’t make it beyond the group stages, the 19-year-old caught a lot of attention and he was especially decisive in the final match for his side.
Josko Gvardiol, RB Leipzig and Croatia
Josko Gvardiol was the standout centre back at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and he is being hailed as arguably the best young central defender in the world. Gvardiol’s style of play is classic and he is a no-nonsense player who is unafraid of putting his body on the line in order to defend chances for his team.
Also Read: Best centre-backs in the world
More importantly though, Gvardiol also possesses the modern style of being food with his feet and building out from the back. The Croatian defender has been heavily linked with several top sides including Real Madrid and Chelsea, and he will be one to watch out for.
Rodrygo, Real Madrid and Brazil
Brazilian winger Rodrygo is becoming more and more important for Real Madrid with the advent of time. Although he is mostly used as a substitute in Spain, it is his incredible talent to make a difference in the crucial last few minutes of the games that sees him being recognised as one of the best young talents in the world.
Rodrygo’s clutch mentality was on full display during Real Madrid’s Champions League winning run last year when he came on in the second halves against PSG, Chelsea, and Manchester City. Los Blancos were chasing the game in each of those fixtures and Rodrygo helped his side turn things around in incredible fashion. He will only get better with time.
Who is the best young forward in world football?
Erling Haaland is the best young forward in the world of football.
Who are the best young players in Argentina?
Julian Alvarez and Enzo Fernandez are the best young players in Argentina.
Who is the best under 18 young player in the world?
Brazilian striker Endrick is said to be the best U18 player in the world and he has a lot of promise.