Most Valuable 22-year-old players in Europe

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World football has witnessed many young stars that have risen from their humble abode to a top level of the round leather game. FutballNews trace some of these prodigies who are not less or more than 22 years bringing their worths and exploits to most European competitive leagues, within that stipulated age in the 2020/21 campaign.

1.Kylian Mbappe (France, Paris Saint Germain, 180 million euros)

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The France international is known for his athletic pace and dribbling, and overwhelming finishing came to the face of football with a single step secure a deal with Monaco under Claudio Raineri at the tender age of fourteen.

The Paris-born forward spent the early days of his career in the Monaco feeders team, even though top Spanish side, Real Madrid have lined up for the prodigy. He was loaned to Paris Saint Germain up to twice before securing a permanent move to the Prince des Parc in July 2018.

Before Mbappe went to PSG, he has already bagged a call-up to the French national team in 2017 under Didier Deschamp, making him be the second-youngest player to feature for France (18). He scored his first international goal against the Netherlands.

In furtherance to his international career, He made the World Cup squad in 2018, score his first goal against Peru, and make him the country’s youngest goalscorer in World Cup history. He’s among the FIFA World best eleven

These accolades spurred him to the PSG, of the recent; the Frenchman has scored 16 goals in 22 appearances for the side, not forgetting top display against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, where he scored a treble in a 4-1 victory in Nou Camp.

Trent Alexander Arnold (England, Liverpool FC, 110 million euros)

Joining the Liverpool academy is one of the best things that have happened to the English defender who has won the two major titles –including the UEFA Champions League under club manager Jurgen Klopp in the space of two seasons.

 He insidiously took over from Nathaniel Clyne as the Reds youngest right back, having made his debut against Tottenham in 2016. His maiden season with Liverpool senior team earned him the club’s youngest player of the season

Alexander-Arnold has represented England at different levels but he was called up to the national team by Gareth Southgate in 2018, making his first debut against Costa Rica. He eventually made the World squad going to Russia, leading the side to the final four of the tourney.

The right-back is regarded as one of the best attacking defenders for attacking spaces on the pitch and creating goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates. He made the FIFA world eleven alongside four of his teammates.

Federico Valverde (Uruguay, Real Madrid, 70 million euros)

Spent most of his youth football career in his home country, Penarol, leaving a sensational impression of proving his worth at the club. Top clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona among others lined up for the player consequent to his exploits at the club.

However, Real Madrid got the signature of Valverde, and he was immediately played in the second cadre of the club. He again showed his worth in the Madrid team scoring his first goal for the club against Albacete in 2016. He became a regular member of the squad in his first season.

After loaning him to Deportivo de La Coruna for a season in 2017, he returned to Bernabeu to impress the then manager Julen Lopetegui, which paved a way for him to play in the senior team of the club. He made his debut in the UCL group stage in 2018.

He solidified his place on the return of France’s Zinedine Zidane, scoring his first goal in a 4-0 away victory against Eibar in 2019. He has been outstanding in the 2020/21 campaign.

The 2017 U-20 World Cup Silver ball-winner made his debut for his country in the same year and scored his first goal against Paraguay

 

Dayot Upamecano (France, RB Leipzig, 60 million euros)

Having been on top of his game for both RB Salzburg and RB Leipzig, the French defender will be joining Bayern Munich at the end of the season, consequent to his beautiful display at the defense department. 

Upamecano is regarded as one of the players with terrific pace in the German topflight league with a top speed of 22mph according to Bundesliga.com. He came to the world’s attention in a UCL match against Atletico Madrid bagging 100 percent of tackles with 92 percent passes completion and most touches (99) in a single game. 

“Upamecano is also blessed with great reactions and can recover from any position if he finds himself on the wrong side of the ball. His powerful legs and strong upper-body help him pursue and chase down attackers” as described by FootballWhispers.com

The Evreux-born made his debut for France last year, a UEFA Nations League group stage against Sweden, scoring his first international goal against Croatia three days after.

Victor Osimhen (Nigeria, Napoli, 50 million euros)

The Lagos-born came to the spotlight at the 2015 U-17 FIFA World Cup held in Chile, smashing a record number of ten goals- the top highest goal scorer of all-time in the history of the tourney.

Three years after his feat at the junior level at which his country eventually won the tournament-The Nigerian started his club career with Wolfsburg on a three and a half deal in 2017, did not replicate his worth at the club due to injury.

After he was loaned out to Charleroi with an option of a permanent deal, he came into goal-scoring action, registering twelve goals in 25 appearances for the club. In 2019, Osimhen secured a move to Lille, he made his debut for the French side and scored a brace against Nantes.

 He also scored 13 goals in 25 Ligue 1 appearances, 18 in all competitions. These exploits made Napoli buy him for the Serie A 2020/21 season.

Having won both golden boot and silver ball awards with Nigeria at the junior cadre, he was invited by Gernot Rohr to the national team; he made his debut against Togo in a friendly game in 2017. He is the highest goal scorer in the 2022 African Cup of Nations qualifiers (four goals)

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