As an adolescent, do you remember dreaming about the days you wished you played for your favorite professional sports team? In today’s world of sports, professional athletes are being recruited at a much younger age. Most recently, ESPN came out with an article discussing that “the world’s best soccer players are getting younger.” Now, you think to yourself, how does that even make sense? Well, as I said before, the younger generations are being recruited earlier in order to allow room for ultimate player progression. Who else is going to fulfill the footsteps of retired hall-of-fame athletes? In the world of soccer, recruitment is an important part of building a great team. With this being said, let me introduce you to three of the youngest, most valuable players in soccer right now.
First up, at twenty years old, is Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, Norway. Haaland currently plays as a striker and has been consistent in scoring goals all year. He has scored a total of thirty-seven goals in his career so far, which is highly impressive for a novice player. Haaland is a 6′, 4″ striker, which makes him a dangerous player in the air as well as on the ball. He has completed a total of seventeen passes per game. However, every superstar has flaws when it comes to competition. The media and fans have noticed that Haaland lacks positive body language on the pitch. This seems to be a trend amongst many young athletes and can be easily resolved with a little self-awareness.
Second, at twenty-one years old, is Jadon Sancho, who is also from Borussia Dortmund. Sancho has left an immense impression in the soccer world. As of last year, he was in a tough spot because of his muscle injury. With this being said, Sancho made a comeback by showing his team how much he truly missed playing the sport he loves. It is said that he is extremely hard to handle when the ball is at his feet or just one vs. one with defenders. Although Sancho may bring offensive power, he still needs to be attentive towards his lack of defensive efforts.
From Manchester City, England, twenty-year-old Phil Foden has absolutely taken over the midfield during this past year in the Euro Cup of 2020. Foden is a diligent and proactive player on the field, which makes him a great asset to his team. This allows a great advantage for his team to find him in pockets and move the ball quickly up the field for transition. Foden is a part of Manchester City, which explains why he carries himself on the field so effortlessly. Manchester City is known for its organization and incredible talent to connect passes with each other. Overall, Foden is consistently working hard to focus more on his defensive efforts for the next season.
A collegiate soccer player, Benn Jane, explains, “Being so young and experienced is a very impressive combination.” Although these are only three of the thirty-nine upcoming potential superstars, these three have stood out from the rest. Haaland, Sancho, and Foden are currently the top three best players who are twenty-one or younger. These fellows have a long journey ahead of them and lots of room for improvement.
Media by Jade Taylor