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Top 5 young football players to emerge in 2021

Here we are talking about the top five young football players to emerge in 2021. Talking about the young football players, we are only considering the U21 footballers.

Sandipan Ghosh
Last updated: 10.12.2021
young football players to emerge in 2021

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Youngsters are very crucial to the growth of the game and for any team. Every year, the experts, fans and teams put a keen eye on the youth players and try to recognize them at an early age.  

The calendar 2021 wasn’t different anyway as the football world was once again busy picking up fresh talents. In this year, some already popular youngsters continued their classes while some new talents also emerged in our eyes.

Here we are talking about the top five young football players to emerge in 2021. Talking about the young football players, we are only considering the U21 footballers.


Mason Greenwood

The 20-year-old England forward Mason Greenwood has shown great potential for his Premier League club Manchester United. From January to November 2021, he scored 13 goals and provided four assists in 49 appearances. He is playing some crucial roles for his club, and he is consistently developing.

Greenwood is still waiting for his second chance in the England national football team, who made his debut in the senior international team in 2020.

During the Ballon d’Or 2021, Greenwood finished in the fifth position in the Kopa Trophy (best young footballer of the year).

Phil Foden

The 21-year-old English midfielder Phil Foden is now growing up as a super talent in world football. The Manchester City midfielder was the most goal-scorer among the U21 English players from January to November 2021, where he scored 16 goals in 46 matches. Moreover, the youngster also recorded 10 assists during that period.

While the champions Manchester City dominated in the 2020/21 Premier League, Foden won the Young Player of the Season award. He also played 10 matches for England in 2021. He was also a member of the UEFA Euro 2020 runners-up English side.

Dusan Vlahovic            

The 21-year-old Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic has emerged as one of the consistent performers in this calendar year. Between January and November 2021, Vlahovic scored 31 goals and also produced five assists in 41 games as he was the second most goal-scorers among the U21 players during this period.

Vlahovic is serving for the Italian Serie A club Fiorentina since the 2018 summer as he won the Serie A Best Young Player award in the 2020/21 season. At the end of that season, he finished as the fourth most goal scorer with 21 goals. He has continued good form this ongoing season as he has already scored 15 goals in 17 matches. In the ongoing Serie A season, he is currently standing as the joint leading goal-scorer with 13 goals (updated till 9th December 2021).

Moreover, Vlahovic also scored six goals in 10 international matches for Serbia in 2021. He played a crucial role for his national team to directly qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022.


The 19-year-old Spanish central-midfielder Pedri is one of the special names in 2021. After joining Barcelona in the 2020 summer, young Pedri has grown up incredibly in world football. In 2021, he is one of the most effective midfielders in world football. Moreover, he has gradually grown up in his game. Young Pedri is known for accurate passing and dribbles.

In the UEFA Champions League 2020/21, Pedri was one of the top midfielders. After making his senior international debut in this ongoing calendar year, the Spanish central-midfielder was chosen for the Young Player of the Tournament award of the UEFA Euro 2020. In the Ballon d’Or 2021, Pedri also won the Kopa Trophy award, which is a trophy for the best young footballer of the year.

Erling Haaland

The 21-year-old Norwegian striker Erling Haaland has maintained his image as a goal-machine this year too. With time progress, he is just becoming unstoppable. Though he missed out on some matches this calendar year due to injuries, Haaland’s presence on the field is still enough for the opposition to stay alert till the final whistle.

Between January and November 2021, Haaland scored 38 goals in 38 matches and also managed to add 15 assists. During that period, he was not only the leading goal-scorer among the U21 players, he was also one of the best players in the world. Borussia Dortmund striker finished as the leading goal-scorer in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League with 10 goals as he won the UEFA Champions League Forward of the Season award at the end of that tournament.

On the other hand, the 2020/21 Bundesliga Player of the Season award winner Haaland also helped The BVB to win their fifth DFB-Pokal title in the last season.

Haaland also scored six goals in eight games for his national team this year, including scoring a hat-trick. In the Ballon d’Or 2021, he finished in the 11th position. 


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