Sterling performances by Nigerian youngsters, Kelechi Iheanacho and Alex Iwobi has earned the duo nominations for the 2016 European Golden Boy awards.
Kelechi Iheanacho of Manchester City, Alex Iwobi of Arsenal, Marcus Rashford of Manchester United, and Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur are among the 40 nominees for the 2016 Golden Boy award, run by the Italian newspaper, Tuttosport and awarded to Europe’s most impressive footballer under the age of 21.
The award, founded in 2003, relates to performances across a particular calendar year, with the winner decided by a panel of 30 journalists.
Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba, and Raheem Sterling are past winners, while Manchester United’s Anthony Martial claimed the prize last year.
Iheanacho’s Manchester City are currently flying high this season, and are yet to lose a game with the 19-year-old already contributing goals for the Citizens both in the Premier League and in the Champions League.
Iwobi’s Arsenal have also had great shows in recent weeks, having started the season with a home loss to Liverpool. The Nigerian international returned from injury to reclaim his spot as a first team regular for the Gunners.
The list in full:-
Dele Alli (Tottenham), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Leon Bailey (Genk), Riechedly Bazoer (Ajax), Gabriel Boschilia (Monaco), Julian B.randt (Bayer Leverkusen), Carlos Fernandez (Sevilla), Andreas Christensen (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ante Coric (Dinamo Zagreb), Amadou Diawara (Napoli), Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Danilo Barbosa (Benfica), Moussa Dembélé (Celtic), Ousmane Dembélé (Dortmund), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Breel Embolo (Schalke), Gabriel Barbosa (Internazionale), Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA Moscow), Goncalo Guedes (Benfica), Demarai Gray (Leicester), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Alen Halilovic (Hamburg), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Viktor Kovalenko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Lucas Hernández (Atlético Madrid), Emanuel Mammana (Lyon), Nathan (Vitesse), Olivier Ntcham (Genoa), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Renato Sanches (Bayern Munich), Jairo Riedewald (Ajax), Rúben Neves (Porto), Tonny Sanabria (Real Betis), Leroy Sané (Manchester City), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen), Youri Tielemans (Anderlecht), Almamy Touré (Monaco).