Each year the prize is awarded to Europe’s best youngster, with the only two rules being that they must play in the top tier of a European nation and be under the age of 21.
Past winners of the prize include: Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and most recently Pedri, who has in fact been nominated once again this season.
So, it’s usually a pretty useful indicator for future superstars and to win the prize is a gift reserved for the very finest players.
On the shortlist this year, we have a vast array of talent with 10 Premier League starlets making the grade.
Check out the full 100 man list below:
From the Premier League, we have two Liverpool representatives in Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho.
Manchester United can also boast about the inclusions of their Swedish forward Anthony Elanga and Ivory Coast international Amad Diallo.
Fabio Silva and Ki-Jana Hoever make the cut for Wolves, the latter of which joined from Liverpool two years ago as part of the deal that took Diogo Jota to Anfield.
Meanwhile, Manchester City are represented by Yan Couto. A Brazilian full-back that has never actually made an appearance for the club but has been on loan at Portuguese side Braga.
Leeds forward Joe Geldhart was included after scoring two Premier League goals last term.
Whilst new Spurs arrival Pape Matar Sarr and Brighton midfielder Kacper Kozłowski – both of whom were signed by their clubs and loaned out to other European leagues – are the final representatives.
Ranking the 10 best contenders
It’s all well and good being nominated but let’s face it, we only remember the winners.
And with that in mind, we’ve decided to rank who we feel are the top 10 best candidates to scoop the 2022 prize.
10. Fabio Carvalho
Carvalho only qualifies for this list because of his recent move to Liverpool and the fact that all of his work came in the Championship certainly counts against him.
Nevertheless, though, his numbers are hard to ignore – 11 goals and 8 assists in 2021/2022 is enough to see him sneak into tenth spot.
9. Josko Gvardiol
The 20-year-old Croatian centre-back has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea this summer and it’s easy to understand why.
He was a mainstay in a solid RB Leipzig defence last campaign making 28 Bundesliga appearances and even chipping in with two goals.
The CIES Football Observatory recently estimated that he could cost around £84 million.
Yes, don’t panic, we know Pedri is probably the hottest young prospect in world football but he has been hampered by injuries recently and that’s counted against him.
In 2021/2022 he made just 12 appearances, although admittedly lit up the pitch on every occasion.
7. Ryan Gravenberch
Gravenberch is the most recent fine youth talent to come off the Ajax production line.
Bayern Munich snapped him up for just £31.5 million this summer and that could prove an absolute steal in the years to come.
6. Karim Adeyemi
Similarly to Gravenberch, Adeyemi has also recently signed on the dotted line for a top German club, although it’s Borussia Dortmund that are the beneficiaries here.
It seems that with the outgoing of Haaland, the Dortmund chief’s decided to go looking in exactly the same place to unearth their next superstar striker – Red Bull Salzburg.
Adeyemi scored 19 league goals last campaign.
5. Florian Wirtz
Little disclaimer, Wirtz incredibly missed out on the top 100! However, it is often the case that these players are added at a later date and he was so good this season we feel it must be an error.
The 19-year-old German attacking midfielder proved himself one of the best players in the Bundesliga last season, scoring 10 and assisting 14 in all competitions.
There’s no way he isn’t in the top 100.
4. Jude Bellingham
Bellingham is still just 18 but that hasn’t stopped Dortmund utilising him to the absolute fullest given that he’s already one of their best players.
He made a staggering 44 appearances for the club in 2021/2022 and you can bank on him growing into one of England’s finest midfield stars.
3. Eduardo Camavinga
Imagine doing the Champions League/La Liga double with Real Madrid as a 19-year-old…
It’s unimaginable, right? Not for Camavinga, this young French baller has lived the dream.
And he gained plenty of plaudits along the way too, especially when coming on in the semi-final of the Champions League against Manchester City.
2. Jamal Musiala
Musiala is quickly carving out a future for himself as Germany’s next big star.
He played on 40 occasions for Bayern last term, scoring eight goals and creating a further six.
Unsurprisingly, the national team have come calling and he looks to be an established starter for the 2022 World Cup.
We’ve opted for Pedri’s lieutenant, Gavi, to take the number one spot. The two young Spanish midfielders are giving off serious Xavi and Iniesta vibes to the world right now and we can’t get enough of Catalunya’s young prodigies.
In the absence of Pedri last term, Gavi was a key ingredient in the Barcelona midfield and barely missed a game all year. Not to mention that his presence on the pitch was often followed with viral videos of silky passages of play that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an Iniesta tribute compilation.
It’s also worth remembering that this young starlet is just 17! And so due to all that, he’s our number one contender.