The 25 best U21 players from the 2021/22 season

MARCA are back with the annual MARCA 100, which includes the U21 players who stood out with their performances during the 2021/22 season.

Throughout Thursday, we will be revealing the 100 best players from 2021/22.

We put together a list of the most talented youngsters, with the only requirement being that the player was 21 years old or younger at the start of last campaign.

1. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil, 21 years old, left winger)

The Brazilian forward led Real Madrid to a LaLiga Santander and Champions League doubling in a season where he scored 22 goals and registered 20 assists in 52 games.

Vinícius Jr celebra el gol ante el Liverpol.

Vinícius Jr celebra el gol ante el Liverpol.Ángel Rivero / MARCA

2. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City, Norway, 21 years old, striker)

Despite missing 16 games through injury, Haaland scored 29 times and recorded eight assists in 30 games for Borussia Dortmund before signing for Manchester City this summer.

3. Pedri (Barcelona, Spain, 19 years old, midfielder)

The Golden Boy award winner missed 31 games through injury after a season in which he disputed 73 matches for Barcelona and Spain. In the 22 games that he played he scored five goals and recorded an assist.

Pedri celebra un gol ante el Levante.

Pedri celebra un gol ante el Levante.LaLiga

4. Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus, Serbia, 22 years old, striker)

After scoring 17 goals in 21 Serie A games, Vlahovic earned a move to Juventus in exchange for 81.6 million euros in January. It took him just 32 seconds to score in his Champions League debut against Villarreal.

5. Phil Foden (Manchester City, England, 22 years old, playmaker)

The England international featured in 45 games last season, scoring 14 goals and managing 11 assists across all competitions for the Sky Blues.

Foden, ante el Real Madrid en Champions League.

Foden, ante el Real Madrid en Champions League.Ángel Rivero / MARCA

6. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund, England, 19 years old, midfielder)

After netting six and assisting 14 goals this season, Bellingham has already attracted interest from European powerhouses such as Real Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea.

7. Gavi (Barcelona, 17 years old, Spain, midfielder)

The Barcelona youngster was one of his team’s top performers in season where Barcelona didn’t manage to win any title. Gavi played 47 games, scored two and contributed six assists in his first season as a first-team player.

Gavi, en un partido con el Barcelona.

Gavi, en un partido con el Barcelona.Chema Rey / MARCA

8. Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco/Real Madrid, France, 22 years old, midfielder)

Being the player with the most tackles (139) and interceptions (139) from January to December 2021 according to Sofascore, Tchouameni was also the player who recovered the third most balls (450) and won the 10th most duels (323).

9. Antony (Ajax, Brazil, 22 years old, winger)

Showing off his dribbling ability, Antony shined last season at Ajax where he registered 12 goals and 10 assists, attracting interest from Manchester United.

10. Sandro Tonali (AC Milan, Italy, 22 years old, midfielder)

The prodigious midfielder scored three goals in the last five key games of the season for the Rossoneri to lead them to Serie A glory.

11. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, England, 20 years old, winger)

Despite failing to convert from the spot in the 2020 European Championship final between England and Italy, Saka stood out for Arsenal last season, in which he mustered 11 goals and seven assists.

Bukayo Saka controla un balón con el Arsenal.

Bukayo Saka controla un balón con el Arsenal.EFE

12. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich, Germany, 19 years old, midfielder)

The talented midfielder had the best season so far in his career, playing 39 games, scoring eight goals and recording five assists for Bayern Munich.

13. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany, 19 years old, midfielder)

Wirtz scored 10 goals and produced 14 assists in 31 games before suffering a serious knee injury back in March.

14. Rodrygo Goes (Real Madrid, Brazil, 21 years old, right winger)

He was one of the players who inspired Real Madrid to Champions League glory with his five goals last season. Rodrygo netted nine times in total and bagged 10 assists.

15. Ansu Fati (Barcelona, Spain, 19 years old, left winger)

Fati managed to play just 500 minutes across 14 games last season due to injuries. He scored six goals, but it was a frustrating campaign for the young forward.

Ansu Fati marca un gol con el Barcelona.

Ansu Fati marca un gol con el Barcelona.EFE

16. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid, France, 19 years old, midfielder)

In his first season at Los Blancos, Camavinga featured in as many as 46 games, mainly coming off the bench. He paid back Carlo Ancelotti‘s confidence in crucial duels.

17. Karim Adeyemi (Salzburg/Dortmund, Germany, 20 years old, striker)

He moved to Dortmund to fill in Haaland‘s boots after scoring 23 goals last season with Salzburg.

Adeyemi, en un partido con Alemania.

Adeyemi, en un partido con Alemania.AP

18. Fabio Vieira (Porto/Arsenal, Portugal, 22 years old, midfielder)

He was one of Porto‘s outstanding players last season, scoring seven times and producing as many as 16 assists.

19. Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax/Bayern Munich, Netherlands, 20 years old, midfielder)

The Bavarians signed the Dutch midfielder in exchange for 20m euros after a season in which he led Ajax to Eredivisie success.

20. Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan, France, 22 years old, centre-back)

He established himself into AC Milan‘s starting line-up after Simon Kjaer‘s knee injury and contributed to his team’s efforts to win Serie A.

21. Jonathan David (Lille, Canada, 22 years old, forward)

He led Canada to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and scored 19 times for Lille last season.

Jonathan David celebra un gol con Canadá.

Jonathan David celebra un gol con Canadá.EFE

22. Ferran Torres (Manchester City/Barcelona, Spain, 22 years old, forward)

The Spain international joined Barcelona from Manchester City in January. Didn’t play much at the Sky Blues but became a starter at the Bluagrana, scoring six and assisting another six in 25 games.

23. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal, Brazil, 21 years old, winger)

He was one of Arsenal finest players along with Saka last season, in which he netted six goals and managed seven assists across 36 games.

24. Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge, Belgium, 21 years old, midfielder)

Club Brugge have his price tag at 40m euros after a remarkable season in which he scored 18 times and mustered 10 assists in Jupiler Pro League.

25. Connor Gallagher (Crystal Palace/Chelsea, England, 22 years old, midfielder)

The Chelsea loanee impressed at Patrick Vieira‘s Crystal Palace. After scoring eight Premier League goals, he returned to the Blues were Thomas Tuchel will decide whether to retain his services for next season.