Here is my list of the best under-21 players in Europe.

Thibaut Courtois: It is an absolute joke that Belgian international Courtois has been loaned out by Chelsea yet again. 

This will be his third season at Atletico Madrid and whilst his previous two spells at the Spanish club have been hugely successful and helped Courtois enhance his ability and reputation; he would have wanted to finally cement his place as a first choice keeper for both club and country. 

Not only did Courtois set a new Atletico Madrid record for consecutive clean sheets, he also won the 'man of the match' award in the Copa Del Rey final against arch rivals Real Madrid.

David Alaba: Alaba had formerly been deployed as a central midfielder and winger for Bayern Munich before making the successful switch to left back. 

The Austrian has already made 25 appearances for his country at the tender age of just 21. Alaba has also won Austrian player of the year in both 2011 and 2012, proving the high regard that he is held in.

Daniel Carvajal: His first spell with Real Madrid ended in a €5 million transfer to Bayer Leverkusen after he failed to make a single first team appearance. 

But after an extremely successful campaign in Germany, in which he played 32 games for the Bundesliga club, Real Madrid decided to re-sign the youngster activating the buy-back clause in the contract. 

He will now be hoping for a much better second stint with the Spanish giants.

Raphael Varane: When Real Madrid splashed out €10 million for an 18 year old French centre back from Lens; eyebrows were raised, but after two solid seasons, Varane has been compared to Madrid legend Fernando Hierro and some pundits believe he may even surpass the achievements of the former Spanish centre back. 

Only one thing is certain; Varane has enormous potential and is already one of the top defenders in the world.

Matija Nastasic: Easily one of the Premier League's top defenders, Nastasic made 25 appearances for Man City last season, forming a solid partnership with Vincent Kompany, as well as cementing his place alongside the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Branislav Ivanovic and Neven Subotic in the Serbian set-up. 

His tough-tackling, ability on the ball as well as his reading of the game make him a world class centre back who is could set the world alight over the next few years.

Jack Wilshere: Despite being ruled out of the entire 2011/12 season, Jack Wilshere remains a key part of both the Arsenal and England starting line-up. His passing, creativity and acceleration are a vital aspect of Wilshere's game and he is one of the best young playmakers in Europe.

He achieved the highest amount of 'second assists' in the Premier League during the last campaign and will be looking to build upon his fine form that he has shown over the last twelve months.

Christian Eriksen: With 36 caps to his name already at the age of just 20, Eriksen is undoubtedly the future of Danish football.

He has won Danish player of the year on one occasion and comparisons have been made to fellow countryman Michael Laudrup. 

Liverpool are allegedly interested in signing the Ajax midfielder, but reports suggest that a bid of at least £20 million will be needed to land the youngster. 

Whilst many young players are trying to force through moves to Europe's top teams, Eriksen has stated that he is more than content to remain at Ajax for at least one more season.

Isco: The Spanish wiz-kid, Isco, predominantly plays through the middle of the park, however due to the overwhelming amount of high quality central midfielders, he has been moved out to the left for the purpose of this article. 

He has recently secured a multi-million pound move to Real Madrid and will be hoping to eventually break into the Spanish national team alongside players such as Xavi and Iniesta. Isco was a stand-out star during his time at Malaga, helping them to Champions League qualification in the 2011/12 campaign. He was also the Spanish Under 21's best player throughout the European Championship.

Mario Gotze: The German national team is blessed with many world class midfielders; Mesut Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos to name just a few. The fact that Gotze has been capped 22 times already, not to mention that he is the most expensive German player to date after his €37 million move from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich, shows the true quality that he possesses.

Gotze can operate in any attacking midfield position, and was one of the most sought after players in the world before his summer switch to Bayern.

Neymar: Prior to his €50 million transfer to Barcelona, and his simply stunning performances at the Confederations Cup, Neymar was already a global star and the majority of Brazilians were pinning their hopes on him for the upcoming home World Cup.

Now, the media attention he receives is off the radar. Neymar had been linked with a move to Barcelona for years, but until this summer, had opted to stay in Brazil with Santos, inevitably led to comparisons with Brazilian legend Pele. However, he still has plenty to prove, to date he has only played in the Brazilian League and the step up to one of the most competitive leagues in the world will truly show his quality.

Stephan El Shaarawy: The brightest talent at AC Milan over the last two seasons has been Stephan El Shaarawy. 

His pace, dribbling, and silky skills have saved AC Milan from a total meltdown. 

Milan are currently going through a transition period after losing a number of club legends in a short space of time with Pirlo, Gattuso and Ambrosini all departing the club in recent years. 

The club are looking to try and re-build their squad, with talented young players such as El Shaarawy key to future success. 

This is my fantasy youth 11. Do you agree? Disagree? Leave your comments below.

 

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