Bellingham, Gnabry, Fati: Who are the youngest Champions League debutants since 2010?

Moise Kean

Borussia Dortmund continued to enhance their reputation as Europe's epicentre for prodigious young talent on Saturday evening by handing Youssoufa Moukoko his Bundesliga debut.

Moukoko, who has already scored ten goals in just three games for Dortmund's U19 side this season, has all the hallmarks of a future footballing superstar. 

His weekend outing, which arrived the day after his 16th birthday, made him the youngest player in Bundesliga history and the emerging wonderkid could be set to break another record in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. 

Dortmund have confirmed that Moukoko is in the squad to face Club Brugge at the Westfalenstadion tonight, which opens the possibility for a new record to be set. 

Celestine Babayaro currently holds the record (16 years, 87 days) for the youngest ever Champions League debut having appeared for Anderlecht in the group stages all the way back in 1994. 

But there are lots of other talented young footballers who have also been handed opportunities on the European stage at incredibly tentative ages. 

Here, GIVEMESPORT take a look at the 14 youngest debutants since 2010 - using data from Transfermarkt - and illuminate how their careers have panned out since. 

Turning out in the Champions League before the age of 18 would appear auspicious for a player's long-term career ambitions, but that doesn't always prove to be the case.

Take a look at how the 14 debutants have fared since appearing on the grandest of stages...

14. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund - 17 years, 3 months, 21 days)

Jude Bellingham

Dortmund's record-breaking summer signing is the most recent entry on the list. 

Lucien Favre handed Jude Bellingham his debut against Lazio back in October, and he's already beginning to establish himself in Dortmund's first-team squad. 

Having received his first England cap during the most recent international break, the future looks incredibly bright for their number 22. 

13. Anthony Limbombe (Genk - 17 years, 3 months, 17 days)

Anthony Limbombe's Champions League debut arrived back in 2011, and its fair to say he has had a relatively modest career ever since. 

The winger has had spells in Belgium, the Netherlands and now France, where he currently plys his trade for Nantes.

A return of two goals and two assists from 33 Ligue 1 appearances shows his career hasn't quite gone in the direction his early European showing suggested it would.

12. Serge Gnabry (Arsenal - 17 years, 3 months, 10 days)


Of all the players on the list Serge Gnabry arguably requires the least introduction. 

A player who once failed to get into Tony Pulis' West Brom side during a loan spell away from Arsenal is now an insatiable attacking outlet for Bayern Munich and the German national side. 

With a Champions League and two Bundesliga titles to his name, the 25-year-old has established himself as one of the world's best in his position.

11. Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal - 17 years, 3 months, 10 days)

The second Arsenal debutant on the list doesn't quite boast the same profile as Gnabry. 

Ainsley-Maitland Niles is now 23 years old and a versatile squad player for Mikel Arteta, stepping in to plug gaps as and when required. 

He's a talented player with three England caps but the ambiguity surrounding his best position does appear to be holding him back. 

10. Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund - 17 years, 3 months, 5 days) 


Another wonderkid from the Dortmund conveyor belt. 

Giovanni Reyna was one of the outstanding breakthrough stories of the 2019/20 campaign, with his first Champions League outing arriving on 28 February 2020. 

The talented playmaker has now established himself as a regular in the senior squad and earned two caps for the USA. 

9. Dominic Solanke (Chelsea - 17 years, 1 month, 7 days)

One of the less successful debutants on the list, Dominic Solanke's career has never quite taken off in the manner many anticipated. 

However, the 23-year-old striker has scored four goals and provided three assists for Bournemouth in just 12 Championship appearances this season.

Perhaps he can use this campaign in the second tier of English football to build his confidence ahead of a potential return to the Premier League next season.

8. Ansu Fati (Barcelona - 16 years, 10 months, 17 days)


Ansu Fati has enjoyed a meteoric rise into the footballing stratosphere since his debut in September 2019. 

Now valued at £72m by Transfermarkt, Barcelona's crown jewel has scored five goals and provided four assists in just 10 appearances in all competitions this season.

What a player the Blaugrana have on their hands.

7. Bryan Cristante (AC Milan - 16 years, 3 days)

It's been nearly nine years since Bryan Cristante made his Champions League debut for AC Milan. 

The midfielder has predominantly played his football in Italy ever since, turning out for Palermo, Pescara, Atalanta and now AS Roma, though he was officially contracted to Benfica for four years between 2014 and 2018. 

However, he spent the majority of that time on loan at Italian outfits and only made 20 appearances for the Portuguese giants.

6. Moise Kean (Juventus - 16 years, 8 months, 25 days)

Moise Kean

Moise Kean was the first player born after the the turn of the millennium to play in the Champions League. 

The centre-forward enjoyed a loan spell with Hellas Verona before leaving Juventus to join Everton permanently.

An underwhelming maiden campaign in England resulted in a loan move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, and the 20-year-old seems to be enjoying himself in the French capital, notching a return of seven goals in 12 games in all-competitions thus far.

5. Kenneth Zohore (FC Copenhagen - 16 years, 8 months, 19 days)

Kenneth Zohore made his debut more than ten years ago in October 2010. 

The Danish striker has played for seven different clubs since leaving Copenhagen and now finds himself at Millwall in the Championship. 

4. Charalampos Mavrias (Panathinaikos - 16 years, 7 months, 29 days)


Fans of Sunderland may remember Mavrias' uneventful stay at the Stadium of Light between 2013 and 2016. 

The right-back, who intriguingly is also capable of playing left-wing, currently plays for Greek outfit Omonia Nicosia following a handful of unsuccessful stints on the continent. 

3. Youri Tielemans (16 years, 4 months, 25 days)

Youri Tielemans

Leicester City's playmaker-in-chief made his Champions League debut for Anderlecht all the way back in October 2013. 

The Belgium international is now widely regarded as one of the best young midfielders in Europe, and looks destined to flourish at the top level following a disappointing spell with Monaco prior to his move to the King Power Stadium.

With Tielemans pulling the strings in midfield, the Foxes may just stand a chance of finishing in the top-four this season.

2. Alen Halilovic (Dinamo Zagreb - 16 years, 4 months, 6 days)


Having been released by AC Milan in October, Birmingham City actually signed Alen Halilovic on a free transfer this week. 

The 10-cap Croatia midfielder was once dubbed the next Luka Modric and signed for Barcelona in 2014 following his eye-catching breakthrough at Dinamo Zagreb. 

Now 24, Halilovic's fall from grace proves that hype and promise do not always translate into a successful career at the top level.

1. Rayan Cherki (Lyon - 16 years, 3 months, 10 days)


Lyon's exciting young attacking midfielder broke onto the European scene almost a year ago to the day in November 2019. 

With three goals and two assists in 20 appearances for the French giants, Cherki has demonstrated plenty of promise in his career so far. 

As Halilovic has revealed, however, his talent needs to be managed and nurtured with care if he is to maximise his potential. 

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