It’s mighty difficult trying to make a mark in one of Europe’s top five leagues as a teenager.
The quality on show across the quintet of divisions makes it incredibly hard for a youngster to find their feet and many have to go elsewhere to kickstart their careers.
However, there are some who thrive in the most competitive footballing environments on the planet before their 20th birthday and there are a number doing just that in 2020/21.
Due to that fact, we’ve decided to select the best teenage XI currently operating in Europe’s top five leagues and the sheer number of players to pick from made the whole process rather difficult – in a good way.
You can check out our team below.
GK – Angel Gimenez (Granada)
Gimenez is the only teenage goalkeeper to have made an appearance in Europe’s top five leagues this season, playing the full 90 minutes in Granada’s 2-0 loss to Real Sociedad. He earned an 8.24 match rating for his performance over on WhoScored, which is pretty impressive.
DEF – Tanguy Nianzou (Bayern Munich)
Bayern signed the 18-year-old Frenchman from Paris Saint-Germain last summer on a free transfer, much to the envy of other teams across Europe. Injuries have hampered his start to life in Bavaria, but Nianzou is a potential world beater, as most PSG fans will begrudgingly tell you.
DEF – William Saliba (Nice)
Since being freed from the shackles placed on him at Arsenal, Saliba has reminded the world why the Gunners were so desperate to sign him in the first place. He’s made 12 appearances in Ligue 1 since his January loan move to Nice and has been one of the struggling team’s best performers.
DEF – Benoit Badiashile (AS Monaco)
No teenager has made more appearances in Europe’s top five leagues this season than Badiashile. The 19-year-old has featured in 28 of Monaco’s 29 Ligue 1 games, scoring two goals in that time. Not bad, Benoit.
MID – Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
At the age of 17, Bellingham is already an England international and one of Dortmund’s most important players. He’s made 34 appearances in all competitions for the German giants this season, with eight of those coming in the Champions League.
MID – Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes)
The 18-year-old sensation has been tipped as a future superstar for quite a while now. Camavinga is continuing to turn in stellar performances at Rennes and it’s only a matter of time before the talented midfielder completes a move to a member of Europe’s elite.
MID – Pedri (Barcelona)
Barcelona may finally have found the heir to Andres Iniesta in Pedri. His debut season after arriving from Las Palmas has been simply incredible and he was deservedly included in Luis Enrique’s latest Spain squad.
MID – Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
Musiala has thrived when handed opportunities at Bayern. The silky midfielder – who recently pledged his international allegiance to Germany – has scored four goals in all competitions in 2020/21, including a strike against Lazio in the last-16 of the Champions League.
FWD – Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
The best teenager in the Premier League right now. Saka has evolved into one of Mikel Arteta’s key attacking weapons, netting five goals in the English top-flight this season. If he avoids serious injury, the versatile forward will all but certainly be named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for Euro 2020.
FWD – Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
Prior to picking up a serious knee injury, Fati was lighting up 2020/21 with Barcelona. The Spanish international scored four times in his seven La Liga appearances and the prospect of him linking up with Pedri when he returns to the side is a mouthwatering one for football lovers.
FWD – Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
The American teenager is one of the unsung heroes of Dortmund’s young, exciting team. He’s really come into his own this campaign as well, scoring three goals and assisting a further four in his 23 Bundesliga appearances.
Full XI (3-4-3): Gimenez, Nianzou, Saliba, Badiashile, Bellingham, Camavinga, Pedri, Musiala, Saka, Fati, Reyna.
What. A. Team!
The fact the likes of Mason Greenwood, Florian Wirtz and Jeremy Doku miss out on a spot in our XI just goes to show how large the pool of teenage talent is right now.