Arsenal's Hector Bellerin features in world football's best under-23 team

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It’s been quite a season in the Premier League.

Leicester City are on course to win the title, Tottenham are within touching distance of finishing higher than Arsenal for the first time since 1995, and reigning champions Chelsea sit ninth following an awful defence of their English crown.

Put simply, it’s been a campaign of sheer unpredictability, but as with every season in England’s top flight, several exciting young players have burst onto the scene and announced themselves to the world.


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So much so that no less than four youngsters have been included in France Football’s latest XI of the best under-23 players in world football.

The French publication’s picks include just one representative from the Bundesliga, whilst two players from La Liga, Ligue 1 and Serie A feature. Here’s the team in full.


Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak is chosen in goal, the Slovenian keeping 21 clean sheets and conceding just 16 goals in La Liga this season.

The 23-year-old has enjoyed an excellent campaign at the Vicente Calderon and sufficiently succeeded Thibaut Courtois between the sticks.


In a back four blessed with pace, Hector Bellerin of Arsenal unsurprisingly features at right-back following another fine term at the Emirates Stadium, whilst Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain youngsters Rafael Varane and Marquinhos combine at centre-back.

Bayern Munich’s David Alaba completes the defence at left-back, the Austrian arguably the world’s best in his position and one of football’s most versatile players.


Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti is picked to sit in front of his young back line at central defensive midfield. The 23-year-old has featured sparingly at the Parc des Princes this season but played his part in another title win for the French giants.

In front of him is Liverpool magician Philippe Coutinho, who continues to progress nicely at Anfield under the tutelage of Jurgen Klopp, and Juventus superstar Paul Pogba, the France international enjoying yet another emphatic campaign in Serie A and proving why Manchester United were so foolish to let him go.


In an attacking trio blessed with pace, movement and excellent finishing ability, Juventus’ Paul Dybala and United’s Anthony Martial occupy the wings, the latter scoring an extra-time winner to send the Red Devils through to the FA Cup final on Saturday.

Dybala, on the other hand, has found the net 16 times in his debut Serie A campaign with the Old Lady and attracted interest from Barcelona as a result.

And spearheading the under-23 side’s attack is England’s sole inclusion, Harry Kane. The Tottenham striker is the Premier League’s top goalscorer (24) with three games remaining and has played a vital role in Spurs’ rise this season.

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