Karim Adeyemi – Borussia Dortmund/Austria
Adeyemi scored 23 goals in all competitions for RB Salzburg last season, prompting Borussia Dortmund to come calling in the summer.
This season, he’s scored twice in nine appearances, most of which have come from the bench.
Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund/England
The hot favorite to scoop the prize, Bellingham has the world at his feet.
A strong runner with the ball, a brilliant passer, and an acute eye for goal – he’s scored four in four games in this season’s Champions League – Real Madrid, Chelsea FC, and Liverpool FC are already eyeing him up, according to ESPN.
Eduardo Camavinga – Real Madrid/France
Real Madrid landed Camavinga for the bargain price of just $37 million last summer after his impressive breakthrough season with Stade Rennais.
He’s now a regular at the Santiago Bernabeu, having already made 13 appearances this season.
Fabio Carvalho – Liverpool/Portugal
A skillful and creative-minded attacking midfielder, Liverpool signed Carvalho from newly promoted Fulham in May.
He’s scored two goals this season for Jurgen Klopp’s side, including a memorable 98th minute winner against Newcastle United in August.
Ansu Fati – FC Barcelona/Spain
Fati may only be 19, but he’s already made 70 appearances and scored 21 goals for Barcelona.
Had he not missed almost a whole year of action because of injury, those numbers would be much higher, too.
Gavi – FC Barcelona/Spain
Barcelona value Gavi so highly that, according to The Mirror, the club set his release clause at an eye-watering $1 billion when he signed a new deal in September.
“With Gavi we are renewing the present, the immediate present and the future of Barca,” said Barcelona President Joan Laporta at the time.
“He is a paradigm of talent, effort. He is a player who goes for it all. It is a very happy day for the Catalans.”
Wilfried Gnonto – Leeds United/Italy
Gnonto may be small – he’s a mere 5-foot-5 – but he is mighty, scoring eight times for FC Zürich last season to help it win the Swiss Super League for the first time in 13 years.
He moved to Leeds United in September, but is yet to make an appearance.
Ryan Gravenberch – Bayern Munich/Netherlands
“He’s one of Europe’s best young players,” said Bayern Munich’s sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic of Gravenberch after he signed for the German club from Ajax in the summer.
“[He] has excellent technique, always finds solutions in tight space, is very dynamic and a goal threat.”
Joško Gvardiol – RB Leipzig/Croatia
Gvardiol has all the physical qualities you need in a central defender – speed, strength, and great aerial ability.
But he’s also comfortable with the ball at his feet, which has made him a top target for Chelsea, which just missed out on his signature this summer.
Fabio Miretti – Juventus/Italy
Miretti was promoted to Juventus’ first team permanently in the summer, and it didn’t take him long to make an impact this season.
On only his second start of the campaign, the Italian became the first player born after 2002 to provide an assist in Serie A as he teed up Arkadiusz Milik’s goal in a 2-0 win over Spezia.
Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich/Germany
Musiala was already a regular for Bayern Munich last season; however this term, he’s proving to be its key player.
The English-born midfielder has scored five goals and produced five assists in just nine Bundesliga games.
Nico – Valencia/Spain
On loan with Valencia from Barcelona, Nico has been dubbed as the heir to Sergio Busquets’ throne at the Camp Nou.
“He is technically very gifted, is very intelligent and his physique is perfect,” Fran Artiga, a coach who worked with Nico throughout his time at Barcelona’s famed academy, La Masia, told Goal.
“With him, we have the chance to build a spectacular footballer.”
Nuno Mendes – Paris Saint-Germain/Portugal
Mendes had started just over 35 matches for Sporting Lisbon when PSG came calling last year, signing the defender on a season-long loan with an option to buy for $45 million.
He quickly established himself as the French club’s first-choice left back, and the team chose to make his move permanent in the summer.
Pedri – FC Barcelona/Spain
Last year’s Golden Boy is up for prize again this year, but no player has ever won it twice.
Given Pedri’s credentials, however – he’s already a regular for both Barcelona and Spain and has been described as the “best in the world” in his position by Barcelona manager and club icon Xavi – don’t be too surprised if he becomes the first.
Benjamin Šeško – RB Salzburg/Slovenia
Šeško was wanted by a number of clubs in the summer, Chelsea and Manchester United included, but it was RB Leipzig which won the race for his signature.
The Slovenia international, who scored 11 goals for Salzburg last season, will move to the German club at the end of the current campaign.
Mathys Tel – Bayern Munich/France
The youngest player on the final shortlist for the Golden Boy award, Tel landed a move to Bayern Munich this summer from Stade Rennais, despite having only made a handful of senior appearances for the French side.
But he’s already proven why the German team was so keen to take a gamble on him, scoring twice in his two starts this season.
Destiny Udogie – Udinese/Italy
A revelation for Udinese last year, Udogie scored five goals and provided three assists from left-back as The White and Blacks recorded their highest points total in Serie A since 2012-13.
The teenager, who was bought by Tottenham Hotspur in the summer but back on loan with Udinese, has continued in the same vein this term, scoring twice in nine games.