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The most valuable 18-year-olds in world football

Pin Donnarumma and Kai Havertz, two of the most promising players in the world. BeSoccer
Donnarumma and Kai Havertz, two of the most promising players in the world. BeSoccer

The most valuable 18-year-olds in world football

Jack Ottman by Jack Ottman @jackottman - 0 2,652

It's difficult to say who will be fighting to be amongst the world's best players in the future, but here at BeSoccer, we've compiled a list of the ten most valuable 18-year-olds in world football according to our database, ProFootballDB. You should definitely keep an eye out for these teenagers.

The value of each player is calculated by combining a number of valuables such as the player's exact age, performance on the pitch, number of appearances and international participation. With this, we've determined the list of the 10 most promising players in the world under the age of 19.

In first place on the list, and by quite some way, is Gianluigi Donnarumma. He made his debut at just 16 years old and already has 91 appearances for AC Milan. He has almost reached a century of appearances at one of the most historic clubs in Europe before his 19th birthday. On top of this, 'Gigio' has also made his debut for the Italy national side, earning four caps for Gian Piero Ventura's side.

Just behind the Italian goalkeeper is Kylian Mbappe, one of Paris Saint-Germain's star signings. His abilities were there for everyone to see after a fantastic season last year at Monaco. As well as breaking various goalscoring records in Europe at such a young age, Mbappe can also boast having scored 36 goals at just 18 years old (35 for clubs and one for the France national side). The striker has 83 appearances behind him, and continues to surprise with his fantastic performances.

The bronze medal, like with gold, goes to a goalkeeper: Alban Lafont. The Toulouse stopper has already played 75 matches as a professional at the Ligue 1 side after making his debut aged 16 on November 28, 2015. Since then, no one has been able to shift him from the starting eleven. He is eligible to play for France and has played at various age groups, but is yet to make his senior debut for Les Bleus.

Fourth place is taken up by Carlos Cuesta, centre-back for Colombian side Atlético Nacional, who already has 50 appearances as a professional, starting in 45 of those games.

In fifth place is a well-known name from La Liga: récords de precocidad goleadora en Europa: Martin Odegaard. The Norwegian arrived at Real Madrid aged just 15 with the label of a future star and, although he has only made two appearances for the first team, he has shown what he is capable of on the pitch with the Real Madrid B team. Currently on loan at Heerenveen, the midfielder has accumulated 118 appearances over his fledgling career since making his debut with Stromsgodset at 15.

Bayer Leverkusen's German midfielder Kai Havertz is in sixth place in the list. 43 matches so far (no international call-up yet) and six goals, as well as superb vision on the pitch. Seventh in our ranking is Rick Van Drongelen, a centre-back who can also play at left-back. Signed by Hamburg a  few months ago after two years at Sparta Rotterdam. Until now, he has made 54 appearances as a professional.

Matthijs de Ligt, Ajax's most promising centre-back, takes up eighth place. He has already made his senior debut for the Netherlands, and at 18 years old he has 66 appearances to his name, as well as six goals thanks to his aerial prowess.

Argentinian Ezequiel Barco, midfielder for Independiente, is next on the list of young starrs. His work-rate, quality and versatility mean he can play as a deep central midfielder, on either wing or as a playmaker (50 appearances, 6 goals. No international call-up).

Dodo, Cortiba's Brazilian left back, rounds up the Top 10. He has completed 33 of the 36 matches in which he has started (he's played in 44 in total), providing two assists. Despite his age and relative inexperience, he has never been sent off.


Jack Ottman

Jack Ottman

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