The Golden Boy award is handed to the best Under-21 player in Europe's top tier leagues every year. Over the years, the award is handed to the youngsters who have achieved big things for their club as well as for their respective countries. The Golden Boy award was started by an Italian newspaper in 2003. Rafael van der Vaart was the first recipient of the award. This year, the winner will be announced on December 16. Let's have a look at the four contenders.
1. Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid and Portugal)
Portugal's Joao Felix is the top contender to lift the Golden Boy award this year. The former Benfica player netted 15 goals in 26 games for the Portuguese side and became the first teenager to bag a hat-trick in the UEFA Europa League. His great form last season got him into the limelight. Atletico Madrid managed to beat other top European teams to sign the youngster for a reported €126 million, making him the second most expensive teenager after Kylian Mbappe.
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2. Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus and Holland)
Matthijs De Ligt won the Golden Boy award last year after displaying a stellar performance in the Ajax's defence. The Juventus centre-back continued with his fine form for Ajax in their historic UEFA Champions League run last season. The 20-year-old skipper showed class and courage. He was also seen instructing the senior players from the back in big matches. He led Ajax in their triumph against giants like Real Madrid and Juventus. De Ligt slotted the decider against Juventus in the Champions League and helped his side to get into the semi-finals.
3. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund and England)
Jadon Sancho is a Manchester City youth product who left the club to join Borussia Dortmund. Since then, Sancho has managed to make a name for himself with his extraordinary performance in the Bundesliga. Sancho experienced a quiet first season for Dortmund with only 12 appearances but became the first choice player in the second season. Sancho has bagged 18 goals and 30 assists in the 66 appearances he made for the German-side in three seasons. Sancho was named the Bundesliga player of the year in 2019. Sancho has also featured 10 times for England under manager Gareth Southgate.
4. Mason Mount (Chelsea and England)
Mason Mount has made a name for himself in his first Premier League season under Frank Lampard. Chelsea got lucky to get a player like Mount while undergoing a transfer-ban this season. Mason Mount was amongst Chelsea's big loan army who served time in Holland's Vitesse Arnhem and Derby County in the Championship the previous season. Mount had a fascinating spell at the Netherlands and was even named Vitesse Arnhem's player of the year. His constant form at Derby Country helped him to get into Chelsea's first team for the 2019/20 season. Mason Mount has found the net four times this season with eight games played.