Top 50 Wonder-kids In Football 2018 Edition (Part 2 – 40-31)

Young players are an exciting breed and a lot of avid fans across the fans love following and monitoring their growth. It is a delicate affair since there are only two ways a young star’s career can go – good or bad. One might reach their true potential at the right club or could be subjected to a slew of injuries, which might eventually stunt their growth.

Regardless of how these situations go, youngsters always cause quite a sensation. We embarked on this countdown last week and Part 1 includes our list of players from 50-41. For Part 2, we are going to take a look at the ones who made it to the 40-31 list.

40. Jose Gimenez – Atletico Madrid

The 22-year-old defender shot to widespread fame after his performances for the Spanish club. Despite being so young, he has an old-school charm to his game and is considered as one of the most promising defenders in the La Liga. He has proven himself even on an international level and does boast of tremendous potential. Linked with a lot of big clubs at present, Gimenez is definitely one to watch out for. He is quite solid and brings in a sense of stability at the back, thus making him a viable option for a lot of teams.

39. Mikel Merino – Newcastle United

The 21-year-old joined Newcastle on a loan initially from Borussia Dortmund but the Magpies were quick enough to snap him up in a permanent deal after his performances attracted attention from quite a lot of clubs. He has admirably adapted to the demanding style of the Premier League and was an integral part in the club’s good fortune in the beginning of the season. However, an injury kept him away from action for a while but that does not diminish his importance. The talented midfielder adds a layer of dimension to the Newcastle midfield more often than not and has shown plenty of encouraging signs so far.

38. Ruben Neves – Wolverhampton

Ever since Neves made his debut for Porto at the age of 17, he has been a force to be reckoned with. His prolific displays saw him captain the side in the Champions League, following which he made the move to Wolverhampton along with Nuno Espirito Santo. As if the Wolves were not strong enough already, they have been significantly strengthened with Neves’ power. He recently put in a stupendous display against Brentford and has easily been one of the key players in the Championship outfit.

37. Naby Keita – RB Leipzig

Set to join Liverpool this summer, Keita has been a revelation for the German side. Keita moved to Leipzig from Salzburg and settled in quite quickly to impress everyone watching. Already a key member of their midfield, Keita has displayed excellent fluidity and domination in the middle. Adept at both defending and attacking, the deep-lying midfielder does seem like one for the future and it will be interesting to see how he fares under Jurgen Klopp’s watchful eye at Anfield.

36. Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich

The 22-year-old is renowned as one of the most promising right-backs in the world and rightfully so. It is not easy to fill a void left behind by someone of Philip Lahm’s stature and yet Kimmich has managed to do so seamlessly. He is versatile and has essayed roles admirably at right-back, right-wing, central midfield and even played as a centre-back on certain occasions. He boasts of a mature understanding of the game which often translates to effective displays on the field.

35. Richarlison – Watford

The young Brazilian has been touted as one of the most influential players in the Premier League and it is easy to see why. The Hornets are one of the top ten contenders this season and have been in splendid form and Richarlison has been a key factor in their good fortune. At 20 years of age, the youngster has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best in the league and has often come out on top. If he continues this way, there is no limit to what he can achieve with Marco Silva.

34. Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen

The attacking midfielder is quickly becoming one of the most promising young German stars. With a reputation for being a hard-worker, Brandt is attracting attention for all the right reasons. Having made 17 appearances for the Bundesliga side this season, Brandt has scored 4 goals and registered 2 assists. He is a regular for the side and is quite crafty in terms of creating chances and scoring opportunities. He also has a knack for finding the back of the net and could go a long way.

33. Marcus Rashford – Manchester United

The youngster burst onto the scene like a tornado and has been going strong ever since. His first-team opportunities were a bit limited with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the fray but this season, Mourinho has used him mostly as a left-winger and the player has done quite well. Despite being so young, he has already established himself on a senior level for a club like Manchester United and that itself is quite commendable. His talent is quite potent and with him playing so well for the Red Devils, he is developing quite well.

32. Kasper Dolberg – Ajax

In November 2016, a relatively unheard of young striker named Dolberg shot to fame by scoring a hat-trick for Ajax in 18 minutes. And that’s where Dolberg’s meteoric rise began. He scored a whopping 13 goals in 24 games in his debut season and was even capped by the senior Denmark side. He is physically strong and knows how to use that to his advantage. He can not only find the back of the net but is also quite generous when it comes to creating scoring opportunities and has been a revelation for the Dutch champions.

31. Christian Pulisic – Borussia Dortmund

At just 19 years, Pulisic has become USA’s best footballing talent. It is not easy for even seasoned players to move to a different league and carve a niche for themselves and yet Pulisic has done exactly that with the German giants. He has scored 3 goals so far this season and is regarded as one of the most promising attackers for Dortmund at a time when the club has had to go through some incredibly testing times. He has shown consistency and proven to be a reliable figure even during adversity and that itself makes a mark of how he is well beyond his age.

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