NXGN: Haaland, Foden, Sancho and 2019's best wonderkids

Haaland Foden Sancho NXGN GFX
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Goal selected the 50 best footballing talents from around the world born on or after January 1, 2000 - but how are they getting on now?

Since NXGN's introduction in 2016, Goal has profiled the 50 best footballing wonderkids on the planet on an annual basis, with the top-ranked player taking home the NXGN award.

Some of those recognised for the talent as teenagers are now household names, but others have not yet realised their potential.

Check out where the stars of 2019 are now, while all the other previous NXGN lists can be found below:

Full NXGN Lists
Tielemans, Dembele and 2016's wonderkids
Donnarumma, Mbappe & 2017's wonderkids
Kluivert, De Ligt and 2018's wonderkids
Rodrygo, Greenwood and 2020's wonderkids
Oberdorf, James & 2020's female wonderkids
Fati, Camavinga & 2021's wonderkids
Bennison, Tromp & 2021's female wonderkids

  1. Christian Fruchtl | Bayern Munich
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    #50 Christian Fruchtl | Bayern Munich

    THEN: A very modern goalkeeper with great feet, Fruchtl had yet to make his senior debut but was considered a top prospect, having impressed Manuel Neuer and Co. after being invited to train with Bayern's first team during their winter break in Qatar in 2016.

    NOW: Fruchtl is still waiting for his first-team debut despite the Germany Under-20 international having joined second division side FC Nurnberg on loan for the 2020-21 campaign.

  2. Takefusa Kubo | FC Tokyo
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    #49 Takefusa Kubo | FC Tokyo

    THEN: Having been signed by Barcelona as a 10-year-old, the outrageously gifted attacker was forced to return to his native Japan in 2016 because of irregularities related to the Catalan club's recruitment of overseas players aged under 18. However, he was excelling in his homeland with FC Tokyo and widely expected to return to La Masia sooner rather than later.

    NOW: Much to Barca's disappointment, their former youth team player joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2019. Impressed on loan at Mallorca the following season, but has found things tougher in 2020-21 while first representing Villarreal, and now Getafe.

  3. Yari Verschaeren | Anderlecht
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    #48 Yari Verschaeren | Anderlecht

    THEN: Regarded as the latest top talent to roll off the production line at Anderlecht, the cultured attacking midfielder had already appeared in the Europa League for the Belgian outfit.

    NOW: Verschaeren's last two seasons have both been interrupted by injury, but 'the new Hazard' has become a regular at Lotto Park, while he has also broken into the Belgium squad, netting his first goal in just his second appearance for Roberto Martinez's side.

  4. Juan Miranda | Barcelona
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    #47 Juan Miranda | Barcelona

    THEN: The versatile left-back had humbly played down his impressive Champions League debut against Tottenham in November by saying that "everything's easier when you've got Lionel Messi by your side", but Barca were growing increasingly confident that they had unearthed Jordi Alba's eventual successor.

    NOW: Miranda was sent to Schalke on a two-year loan in the summer of 2019, but had the deal cut short at the end of his first season in the Bundesliga. Has spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Real Betis, where he has grown into a regular starter for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

  5. Brenner | Sao Paulo
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    #46 Brenner | Sao Paulo

    THEN: The striker with the €50m (£42.7m/$56.8m) buy-out clause was featuring in the NXGN series for the second year in a row, having only enhanced his reputation as one of Brazil's most promising young players.

    NOW: Having struggled during a loan spell at Fluminense in 2019, Brenner exploded upon his return to Sao Paulo, scoring 22 goals during the 2020-21 campaign. A number of big European clubs were linked with his signature, but it was MLS newcomers FC Cincinnati who paid $13 million (£9.5m) to bring him to the United States in February.

  6. Mohamed Ihattaren | PSV
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    #45 Mohamed Ihattaren | PSV

    THEN: After helping Netherlands win the 2018 European Under-17 Championship by converting a penalty in all three of his country's shootout victories in England, the attacking midfielder had made his Eredivisie debut for PSV the following January and was regarded as one of the Dutch club's brightest prospects.

    NOW: Ihattaren enjoyed a stellar 2019-20 campaign, earning him several call-ups to the senior Netherlands squad. A series of fall-outs with new PSV boss Roger Schmidt have, however, seen his development stall this season, and there are now strong rumours he will leave Eindhoven come the summer.

  7. Ante Palaversa | Manchester City
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    #44 Ante Palaversa | Manchester City

    THEN: The all-action midfielder had broken into the Hajduk Split first team, so in order to avoid missing out on a player who was attracting attention from all over Europe, Manchester City signed the Croatian for £7m ($9.1m) and then loaned him back to his hometown club for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.

    NOW: That return to Hajduk proved the first of four loans for Palaversa, who is presently lining out for Belgian outfit KV Kortrijk.

  8. Gabriel Brazao | Parma
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    #43 Gabriel Brazao | Parma

    THEN: After being named in the Brazil squad for the November 2018 internationals against Uruguay and Cameroon alongside Alisson and Ederson, the Cruzeiro academy graduate was snapped up by Parma in January 2019, but with a view to a summer switch to Inter.

    NOW: Brazao did indeed end up at San Siro, joining Inter for a reported €6m (£5.1m/€6.6m). However, the goalkeeper has spent the last two seasons largely warming benches in the Spanish second division with Albacete and, currently, Real Oviedo.

  9. Antonio Marin | Dinamo Zagreb
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    #42 Antonio Marin | Dinamo Zagreb

    THEN: Before signing his first professional contract with Dinamo Zagreb in October 2017, the two-footed left winger had been courted by clubs such as AC Milan, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. However, his decision to stick with his hometown club was paying off, with Marin featuring three times in the Croatian top flight before his NXGN inclusion.

    NOW: Marin made his first start for Dinamo before the 2018-19 season was out but struggled to earn regular minutes. Spent the first half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Monza in Serie B before returning to Croatia in January as he secured a temporary move to Lokomotiva.

  10. Leonardo Campana | Barcelona SC
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    #41 Leonardo Campana | Barcelona SC

    THEN: The outstanding player within the most talented crop of youngsters Ecuador has ever produced, Campana had fired his country to a first ever South American Under-20 Championship with a tournament-high six goals, including two in the final against Venezuela.

    NOW: The striker, who has now been capped four times by the senior Ecuador side, joined Wolves in January 2020 before moving to Portuguese side Famalicao on loan for the current campaign.

  11. Thiago Almada | Velez Sarsfield
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    #40 Thiago Almada | Velez Sarsfield

    THEN: A skilful and tenacious attacking midfielder, Almada had already debuted and scored for Velez Sarsfield, and locked down a starting spot with Argentina's Under-20s.

    NOW: Almada has been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, Manchester City and Leeds United over the past 18 months as he continues to impress on the field. However, he is now at the centre of an ongoing criminal investigation, having been charged with sexual assault.

  12. Ozan Kabak | Stuttgart
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    #39 Ozan Kabak | Stuttgart

    THEN: After attracting the attention of numerous European clubs with his stellar showings at the heart of the Galatasaray defence, Kabak was snapped up by Stuttgart during the January 2019 transfer window for €11m (£9.5m/$12m). He wasted little time in making an impression in the Bundesliga, netting a double against Hannover just two months later.

    NOW: Kabak sensationally moved to Schalke after just six months at Stuttgart, as the Gelsenkirchen outfit activated his surprisingly low €15m (£12.9m/$16.5m) buy-out clause. Despite Schalke's struggles in 2020, he impressed sufficiently to earn a loan move to Liverpool in January, with the Reds holding the option to sign him permanently this summer for £18m ($25m).

  13. Amine Gouiri | Lyon
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    #38 Amine Gouiri | Lyon

    THEN: The Lyon striker's hopes of turning 2018-19 into his breakout season had been decimated by a cruciate ligament injury. However, he was still considered one of France's most promising players, primarily because of his excellent scoring record for his country at under-age level.

    NOW: Having failed to earn regular first-team opportunities at Lyon, Gouiri joined Nice in a €7m (£6.3m/$8m) move in the summer of 2020. He has gone on to become one of the young stars of the Ligue 1 season and is, at the time of writing, on course to score in excess of 20 goals in all competitions this term.

  14. Julian Alvarez | River Plate
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    #37 Julian Alvarez | River Plate

    THEN: The Argentina Under-19 international was so highly rated by Marcelo Gallardo that the River Plate boss gave the diminutive attacker his Copa Libertadores debut in the second leg of the 2018 final against Boca Juniors.

    NOW: Alvarez remains at River, where he is generally utilised as an impact substitute. Scored five goals during the club's run to the Copa Libertadores semi-finals in 2020.

  15.  Sergio Gomez | Borussia Dortmund
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    #36 Sergio Gomez | Borussia Dortmund

    THEN: Having prised Andres Iniesta's potential replacement away from Barcelona by activating his €3m (£2.6m/$3.4m) release clause, Dortmund gave Gomez a little taste of Champions League football against Monaco in December 2018.

    NOW: With minutes proving hard to come by at Dortmund, Gomez is now out enjoying his second season on loan with Huesca, where he is seeing far more game time after helping them win promotion to La Liga last term.

  16. Lincoln | Flamengo
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    #35 Lincoln | Flamengo

    THEN: Just like his former Flamengo youth team strike partner Vinicius Junior, Lincoln had made his debut for the Rio outfit's senior side at just 16 years of age and was being touted as Brazil's answer to Robert Lewandowski.

    NOW: Having established himself in the first team in Rio, the striker left the club in January 2021 to join J-League outfit Vissel Kobe.

  17. Josh Sargent | Werder Bremen
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    #34 Josh Sargent | Werder Bremen

    THEN: A young centre-forward apparently in a rush to make a name for himself at the highest level, having already netted in his first outings for both Werder Bremen and the United States.

    NOW: The 21-year-old striker is seeing plenty of game time at Bremen, and recently enjoyed a strong run in front of goal as he aims to prove his worth among an ever-growing number of young attacking stars available to USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter.

  18. Erling Haaland | Red Bull Salzburg
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    #33 Erling Haaland | Red Bull Salzburg

    THEN: After making waves in Norway by netting four goals in just 17 minutes for Molde, the son of former Premier League midfielder Alf-Inge Haaland had been snapped up by Red Bull Salzburg for just €5m (£4.3m/$5.7m).

    NOW: The 20-year-old has become the game's newest striking superstar after breaking countless records, both domestically for Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, whom he joined in January 2020, as well as in the Champions League. Haaland now seems destined for a glittering career at the very highest level featuring at least one Ballon d'Or win.

  19. Emile Smith Rowe | Arsenal
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    #32 Emile Smith Rowe | Arsenal

    THEN: Having ignored interest from Barcelona in the summer of 2018 in order to sign a long-term contract with Arsenal, Smith Rowe had broken into the Gunners senior squad, impressing in the Europa League, before being loaned to RB Leipzig until the end of the season.

    NOW: The attacking midfielder's time in Germany was blighted by injury problems, but he rejuvenated his career on loan at Huddersfield Town in the early months of 2020. Has impressed since being brought into Mikel Arteta's starting line-up in December as the Gunners look to build their attack around some of their homegrown talent.

  20. Rhian Brewster | Liverpool
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    #31 Rhian Brewster | Liverpool

    THEN: The Liverpool striker was only just nearing the end of his 15-month injury nightmare, having suffered an ankle sprain and ligament damage during an Under-23 game against Manchester City in January 2018. Before that, he had won the Golden Boot as England triumphed at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup.

    NOW: Brewster made a full recovery from his horrific double-injury and went on to make his full Reds debut in September 2019. Shone during a loan spell with Swansea City in early 2020, earning him a £23.5m ($30m) move to Sheffield United, though he has thus far failed to shine for the Blades.

  21. Ryan Gravenberch | Ajax
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    #30 Ryan Gravenberch | Ajax

    THEN: Regarded as the most exciting player to come out of Ajax’s renowned academy in years, Gravenberch had already usurped Clarence Seedorf as the youngest player ever to represent the club in the Eredivisie before then becoming the Amsterdam outfit's youngest goalscorer.

    NOW: Still just 18, Gravenberch has been a regular in the Ajax first team since the start of the 2019-20 season, with his impressive performances this term having seen him earn his first call-ups to the senior Netherlands squad.

  22. Willem Geubbels | Lyon
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    #29 Willem Geubbels | Lyon

    THEN: Having been signed by Monaco from Lyon for a whopping €20m (£17.4m/$22.7m), the teenager was spending most of his debut season at the Stade Louis II in the treatment room.

    NOW: Geubbels' injury issues have continued to plague him, though he did manage to score his first senior goal for Niko Kovac's side in the early weeks of the 2020-21 campaign.

  23. Lee Kang-in | Valencia
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    #28 Lee Kang-in | Valencia

    THEN: The exciting and industrious left winger had already lined out in both La Liga and the Copa del Rey for Valencia, and was even on the bench for a Champions League group-stage meeting with Manchester United at Mestalla.

    NOW: Lee – who won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup – has established himself as a regular in Valencia's first team as Los Che look to rebuild around their young talent following a fire sale in the summer of 2020.

  24. Abel Ruiz | Barcelona
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    #27 Abel Ruiz | Barcelona

    THEN: Learning his trade with Barca's B team, the 19-year-old was expected to imminently break into the senior squad, not least because of his similarities with star striker Luis Suarez.

    NOW: Ruiz made his Barca debut in May 2019, but was allowed to join Braga the following January on a six-month loan with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. After being predominantly utilised off the bench during his first year in Portugal, the 21-year-old has begun to hold down a regular place in the starting line-up in 2021.

  25. Jann-Fiete Arp | Hamburg
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    #26 Jann-Fiete Arp | Hamburg

    THEN: Bayern Munich had already agreed a deal with Hamburg to sign striker Arp. The only outstanding issue was whether the first player born in the 21st century to score in the Bundesliga would move to the Allianz Arena in the summer of 2019 or the following year.

    NOW: Bayern ultimately decided to take Arp in 2019, but the striker has thus far made just one first-team appearance for the Bavarians, and instead continues to earn experience playing for their reserve side in German football's third division.

  26. Hamed Junior Traore | Empoli
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    #25 Hamed Junior Traore | Empoli

    THEN: At just 18 years of age, Traore was already a regular for Empoli, and Fiorentina had agreed a deal with their fellow Tuscans to sign the versatile attacking midfielder in the summer of 2019 for €12m (£10.4m/$13.6m).

    NOW: The move to Fiorentina eventually broke down and Traore instead joined Sassuolo on a two-year loan. It has worked out well for the Ivorian, who has only further enhanced his reputation as one of the best young players in Serie A.

  27. Pietro Pellegri | Monaco
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    #24 Pietro Pellegri | Monaco

    THEN: Pellegri was being plagued by injuries but the Italian striker, who had been signed from Genoa for €25m (£21.7m/$28.4m), had still become the first player born in the 2000s to score in Ligue 1, after netting against Bordeaux in August 2018.

    NOW: Pellegri's persistent fitness problems have not subsided at all and he has barely played over the past two seasons, casting further doubts on whether his body is cut out for the rigours of professional football.

  28. Ki-Jana Hoever | Liverpool
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    #23 Ki-Jana Hoever | Liverpool

    THEN: In January 2018, the Dutch defender had become the youngest player ever to represent Liverpool in the FA Cup, at just 16 years, 11 months and 20 days old, and impressed all and sundry with his composure and class on the ball.

    NOW: Despite earning the odd first-team opportunity in cup competitions, Hoever took the decision to join Wolves in the summer of 2020 and his £10m ($13m) move to Molineux has seen him slowly but surely start to rack up Premier League starts.

  29. Benoit Badiashile | Monaco
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    #22 Benoit Badiashile | Monaco

    THEN: Still best known for being taken to task by former Monaco boss Thierry Henry for forgetting to tuck his chair back under the table at the end of a Champions League press conference. However, at the Stade Louis II, the defender was considered one of the best prospects to come out of Monaco's famed academy in years.

    NOW: After an up-and-down season in 2019-20, Badiashile has become a rock at the back for Niko Kovac's side this season, with the 19-year-old having even been approached by Manchester United as they aim to bolster their own defence.

  30. Dominik Szoboszlai | Red Bull Salzburg
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    #21 Dominik Szoboszlai | Red Bull Salzburg

    THEN: Considered the biggest talent to come out of Hungary in decades, the left midfielder had already made his first appearance and scored his first goal for Red Bull Salzburg.

    NOW: Szoboszlai has gone from strength to strength, with his form for club and country having earned him interest from a number of top European clubs, including Arsenal. Having scored the goal that secured Hungary's qualification for Euro 2020 he joined RB Leipzig in a €25m (£22.5m/$30.5m) deal in January 2021, though he is yet to make his debut for his new side as he recovers from injury.

  31. Aurelien Tchouameni | Bordeaux
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    #20 Aurelien Tchouameni | Bordeaux

    THEN: A powerful defensive midfielder of deceptive pace, Tchouameni was being linked with Inter and Bayern Munich thanks to his dominant performances for Bordeaux.

    NOW: Tchouameni instead joined Monaco, who paid €18m (£15.5m/$20m) for his services. Both Chelsea and Real Madrid are now reportedly interested in a player who is earning rave reviews in Ligue 1 this season and being compared to Yaya Toure because of his nonchalant style.

  32. Agustin Almendra | Boca Juniors
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    #19 Agustin Almendra | Boca Juniors

    THEN: A regular in the Boca Juniors midfield at the age of 19, Almendra was, as Goal had revealed in December 2018, of interest to both Barcelona and Valencia.

    NOW: Almendra may have started in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores semi-final against River Plate in December 2019, but he is now on the fringes of Miguel Angel Russo's Boca squad.

  33. Paulinho | Bayer Leverkusen
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    #18 Paulinho | Bayer Leverkusen

    THEN: Having joined Bayer Leverkusen from Vasco da Gama for €18.5m (£16m/$21m), the versatile winger was playing regularly in the Bundesliga and had opened his goal account in December 2018, in the Europa League.

    NOW: The Brazil Under-23 international was making steady progress at the BayArena, only for the 20-year-old to suffer a serious knee injury in July that has kept him on the sidelines ever since.

  34. Timothy Weah | Paris Saint-Germain
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    #17 Timothy Weah | Paris Saint-Germain

    THEN: The son of Ballon d'Or winner George Weah had started the 2018-19 campaign by netting his first couple of goals for PSG, but the United States international had been loaned to Celtic for the remainder of the season.

    NOW: Weah failed to convince in Glasgow and found first-team opportunities hard to come by when he returned to the Parc des Princes, resulting in the striker being sold to Lille in the summer of 2019 for €10m (£8.5m/$11m). After injury ruined his first season with Les Dogues, he has played a key role in their Ligue 1 title push this term.

  35. Mason Greenwood | Manchester United
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    #16 Mason Greenwood | Manchester United

    THEN: The two-footed forward had already netted for Manchester United's Under-18s, U19s and U-23s in 2018-19, and was even introduced as a late substitute by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the dramatic Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes.

    NOW: Greenwood has gone from strength to strength over the past two seasons having become a key part of Solskjaer's attacking unit at Old Trafford. A full England international, the 19-year-old continues to earn comparisons with Robin van Persie for his unerring finishing ability.

  36. Eric Garcia | Manchester City
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    #15 Eric Garcia | Manchester City

    THEN: After impressing Pep Guardiola on Man City's pre-season tour with his maturity and authority in possession, the former La Masia resident had been given his first taste of senior football during the 2018-19 campaign.

    NOW: Having made his Premier League debut in September 2019, Garcia gradually worked his way into Guardiola's plans, only to reveal in the summer of 2020 that he would not be renewing his contract at the Etihad Stadium. Now he's expected to return to Barcelona on a free transfer this summer.

  37. Ethan Ampadu | Chelsea
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    #14 Ethan Ampadu | Chelsea

    THEN: The David Luiz-like centre-half was seeing little game time at Chelsea, but was so highly rated at Stamford Bridge that the club had rejected a loan bid from Derby County for the full Wales international during the January transfer window.

    NOW: Having struggled during a loan spell at RB Leipzig last season, Ampadu has found more minutes at Sheffield United in 2020-21, though there are question marks over his long-term future at Chelsea.

  38. Sofiane Diop | Monaco
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    #13 Sofiane Diop | Monaco

    THEN: The skilful attacker had featured regularly during the first half of what was a difficult campaign for Monaco, even starting three times in the Champions League, before being dropped to the bench at the start of 2019.

    NOW: Having slipped down the pecking order at the Stade Louis II, Diop spent last season on loan with Ligue 2 outfit Sochaux. Has become a regular starter back at Monaco in 2020-21, chipping in with his fair share of goals while playing predominantly as a No.10.

  39. Ferran Torres | Valencia
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    #12 Ferran Torres | Valencia

    THEN: A two-footed winger similar in style to Marco Asensio, Torres had already had a €100m (£87m/$113m) buy-out clause inserted in his Valencia contract to fend off interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona in a player who had scored his first Liga goal in January 2019.

    NOW: Valencia's youngest-ever Champions League goalscorer and the youngest player ever to make 50 Liga appearances for the club eventually left for Manchester City in the summer of 2020, with the Premier League giants paying just £21m ($27m) for the Spain international.

  40. Ryan Sessegnon | Fulham
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    #11 Ryan Sessegnon | Fulham

    THEN: After hitting 15 goals during Fulham's 2017-18 Championship campaign, the 'new Gareth Bale' was finding defences a little more difficult to breeze through in the Premier League, but had still become the first player born in the 2000s to score in England's top flight.

    NOW: Sessegnon did enough in his debut season in the Premier League to earn himself a £25m ($32m) move to Tottenham in August 2020, though he struggled to make an impact during his first 18 months in north London. He's now on loan at Hoffenheim, where he is enjoying something of a resurgence.

  41. Morgan Gibbs-White | Wolves
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    #10 Morgan Gibbs-White | Wolves

    THEN: The midfielder was being tipped to do great things by Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, having already made a positive impression at Molineux by racking up an assist in his first Premier League start, against Chelsea, in December 2018.

    NOW: Having fallen down the pecking order at Molineux, England Under-21 international Gibbs-White spent the first half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Swansea City before being recalled by his parent club amid an injury crisis over the winter.

  42. Moise Kean | Juventus
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    #9 Moise Kean | Juventus

    THEN: Having already made his Italy debut, the explosive striker was just starting to catch fire at Juventus, opening his account for the season in a Coppa Italia clash with Bologna in January before netting a double against Udinese in March.

    NOW: Kean went on to score in six consecutive games for club and country before being surprisingly sold to Everton at the end of the season for £23m ($30m). He struggled at Goodison Park, however, and has spent the 2020-21 season rebuilding his reputation during an impressive loan spell at Paris Saint-Germain.

  43. Diego Lainez | Real Betis
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    #8 Diego Lainez | Real Betis

    THEN: The diminutive No.10  had not even locked down a regular starting spot at Club America when Real Betis elected to pay €14m (£12.2m/$15.8m) for his services in January 2019. 'The Mexican Messi' had made a promising start to his career in Spain, though, by netting in a Europa League clash with Rennes.

    NOW: The 19-year-old is developing well, having established himself in the Andalusians' senior squad, although is primarily used as a substitute.

  44. Sandro Tonali | Brescia
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    #7 Sandro Tonali | Brescia

    THEN: The silky-skilled playmaker had yet to make his first appearance in Serie A, though he had already been called up by Italy and was drawing comparisons with Andrea Pirlo on account of his classy displays for Brescia in Serie B.

    NOW: Tonali proved himself in the top-flight following Brescia's promotion in 2019, leading to AC Milan taking him on an initial loan in the summer of 2020, though his expected permanent move to San Siro could end up costing as much as €35m (£32m/$41m).

  45. Alphonso Davies | Bayern Munich
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    #6 Alphonso Davies | Bayern Munich

    THEN: The Ghana-born Canada international had only just arrived at Bayern Munich, even though his $22m (£17m) transfer from Vancouver Whitecaps had been agreed the summer before. However, the versatile winger had already won over then-coach Niko Kovac, who described Davies as "a diamond in the rough".

    NOW: After a slow start to life in Bavaria, Davies was a revelation during the 2019-20 campaign after being converted into an attacking full-back by Hansi Flick. Would likely have been in the Ballon d'Or reckoning had it been awarded last year after playing a key role in Bayern's treble-winning season.

  46. Rodrygo | Real Madrid
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    #5 Rodrygo | Real Madrid

    THEN: Real Madrid were hoping that history would repeat itself with the Blancos having returned to Brazil a year after signing Vinicius Junior to snap up his former international team-mate at Under-17 level, Rodrygo, for €40m (£35m/$44.5m).

    NOW: The pacy striker marked his Liga debut with a goal inside 93 seconds and scored a perfect hat-trick on his first Champions League start, with his history-making exploits having earned him two Brazil caps and the NXGN 2020 prize.

  47. Phil Foden | Manchester City
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    #4 Phil Foden | Manchester City

    THEN: Described by Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as "a diamond", Foden had become a regular member of one of the strongest squads English football had ever seen and was starting regularly in cup competitions.

    NOW: Foden's influence at the Etihad has increased incrementally and he has now become a regular starter for City, as well as a full England international. Regarded as one of the finest midfield talents on the planet, it will not be long before he is deemed undroppable for both club and country.

  48. Callum Hudson-Odoi | Chelsea
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    #3 Callum Hudson-Odoi | Chelsea

    THEN: The Chelsea academy product had the world at his feet, having already received his first England call-up. Bayern Munich had also pressed hard to sign the lightning-quick winger during the January transfer window, but their £35m ($46m) bid had been rebuffed by the Blues.

    NOW: Despite Bayern's continued interest, Hudson-Odoi ultimately committed his future to Chelsea by penning a long-term contract with the club, though he continued to struggle for minutes due to injuries and seemingly a lack of faith from Blues boss Frank Lampard. Has enjoyed a new lease of life playing as a wing-back since Thomas Tuchel's arrival in west London.

  49. Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid
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    #2 Vinicius Junior | Real Madrid

    THEN: The winger's debut season at Santiago Bernabeu had been interrupted by injury, but the Brazilian had already shown why Real Madrid had signed him as a 16-year-old from Flamengo. Indeed, Vinicius had been so impressive, most notably in a Copa del Rey Clasico at Camp Nou, that he had even received his first Selecao call-up.

    NOW: Though his finishing and decision-making in the final third still sometimes leaves a lot to be desired, Vinicius has developed into a genuine match-winner under Zinedine Zidane, though there are some reports suggesting he could be sold this summer.

  50. Jadon Sancho | Borussia Dortmund
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    #1 Jadon Sancho | Borussia Dortmund

    THEN: The prodigiously gifted winger was flying high at Signal Iduna Park and had already been capped by England. It was easy to understand why Lothar Matthaus felt that Dortmund paying Manchester City just £8m ($10.4m) for Sancho was "like winning the lottery".

    NOW: The 2019 NXGN winner has firmly established himself as one of the most exciting – and valuable – young players in world football having broken a number of Bundesliga records during his time at Dortmund. Sancho is now valued at well over £100m as Premier League clubs again consider summer bids.