World’s best youngsters ranked with Jadon Sancho, Arsenal starlet Saka and Man Utd teen Greenwood leading the way

A NEW study has named Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka as top of their class following a fantastic breakout into senior football.

The England pair are establishing themselves as household names and could play a big role at the upcoming Euros.

Jadon Sancho has led a surge of youth talent emerging at Borussia DortmundCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Bukayo Saka was named top of his age category in the studyCredit: Getty Images – Getty

Key to any young player’s progression is game time at an elite level and an analysis of hot prospects has revealed the pair to be head and shoulders above their contemporaries.

Renowned football research group CIES Observatory created a formula to rank starlets born after the millennium, weighing their game time in domestic action against the quality of the team they play for.

The players were then divided into four groups, based on the year of their birth.

Coming out on top in the class of 2000 was Borussia Dortmund star Sancho, who has racked up almost 100 Bundesliga appearances.

Erling Haaland was ranked third in this group with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies separating the Dortmund team-mates on the podium.

Wolves star Pedro Neto took fifth, ahead of Manchester City pair Phil Foden and Ferran Torres.



  1. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
  2. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)
  3. Erling Haaland (Dortmund)
  4. Sven Botman (Lille)
  5. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)
  6. Pedro Neto (Wolves)
  7. Phil Foden (Man City)
  8. Ferran Torres (Man City)
  9. Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus)
  10. Jonathan David (Lille)


  1. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
  2. Mason Greenwood (Man Utd)
  3. Benoit Badiashile (Monaco)
  4. Myron Boadu (AZ Alkmaar)
  5. Ersin Destanoglu (Besiktas)
  6. Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge)
  7. Jason Knight (Derby)
  8. Anatoliy Trubin (Shakhtar Donetsk)
  9. Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
  10. Michael Olise (Reading)

The competition for places in this class was incredibly high with Barcelona’s Sergino Dest, Wesley Fofana of Leicester and Moise Kean all just outside the top ten.

In the class of 2001, Arsenal winger Saka took first place comfortably.

Having just made his 50th Premier League appearance, the 19-year-old beat Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood to the number one spot.

Fellow English football prospects Jason Knight of Derby, Liverpool’s Curtis Jones and Reading playmaker Michael Olise also made the top ten.

But there were no Premier League players in the class of 2002, where 18-year-old Barcelona midfielder Pedri took first place.

Ansu Fati was left in ninth, having missed much of the season through injury, with Gio Reyna and Eduardo Camavinga in the top five based on the experience formula.


Very few players born in 2003 or later have accumulated substantial game time at high levels, with this category topped by Florian Wirtz.

The Bayer Leverkusen talent, 17, has stepped into Kai Havertz’s old position to bag four goals in 20 league games this season.

Jude Bellingham, Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, on loan at Blackburn, and Bayern Munich breakout star Jamal Musiala also featured high up in this class.

In total, 12 players produced in English football made the four 25-man lists across the different age groups.

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  1. Pedri (Barcelona)
  2. Leonidas Stergiou (St Gallen)
  3. Jeremy Doku (Rennes)
  4. Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
  5. Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes)
  6. Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP)
  7. Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax)
  8. Ansu Fati (Barcelona)
  9. Kaio Jorge (Santos)
  10. Talles Magno (Vasco da Gama)


  1. Florian Wirtz (Leverkusen)
  2. Jude Bellingham (Dortmund)
  3. Isak Johannesson (Norrkoping)
  4. Harvey Elliott (Liverpool)
  5. Fabricio Diaz (Liverpool Montevideo)
  6. Jamal Musiala (Bayern)
  7. Youri Regeer (Ajax)
  8. Wahid Faghir (Vejle BK)
  9. Lucas Gourna-Douath (Saint-Etienne)
  10. Loizos Loizou (Omonia)

Watch Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho star in epic new Pepsi Max advert and trio show off flicks and tricks

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