A FIFA technical study group awards the most deserving Young Player. To be eligible, a player should be 21 years or younger from the beginning of the World Cup year. As such, there are very few from which the group can elect the winner as teams usually take older and experienced players to the World Cup.
We therefore compiled a list of players that the Technical Study Group (TSG) should definitely nominate for the prize.
1. Kylian Mbappe
Yet to turn 20, Mbappe is already one of the most famous players in the world. His fame has not only come from his big money from AS Monaco to PSG. The player has talent to back it up.
He has scored three goals at the tournament and definitely has more coming. He has lived up to the hype while calming down French fears about how young and inexperienced their team is.
2. Achraf Hakimi
The Moroccan fullback has had the opportunity to play often this season due to injuries to some senior Real Madrid players. Clearly, Hakimi has learnt well.
At the World Cup, Morocco coach played him at both left and right-back. The composure and tenacity with which he fulfilled both roles caught the eye of observers. He was fearless and strong when called upon.
3. Francis Uzoho
Nigeria went into Russia 2018 with the youngest goalkeeper at the tournament. 19 year-old Uzoho would have been overwhelmed by the occasion but it did not show much.
The goalkeeper did his best even as Nigeria crashed out of the group stage. For someone like him, it was a learning experience and he did not fail to show why he was first choice ahead of older goalkeepers.
4. Ismaila Sarr
Rennes and Senegal's Ismaila Sarr is only 20 years old, but he has been compared with some of his nation's greats including El-Hadji Diouf because of his pace and dribbling ability.
What should give his well-wishers a lot of hope is that Sarr was confident as any player needed to be at the World Cup. He ran at defenders and was not afraid to take matters into his hands. It also did not hurt that he could use both feet well.
5. Rodrigo Bentancur
If you are only 20 yet featuring for Juventus Turin, you have to be special. Bentancur is that and more. What he showed is how he is already adept at defending and attacking.
The central midfielder won the ball and passed the ball. His sense of awareness was as if he had been doing this for long. One can only wonder what his limitations are even at this young age.
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