These players were tipped for stardom in 2017

Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2017 according to GOAL

GOAL annually releases a list of the top 50 wonderkids of each year in their NXGN series, but where are the top 2017 prospects today?

Tipping youngsters for stardom is easier said than done, especially as players tend to develop at different rates. It only takes one bad injury or the wrong move to mess with a youngster’s career trajectory.

We’ve taken a closer look at the NXGN list from 2017 and have assessed where the top 10 wonderkids of that year are today.

10. Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Since being tipped for stardom in 2017, injuries haven’t been kind to the former Man Utd academy graduate. He’s suffered two ACL injuries and has had numerous other injury problems throughout his career.

He’s currently on the books with Bundesliga table toppers Bayer Leverkusen, although he’s not featured this season whatsoever.

With his contract set to expire in the summer, it seems more than likely that the 26-year-old will be on the move soon. Perhaps a return to the Premier League could be in the pipeline?

9. Martin Odegaard

You can’t argue with this shout. After leaving Real Madrid behind, Odegaard has transformed into one of the best creative midfielders in Europe with Arsenal.

The Norwegian was tipped for stardom from an incredibly young age, but he’s really come into his own during the last two years in north London.

Now the captain of Arsenal and an integral role in Mikel Arteta’s system, Odegaard has definitely lived up to the hype from 2017.

Martin Odegaard of Arsenal celebrates

QUIZ: Can you name Arsenal’s top 30 Premier League goalscorers?

8. Felix Passlack

Following an exciting breakthrough at Borussia Dortmund, Passlack’s career never really took off like some people had expected.

The wing-back spent several years out on loan and it eventually became clear that he didn’t have a long-term future at Dortmund. After making a total of 55 appearances for Die Borussen, he left in 2023 to join VfL Bochum.

7. Malang Sarr

After some excellent years with Nice, Chelsea were the club that took a punt on Sarr in 2020. It seemed like the perfect move for him at the time, although things quickly took a sideways turn.

Since arriving at Chelsea in 2020, Sarr has only made 21 senior appearances and he’s not featured whatsoever under Mauricio Pochettino.

Given he’s still only 25, he’s still got plenty of time to turn his career around.

6. Manuel Locatelli

Once dubbed as the next Andrea Pirlo, Locatelli’s career has somewhat mirrored the legendary Italian. After spending his younger years with AC Milan, he now finds himself at Juventus after a short pit stop at Sassuolo.

The 26-year-old hasn’t come close to emulating the quality of Pirlo, but in fairness, not many players from this generation have. He’s been a solid enough performer in Massimiliano Allegri’s side, although he’s still waiting to win his first trophy with Juventus.

READ NEXT: The 6 wonderkids with a greater potential than Kobbie Mainoo according to GOAL

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 35 players with the most Champions League assists of all time?

5. Alexander Isak

Injuries have hampered his progression at times, but when fully fit, there aren’t many Premier League forwards who are more deadly than Isak.

The 24-year-old is currently averaging a Premier League goal contribution every 105 minutes and it’s no surprise that plenty of Europe’s top sides are eyeing him up.

We have a sneaky feeling that Isak has only just got started. Watch this space.

4. Alban Lafont

After growing a reputation with Toulouse in his younger years, Lafont spent a couple of years with Fiorentina before returning to France and joining Nantes.

He’s enjoyed a solid career in Ligue 1, but perhaps hasn’t quite lived up to his original hype from back in the day.

3. Christian Pulisic

The United States winger rose to fame during his early years with Borussia Dortmund. A tricky wide man with an abundance of pace and skill, he seemingly had everything to cut it at the top level.

While he showcased some of that skill during his stint in the Premier League, there’s no denying that the American’s career stalled during his four-year stay with Chelsea.

Thankfully, he’s looked back to his best since making the move to Italy and joining AC Milan. With 21 goal contributions in 2023-24 so far, Pulisic is currently playing some of the best football of his career to date.

2. Kylian Mbappe

Not done bad for himself, has he?

Mbappe has scored goals for fun in the Champions League.

QUIZ: Can you name every club Kylian Mbappe has scored against in the Champions League?

1. Gianluigi Donnarumma

The Italian shot-stopper has already racked up over 400 games for club and country which is some going. After making his senior debut for AC Milan at just 16 years old, he’s not slowed down.

Widely considered as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, Donnarumma has achieved more in his career by the age of 25 than the majority of players will during their entire career.

By the time he hangs up his gloves, he could give Gianluigi Buffon a run for his money in terms of career appearances.