Callum Hudson-Odoi featured prominently on the list.

Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2019 according to GOAL

Every year, GOAL creates a list of the 50 best wonderkids in world football. They’re like time capsules, little windows into a time when we all thought some random player we’ve all forgotten exists was going to set the world alight.

One of our favourite things is to go through these lists and imagine these alternate timelines.

Quite often, GOAL’s predictions come true and their wunderkinden fulfil their potential. Sometimes they do something unfathomable like putting Erling Haaland in 33rd place, somewhere between Rhian Brewster and Josh Sargent.

That’s what they did in 2019, which begs the question: Who made the top 10 if Haaland was only 33rd? Stick around, pals, we’re going to tell you.

10. Morgan Gibbs-White

MGW was at Wolves in 2019, making waves with his range of passing and impacting games coming on from the bench.

When Gibbs-White joined Nottingham Forest for a fee that could end up exceeding £42million, eyebrows were raised so high that the clouds were just full of little pairs of eyebrows wondering what Forest were thinking.

He was voted Forest player of the season at the end of his first season. Fair play. He’s about to complete his second season in Nottingham, and is a crucial part of their team.

Word on the street is that Newcastle are sniffing around the English playmaker, and Forest are flirting with relegation to the point that might be considered heavy petting in a public swimming pool.

They’ll need to survive this season if they want to keep hold of their prized asset.

9. Moise Kean

There was a LOT of excitement surrounding Kean in 2019.

A 6ft forward with pace seeping from his very pores. Not long after GOAL’s list was published, Kean made a surprising move to Everton.

Although, that move is perhaps made less surprising when you factor in that Moise was racially abused in Italy and his own teammates failed to defend him.

Kean never really found a home at Everton, but he enjoyed a successful loan move to PSG during the pandemic, followed by another loan, this time back to Juventus.

The Italian subsequently signed permanently for Juve, and is there now. Full circle. Hopefully it works out better for him this time round.

This guy made his Arsenal debut in 2022 aged 15.

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8. Diego Lainez

When Lainez joined Real Betis from Club America in Mexico in 2017, he was still just a baby. Uprooting your entire life and crossing a vast ocean to try something new is a huge deal for anybody, let alone a 16-year-old boy.

Lainez was regularly being compared to Lionel Messi because of his small frame, superb dribbling, and similar playing style. Being compared to Messi is a curse for any footballer because it’s essentially impossible to live up to the hype.

Diego moved back to Mexico last year, where he’s now a regular at Tigres. He’s still only 23, so maybe we’ll see him back in Europe at some point in the future. Who knows?

7. Sandro Tonali

Tonali was still playing in Serie B with Brescia when GOAL put him in 7th place on their NXGN 2019 list. He’d already been capped by Italy despite never having played in Serie A, and the midfielder was drawing comparisons to Andrea Pirlo from every journalist with a laptop.

He wasn’t Pirlo, though. He just had similar hair and was good at free kicks.

He’s got the technical ability but he’s far more combative then Andrea Pirlo. Whilst Pirlo would run a game at his own tempo, dictating play, Tonali disrupts plays and forces transitions.

Sandro moved to his beloved Milan in 2020, and after three years in Lombardy, became the most expensive Italian player of all time when Newcastle United loosened their ginormous purse strings for him.

He hasn’t played football since October after receiving a ten-month ban for betting offences. Tonali is due back three games into the next Premier League season, and will be looking to make up for lost time.

6. Alphonso Davies

Safe to say putting Davies on this list was a smart move. He is mustard.

The man has played almost 200 games for Bayern since joining in January 2019, and has won all the trophies. He might not be getting his hands on the Bundesliga title this year, but there are plenty more trophies ahead for the fastest man in Bavaria.

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5. Rodrygo

Back in 2019, Rodrygo Silva de Goes was still at Santos, but his move to the Bernabeu was confirmed, and the Brazilian was waiting in the wings to join Vinicius Jr in Spain.

Since joining Real Madrid, Rodrygo has become a stalwart in Carlo Ancelotti’s side, forming a quite frightening attacking trident with Vini Jr and Jude Bellingham this season.

4. Phil Foden

The boy wonder is now a man wonder, and has become one of the most integral cogs in Pep’s ever-spinning machine.

Foden has featured in almost all of Man City’s league games this season, which is impressive considering the competition for places in a squad so stacked it’s borderline dangerous.

He’s going to be crucial to England’s chances at the Euros this summer and, at still only 23, the best is almost certainly yet to come. That’s a frightening thought.

3. Callum Hudson-Odoi

It all went a little bit weird and wonky for Callum. When he broke into the Chelsea senior team, we were all quite rightly raving about him.

His talent was there for everyone to see, but managerial turbulence at the absolute basket case that is Chelsea Football Club meant that Callum, a gifted winger, found himself playing wingback or, more often than not, substitute.

A loan to Leverkusen last season was what Hudson-Odoi needed to spice things up a little and, now, he’s joined Morgan Gibbs-White at Nottingham Forest where he’s played more league games this season than in any other season of his senior career.

2. Vinicius Junior

Vini is the man. He’s Gordon Ramsey, he’s Ratatouille, you simply have to let him cook. You’ve got to wonder what’s going to happen with him next season if Kylian Mbappe finally makes his inevitable move to Real Madrid.

Vini, Jude, and Rodrygo are devastating together. Will Kylian play up front, moving Bellingham further back? Doubt it. Will Mbappe play off the left, ousting Vini? Vinicius Junior doesn’t warm no benches.

If the Brazilian stays at the Bernabeu, he will become a club legend, no doubt about it. Let’s see what happens, eh?

1. Jadon Sancho

It’s been a strange couple of years for Jadon Sancho. The forward was absolutely electric at Dortmund. Often superb, sometimes unplayable. Man United dropped £73million to bring him back to England, and nobody would have questioned the wisdom in that decision.

Sancho stalled to a halt at United. Something was not right. He became a scapegoat for Erik ten Hag’s super-weird team, and was eventually ostracised from the squad.

A loan move back to Dortmund was exactly what the doctor ordered, and he immediately rediscovered his mojo in Germany.

His future at Manchester United could still be bright, but that’s probably dependent on whether Erik ten Hag is still the manager next season. Right now, that is looking quite unlikely, but anything could happen.