The 10 teenagers to have played the most minutes across Europe this term

Quick Reads

Manchester United and Crystal Palace players feature among the 10 teenagers to have played the most minutes across Europe’s big four leagues.

As well as the two Premier League representatives, two players come from Serie A, just one from La Liga, and an impressive five from the Bundesliga.

This lot have got big futures ahead of them.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) – 1170 minutes

Just really good. Depressingly good, in fact. Donnarumma is still only 18 and has played every single minute for AC Milan this season, while he is set take over as Italy’s No.1 following the retirement of Gianluigi Buffon.

He was born in 1999, FFS.

READ: Gianluigi Donnarumma – Already heading for greatness

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund) – 849 minutes

“I love having the ball, just running with it, and going through difficult situations,” Pulisic told the Independent in a recent interview. “It’s just fun for me whenever I have it.”

This month he produced a moment of skill so slick it made Tom Victor really quite sad that the attacker won’t be playing at the 2018 World Cup.

READ: Pulisic, Weah, Litmanen & the most exciting players not to play at the WC

Dayotchanculle Upamecano (RB Leipzig) – 832 minutes

RB Leipzig has been the home of plenty of promising young talents in recent years and Upamecano is the latest to impress.

The French centre-back moved to the Bundesliga outfit last January after reportedly attracting interest from Arsenal and Barcelona.

Dennis Geiga (Hoffenheim) – 751 minutes

“For a 19-year-old, he’s a really cool customer,” Julian Nagelsmann said of Geiga after the midfielder scored his first Bundesliga goal in Hoffenheim’s victory over Schalke in September.

Hoffenheim supporters could have been excused for worrying that the club would struggle to replace Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule, but Giega, whose names translates as ‘the Violinist’, has ensured the music hasn’t stopped.

Federico Valverde (Deportivo) – 706 minutes

The sole representative from La Liga, Valverde is on loan at Deportivo from Real Madrid and spent a week training with Arsenal in 2015.

Deportivo may be struggling towards the bottom of the table but Valverde has already spoke of his desire to stay at the club beyond his one-year loan spell.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah (Crystal Palace) – 702 minutes

Crystal Palace may have endured a difficult season, but two positives for the Eagles have been the performances of a pair of young players on loan from Chelsea and Manchester United.

While Ruben Loftus-Cheek has gone on to break into the England team, Fosu-Mensah has matched the Chelsea’s man’s achievements by earning his first two caps for the Netherlands.

Dan-Axel Zagadou (Borussia Dortmund) – 647 minutes

If Borussia Dortmund supporters’ song for Zagadou isn’t about pushing a pineapple and shaking a tree then we’re not interested in football anymore. Sorry.

Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina) – 626 minutes

Named fifth in FourFourTwo’s 100 most exciting teenagers in the world, Chiesa turned 20 on October 25 but had already established himself in Fiorentina’s first team.

The son of Enrico Chiesa, who was part of the Parma side which won the UEFA Cup in 1999, Federico has already played for Italy’s senior side, albeit in an unofficial friendly against San Marino.

Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) – 613 minutes

You might have heard of this lad. Rashford didn’t turn 20 until October 31, meaning he played 613 minutes of top-flight football as a teenager this term.

Jose Mourinho may not be known for his trust in young players, but no other Manchester United player last season made more appearances than Rashford’s 53.

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen) – 591 minutes

Havertz became the youngest ever player to appear for Leverkusen last year and even had to miss the second leg of the Champions League defeat to Atletico Madrid as he was sitting an exam.

The midfielder has been compared to Mesut Ozil by former Germany international Rudi Voller and is heavily linked with a move to Liverpool.

READ: Kai Havertz, Bayer 04 Leverkusen’s 17-year-old wonderkid


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