The likes of Alejandro Garnacho and Evan Ferguson have lit up the Premier League with their youthful exuberance this season, but how do they stack up against the rest of Europe?
Teenage wonderkids come and go, with it very easy to become a flash in the pan and nothing more. But when a youth prospect breaks through and immediately shows they have an end product, teams are very quickly aware that they could be in possession of a star in the making.
It’s one thing looking sharp as a youngster, but to turn that promise into end product is an entirely different beast, separating the good from the great. Goals get people off their seats and win games. If you’re scoring them, you’re doing alright. It’s pretty simple.
So with that in mind, here are the 10 teenagers with the most goals across Europe’s major leagues so far this season, as the 2022-23 campaign draws to a close. Lyon’s Rayan Cherki has also scored three goals this season but misses out on our top 10 due to his goals-per-minute ratio.
10. Julio Enciso
Honourable mention to Rayan Cherki who has also bagged three goals, but misses out due to a lower goals-per-minute rate.
It feels like Enciso spawned in halfway through Brighton’s 2022-23 season and just immediately looked like an elite prospect. They’re pretty good at unearthing those.
The season is now coming to a close and the Paraguayan has become a regular under Roberto De Zerbi. Expect him to be the subject of a £100m bid in around 12 months, while his replacement is being created in their secret chamber.
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) May 14, 2023
9. Jamie Bynoe-Gittens
The 18-year-old from London headed to Germany to sign for Borussia Dortmund in 2020 after two years with Manchester City, and immediately looked a force in their youth ranks.
Bynoe-Gittens scored twice against Manchester United in the 2021-22 UEFA Youth League, and has spent this season breaking into the first team. He’s made 20 appearances in all competitions to date; a sign of how highly he is rated by the club.
8. Desire Doue
At just 17 years old, Doue finds himself a regular in the first team at Rennes as they push for a finish inside the Ligue 1 top six that would secure them European football.
As well as forcing his way into the senior setup well ahead of schedule, the attacking midfielder has shown his eye for goal. He doesn’t even turn 18 until June.
7. Alejandro Garnacho
It’s been a whirlwind season for Garnacho. After making his senior United debut in 2021-22 and then helping the club to the FA Youth Cup, he was taken on the first team’s pre-season tour by Erik ten Hag, but wasn’t allowed to make an impact after failing to meet the manager’s disciplinary standards.
He’s since scrubbed up, though, ensuring he is more punctual and more attentive to the rules laid out by the boss, and has become a key part of United’s success this season as a result.
The 18-year-old recently penned a new contract and returned from a two-month injury absence by coming off the bench and scoring to seal victory for United against Fulham; his fifth goal contribution of the season.
Garnacho’s goal against Wolves from the stands 🤩🔴
(via mufchants/TT) pic.twitter.com/hnX2ME829M
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) May 14, 2023
6. Wilson Odobert
Odobert, who only turned 18 in November, boldly rejected a professional contract from Paris Saint-Germain at the beginning of 2022 and opted to instead leave the club last summer to sign for Troyes.
In doing so, the teenage winger has already found himself regular first-team football in a top league, progressing his career much more than if he were to have stayed in PSG’s youth ranks.
5. Evan Ferguson
2022-23 has proven to be the breakthrough season for 18-year-old Ferguson, but if you watch the Irishman in action, you’d think he was a veteran forward.
What is almost as impressive as his already frightening physical presence, though, is his tactical understanding of the game and how he operates as a striker, dropping deep and occupying defenders, or slipping into the space between them to get shots away.
4. Eliesse Ben Seghir
Ben Seghir only turned 18 at the beginning of this year, but already finds himself playing a key role as an attacking midfielder for a quietly impressive Monaco side.
He helped his side to a 3-2 victory over Auxerre on his first Ligue 1 appearance this season by scoring a brace. Big baller.
3. Mathys Tel
The latest youth talent to break into the senior squad at Bayern Munich, Tel is another alumni of the famed Rennes academy.
Dazzling with his impressive dribbling and technical ability, Tel has looked a natural at the top level and weighed in with a handful of goals for Bayern this season, becoming the youngest scorer in both the DfB-Pokal and the Bundesliga earlier this season.
2. Youssoufa Moukoko
At barely 18 years old Moukoko has already demonstrated an incredible eye for goal at all age groups, and has stepped up for Dortmund as the next big thing in the season following Erling Haaland’s departure.
That’s not to say he’s been anywhere near as prolific as the Norwegian yet – nobody has, because he’s a freak – but Moukoko has certainly shown why he is so highly rated and already so trusted by manager Edin Terzic.
Moukoko, STOP THAT 🥶✨pic.twitter.com/is4C6skOoK
— 433 (@433) October 8, 2022
1. Jude Bellingham
There aren’t words for this guy. Bellingham feels like he’s been around for years, because he has, but he’s still only 19.
In what looks set to be his final season for Dortmund before a move to Real Madrid goes through, the Englishman has shown another level of maturity and leadership to his game, weighing in with eight goals of his own from midfield.