Spurs hero Alli features on list of Europe’s 10 best young stars

Date published: Wednesday 25th January 2017 4:32

Dele Alli is the only Premier League man to make Whoscored’s top 10 youngsters in Europe; but who else makes the cut?


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On Saturday, as Tottenham searched to half the deficit at Manchester City, Dele Alli headed in his 11th Premier League goal of the season. With 16 games of the campaign remaining, the England international has already bettered last season’s goal record, but how does he rank alongside his peers?

Of players aged 21 and under, and to have made 10 or more appearances this term, WhoScored.com reveal the top 10 below…

Bernardo – RB Leipzig (WhoScored.com rating 7.24)

RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga debut season is going better than anyone would have expected, with a 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend keeping them within three points of league leaders Bayern Munich. Many were critical of Die Bullen upon their promotion but they’ve won numerous admirers for their style of football and youthful exuberance, noted in the average age of their squad (24.1).

21-year-old right-back Bernardo has played a big role in their fine start to life in Germany’s top tier, with 3 tackles and 2.7 interceptions per game placing second and third, respectively, of all RB Leipzig players this season. They certainly weren’t a popular bet by punters who used the PMU for sport betting before the season.

Timo Werner – RB Leipzig (7.26)

The second of three RB Leipzig players, a goal in their 3-0 victory over Frankfurt at the weekend not only helped the Bundesliga debutants return to winning ways following a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Bayern prior to the Winterpause, but also took Timo Werner to 10 for the season.

After a period of stagnation at VfB Stuttgart, RB Leipzig gladly secured his services upon their relegation and they are all the better for it with his league tally among the better returns in the Bundesliga and helping return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.26.

Marco Llorente– Alaves (7.26)

Marcos Llorente’s family is heavily engrained in Real Madrid, with his father Francisco Llorente, great uncle Francisco Gento and grandfather Ramon Grosso all turning out for Los Blancos during their illustrious history.

While the trio all played further forward, however, 21-year-old Llorente is better served in a deeper position. Currently on loan at Alaves, the Spaniard is averaging 4.1 tackles per game, one of the best returns on the continent, with his fine form understandably earning him numerous admirers in Europe.

Dele Alli – Tottenham (7.33)

The Premier League’s highest rated player aged 21 and under, Dele Alli’s fine goalscoring exploits having rightly been praised in recent weeks. The England international’s last six league appearances have yielded eight goals and one assist.

He started the season slowly but has rediscovered his groove at just the right time as Spurs pursue domestic glory. A conversion rate of 21.2% is more than respectable, with Alli’s WhoScored.com rating of 7.33 the 7th best of all young players in Europe’s top five leagues this season.

Adrien Rabiot – PSG (7.33)

The arrival of Grzegorz Krychowiak threatened to limit Adrien Rabiot’s playing time and despite the Pole’s poor form following his PSG arrival, the latter has struggled to consolidate a regular first team spot.

Rabiot’s made just eight league starts under Unai Emery, but it’s not to say he has not impressed under the Spanish manager. A 91% pass success rate ranks among the top-10 player in France’s top tier this term and reinforces a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘passing’ to help earn a rating of 7.33.

Wylan Cyprien – Nice (7.38)

Remaining in Ligue 1 and it’s little surprise to see youngster Wylan Cyprien impress for high-flying Nice. Having broken through the ranks at Lens, the 21-year-old had outgrown Ligue 2 and Nice were more than willing to offer him a route to France’s top tier. He’s taken to his new surroundings like a duck to water as his WhoScored.com rating (7.38) suggests.

He ranks second for accurate passes (1347) and is the second most fouled player (53) in the league as opponents resort to desperate measures to limit Cyprien’s influence. The young Frenchman has been linked with a Premier League switch and for good measure considering his excellent form under Lucien Favre this term.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – Lazio (7.41)

The wheels looked set to fall off for Lazio before the season had even begun as Marcelo Bielsa left the Serie A giants just two days after his appointment back in July. Simone Inzaghi, who was relieved of his temporary duties for Bielsa, was brought in permanently and the Rome outfit haven’t looked back. While a 2-0 loss at Juventus was to be expected, Lazio currently sit 4th in Italy’s top tier in their quest to secure a European finish with youngster Sergej Milinkovic-Savic starring.

The Serbian youngster has maximised his standing to win more aerial duels (94) than any other player in Serie A this season and has chipped in with four goals and three assists to return a WhoScored.com rating of 7.41.

Ousmane Dembele – Borussia Dortmund (7.42)

Last season, Ousmane Dembele was earning rave reviews for Rennes and was courted by the biggest clubs on the continent. Borussia Dortmund won the race to secure the teenager’s services and he’s again thriving in domestic competition. Thomas Tuchel’s side is awash with young talent, with Alexander Isak the latest to join the ranks, though it’s Dembele who is again earning the plaudits.

Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (7.51) has earned a better WhoScored.com rating than the winger (7.42) of all Dortmund players, that in turn the third best of all young players in Europe’s top five leagues this term. No player has created more clear-cut goalscoring opportunities than the Frenchman (9), who ranks second for assists (7) and first for successful dribbles (60) in Germany’s top tier this season.

Thomas Lemar – Monaco (7.47)

Thomas Lemar may have been forced to start on the bench for Monaco’s 4-0 win over Lorient, but he’s played a key role in their rise to the summit of Ligue 1. Leonardo Jardim’s side have scored more goals (64) than any other team in Europe’s top five leagues this season, with Lemar directly involved in 11 (7 goals, 4 assists) of those.

He excels on either the right or left flank and routinely utilises a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘key passes’, noted in that 1.7 per game is better than any Monaco player, while he also ranks highly for dribbles per game (1.4).

Naby Keita – RB Leipzig (7.58)

Rounding off the RB Leipzig triumvirate, and this top-10, is Naby Keita. Having been linked with a move to Arsenal and Liverpool over the summer, the Guinean midfielder opted to swap Austria for Germany and he’s undoubtedly the player fuelling RB Leipzig’s surprising title pursuit.

A WhoScored.com rating of 7.58 is the fourth best in the Bundesliga this season, with Keita routinely utilising his power to drive Die Bullen forward. Of the 70 players to attempt 25 or more dribbles in the Bundesliga this season, Keita boasts the best success rate (71%), while averages of 2.3 tackles and 2.9 interceptions per game are also commendable returns for the 21-year-old midfielder, which has contributed to his fine WhoScored.com rating this term.


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Ben McAleer


All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.

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