Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland and Alphonso Davies lead the Bundesliga contingent on the Golden Boy 2020 shortlist. bundesliga.com takes a look at their claims…
In Mario Götze and Renato Sanches, the Bundesliga boasts two previous winners of the competition run by Italian sports newspaper Tuttosport since 2003, celebrating the best footballer under the age of 21 in one of Europe's top-flight leagues.
A third should be in the offing with this collection ready for the winner announced on 14 December…
In the space of two years, Sancho has gone from being one of the Bundesliga's hottest prospects to one of its biggest stars, and 2019/20 was certainly his most accomplished campaign to date. The England winger boasts the rare ability of being both a clinical finisher and an eagle-eyed creator, with his 17 goals and 16 assists going a long way towards ensuring Dortmund second place in the table and a return to the UEFA Champions League. Sancho's season highlights included impressive displays against fellow European hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, plus a first career hat-trick against Paderborn. After inspiring BVB to Supercup victory over Bayern Munich in August, the 20-year-old will be keen to get his hands on more silverware in 2020/21 - and if he keeps performing at the same level as this term, you certainly wouldn't bet against it.
Watch: The tactical evolution of Sancho's game
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Plenty of young players have kicked off their Bundesliga careers with a bang, but surely none will ever be quite so ear-splitting as that of Haaland. The Norwegian teenager announced his mid-season arrival from Salzburg in spectacular fashion, coming off the bench to score a match-winning hat-trick for Dortmund in Augsburg. Further braces followed against Cologne and Union Berlin as Haaland - the son of former pro Alf-Inge - made a record-breaking start to life in the German top flight. His double against Leipzig on Matchday 33 secured BVB's second-place finish and took his tally to 13 goals in 14 outings, or one every 75 minutes. The dead-eyed striker that Dortmund had been seeking as the successor to Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Haaland will no doubt be capable of doing even greater damage over a full season, having notched 44 goals in all competitions for Salzburg and Dortmund throughout 2019/20.
Watch: From Bryne to the Bundesliga - The Erling Haaland story
When Bayern swooped to sign 17-year-old winger Davies in summer 2018, he was all but unknown in Europe – yet the boy born in a Ghanaian refugee camp had quietly been making a name for himself in the MLS, and was already tipped as a once-in-a-generation talent in his adopted country of Canada. The rest of the soccer world caught up quickly enough in 2019/20, as the turbo-charged teen made the most of various defensive injuries to become Bayern's first-choice left-back under Hansi Flick, torturing opposition defences and frustrating opposition attackers with his blistering pace. Nicknamed 'Road Runner' by teammate Thomas Müller, Davies even broke the Bundesliga speed record in his team's title-clinching win over Werder Bremen, clocking an eye-watering 22.7mph. Also chipping in with three goals and five assists, he more than played his part in Bayern's eighth consecutive title win, and perhaps the scariest thought – certainly for the rest of the German top flight – is that the newly crowned Rookie of the Season still has plenty of room for improvement.
Watch: Alphonso Davies under the tactical microscope