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Jude Bellingham, Rasmus Hojlund, Levi Colwill among 2023 Golden Boy nominees

Bellingham, Hojlund, Colwill among 2023 Golden Boy nominees
© Reuters
Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham, Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund and Chelsea's Levi Colwill are among the final 25 nominees for the 2023 Golden Boy award.

Real Madrid's Jude Bellingham, Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund and Chelsea's Levi Colwill are among the final 25 nominees for the 2023 Golden Boy award.

The award is presented to the best European player under the age of 21 over the last 12 months, with Barcelona starlet Gavi the reigning champion from 2022, making him ineligible to retain the prize this year.

A total of 100 players were initially shortlisted for the individual accolade in the summer, but that has since been shortened to just 25 ahead of the official ceremony in Turin in December.

Arguably the favourite to win the award is 20-year-old Englishman Bellingham who has followed up a brilliant 2022-23 campaign at Borussia Dortmund with an electric star to life at Real Madrid.

The midfielder has relished playing in an advanced role in Carlo Ancelotti's side this season and has already scored 10 goals in as many games for Los Blancos across all competitions, including eight in eight La Liga matches to top the Spanish top-flight scoring charts.

Chelsea's Levi Colwill celebrates after the match on August 25, 2023© Reuters

Bellingham is not the only English representative to make the shortlist, as Chelsea academy graduate Colwill is also in the running following a breakthrough 12 months at senior level with the Blues and during a successful loan spell with Brighton & Hove Albion.

The 20-year-old defender made 22 appearances for Brighton last season and helped the Seagulls finish sixth in the Premier League and qualify for the Europa League for the first time in their history.

Colwill has since established himself as a first-team regular at Chelsea under Mauricio Pochettino, starting all eight Premier League fixtures, while he helped England keep a clean sheet on his senior international debut in a 1-0 friendly win over Australia on Friday.

Bellingham and Colwill are vying to become the first English player to win the Golden Boy award since Raheem Sterling for former club Liverpool in 2014.

A total of four Premier League players have made the 25-man shortlist, with Colwill joined by Man United's Hojlund, Brighton's Evan Ferguson and Bournemouth's Milos Kerkez.

Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring their first goal on October 3, 2023© Reuters

Hojlund has established himself as one of Europe's brightest prospects over the last 12 months, with his form in his solitary season at Atalanta BC persuading the Red Devils to fork out £72m on the 20-year-old in the summer.

After scoring 10 goals with Atalanta in 2022-23, the Danish striker has since made a promising start to life under Man United boss Erik ten Hag, scoring three goals in eight games including a brace in a Champions League loss to Galatasaray.

The youngest name on the shortlist is Barcelona's 16-year-old prodigy Lamine Yamal, and Catalan teammate Alejandro Balde is also up for the award, as is Real Madrid's summer signing Arda Guler.

As well as Barca and Real, Bayern Munich (Jamal Musiala and Mathys Tel) Paris Saint-Germain (Warren Zaire-Emery and Xavi Simons) and Benfica (Antonio Silva and Joao Neves) all have two players each among the nominees.

2023 Golden Boy nominees in full:

Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich), Xavi Simons (PSG, on loan at RB Leipzig), Antonio Silva (Benfica), Alejandro Balde (Barcelona), Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen), Benjamin Sesko (RB Leipzig), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta BC), Rasmus Hojlund (Manchester United), Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Johan Bakayoko (PSV Eindhoven), Milos Kerkez (Bournemouth), Arthur Vermeeren (Royal Antwerp), Evan Ferguson (Brighton), Lucas Gourna-Douath (Red Bull Salzburg), Warren Zaire-Emery (PSG), Ousmane Diomande (Sporting Lisbon), Arnau Martinez (Girona), Mathys Tel (Bayern Munich), Andy Diouf (Lens), Arda Guler (Real Madrid), Bilal El Khannouss (Genk), Martin Baturina (Dinamo Zagreb), Joao Neves (Benfica), Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)

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Manchester United's Rasmus Hojlund celebrates scoring their first goal on October 3, 2023
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