Four Chelsea youngsters are in the running for the prestigious 2020 Golden Boy award, which recognises the most promising young talents in European football.
The longlist features 100 players aged 21 or under who play for European clubs and have caught the eye over the past 12 months. Having made the list last year, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ethan Ampadu are once again nominees, with the duo joined by Billy Gilmour and Tino Anjorin.
Hudson-Odoi became a full England international last season and played his part in our Europa League triumph, scoring four of his five goals in that competition despite missing the final through injury. He signed a new long-term Chelsea contract in September and has played 25 times under Frank Lampard this term.
Ampadu has been on loan in Germany with RB Leipzig and featured in the Champions League this season, as well as helping Wales qualify for the now-rescheduled Euro 2020 finals.
Gilmour and Anjorin have both made their Blues breakthroughs in recent months, with the former handed back-to-back man-of-the-match awards in our two matches before the suspension of football in England, against Liverpool in the FA Cup and Everton in the Premier League. He scored twice in a friendly against QPR at the weekend.
Anjorin made his league debut in the Everton game as a second-half substitute and was the top scorer for our unbeaten development squad this season. Both Gilmour and Anjorin have also signed long-term contracts at Stamford Bridge this season.
The Premier League is well represented in the selection listed by Italian sports publication Tuttosport, with Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli, Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon, Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden all included.
Among the favourites for the award are the Borussia Dortmund duo Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Ansu Fati of Barcelona.
Past winners of the Golden Boy award, which has been presented since 2003, include Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. Those with Chelsea connections are Cesc Fabregas and Alexandre Pato, who won the award while playing for other clubs prior to moving to west London.
Hudson-Odoi and Ampadu were joined on last year’s longlist by Mason Mount, Marc Guehi and Dujon Sterling, with Mount the only one to make the final 20-man shortlist announced in November. The award was eventually claimed by Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix.