Rasmus Hojlund

Hojlund makes Golden Boy shortlist

Friday 13 October 2023 10:41

Manchester United striker Rasmus Hojlund is still in the running for the prestigious Golden Boy award, after the 100-strong list for 2023 was shortened to 25 names.

The prize, which is given to the best Under-21 player based in Europe, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, after being established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in 2003 - ironically, the year of Hojlund's birth.

An original list comprising 100 names was announced in June, with the Dane, then at Atalanta, being joined by future United team-mate Alejandro Garnacho.

After injury kept him out for the opening weeks, Hojlund has enjoyed a strong start to life in Manchester, scoring three times in eight games and the 20-year-old is now bidding to follow three former Reds and a current colleague in winning the accolade.

Wayne Rooney was the second recipient, in 2004, and Wazza was followed by Anderson (2008) and Paul Pogba (2013), with the latter recognised after he had left the club for Juventus.

Our current no.9, Anthony Martial, was 2015's Golden Boy, receiving the prize shortly after joining the Reds from Monaco on transfer-deadline day.

Hojlund is now striving to join that prestigious list of past winners, which also includes the likes of Lionel Messi (2005), Kylian Mbappe (2017) and Erling Haaland (2020).

Rasmus is up against some serious talent, with Real Madrid and England's Jude Bellingham the strong favourite to come out on top this year.

Bayern Munich star Jamal Musiala and 16-year-old Barcelona forward Lamine Yamal are on the list too, with the Premier League also represented by Levi Colwill (Chelsea), Evan Ferguson (Brighton) and Milos Kerkez (Bournemouth).

Barcelona midfielder Gavi won last year, making him ineligible this time around, despite the fact he is still only 19.

The winner of the award is decided by journalists' votes, with each judge giving 10 points to their first pick, seven for second, five for third, three for fourth and one for fifth.

Votes are collated and the results will be announced ahead of an award ceremony that will take place in Turin on 4 December.

Golden Boy nominees: Jude Bellingham, Jamal Musiala, Xavi Simons, Antonio Silva, Alejandro Balde, Florian Wirtz, Benjamin Sesko, Giorgio Scalvini, Rasmus Hojlund, Levi Colwill, Johan Bakayoko, Milos Kerkez, Arthur Vermeeren, Evan Ferguson, Lucas Gourna-Douath, Warren Zaire-Emery, Ousmane Diomande, Arnau Martinez, Mathys Tel, Andy Diouf, Arda Guler, Bilal El Khannouss, Martin Baturina, Joao Neves and Lamine Yamal.