This article ranks the top 20 young African talents in the world right now. The continent’s football is coming under the spotlight once again, with seven of the 10 CAF World Cup Qualifying groups still up for grabs heading into the final round of matches.
Not all of the players featured here will be competing in this weekend’s qualifying clashes, and only a select few will be performing at the World Cup next summer.
However, regardless of the prognosis for their short-term international future, all 20 of these players could be set for glorious, glistening careers.
In compiling this list, I have taken 21 as the cut-off point, thus, exceptional African youngsters such as Vincent Wanyama, Victor Moses and Emmanuel Badu (all 22), as well as Lacina Traore (23) all miss out.
The ranking of this list considers reputation, expectation and promise, but it does also place a value upon current performance. The final shortlist ran to nearly 50 names, with each being considered and evaluated before being rejected or accepted. I have little doubt that six months to a year of progress could easily see the likes of Sadio Mane, Uche Nwofor or Abdallah Yaisien breach the top 20.