Real Madrid's Marco Asensio Leads Dele Alli, Kylian Mbappe in Under-21 Rankings

Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2017

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 17:  Marco Asensio of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Real Madrid at Estadio Anoeta on September 17, 2017 in San Sebastian, Spain .  (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio has topped a list compiled by French newspaper L'Equipe of the world's best players aged 21 or under. 

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli is ranked in second, Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe third and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele fourth.

Completing the top 10 are Gianluigi Donnarumma of AC Milan, Manchester City duo Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane, Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman, Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford and Timo Werner of RB Leipzig.

In order to be eligible for the poll, players had to be born after January 1, 1996. Scouted Football provided the full list of 50 players:

Germany had the most players on the list with eight, five of whom were in the top 25—Bayer Leverkusen quartet Julian Brandt (13), Jonathan Tah (14), Benjamin Henrichs (17) and Kai Havertz (23) joined Sane and Werner.

French youngsters took seven places in the rankings, while Asensio headed Spain's contingent of five. 

Rashford and Alli were England's only entrants, while Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt was the sole representative for the Netherlands.

Notably, while goalkeeper Donnarumma was ranked fifth in the list, there was not a single defender in the top 10.

Besides the Italian stopper, the entirety of the top-13 ranked players were attacking stars.