We conclude our yearly 22under22 Countdown, in which we list off the top 22 young talents in the world, with Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembélé. Dortmund are known for signing excellent young players and giving them a large responsibility within the first team, as is evidenced by the fact that three Dortmund players featured in this list, and Ousmane Dembélé is one of the greatest products of this philosophy in recent memory. Players such as Marco Reus, Mario Götze, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have all spent the formative parts of their careers at Signal Iduna Park and have all gone on to achieve great success, whether at Dortmund or elsewhere. Ousmane Dembélé is a name that will likely be included among these Dortmund success stories very soon. The 19-year-old Frenchman is simply a phenom, a player that single-handedly justifies the price of admissions for the fans. He is a joy to watch, and he is producing at a high level this year in his debut campaign in the German top flight. Dortmund have yet another gem on their hands.
*Click on each picture for their scouting report and video compilation*
Also Receiving Votes
Row 1: Gabriel Barbosa (Internazionale/Brazil), Hector Bellerin (Arsenal/Spain), Rodrigo Bentancur (Boca Juniors/Uruguay), Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Wylan Cyprien (OGC Nice/France)
Row 2: Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Monchengladbach/Germany), Moussa Dembele (Celtic/France), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Netherlands), Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Netherlands), Amadou Diawara (Napoli/Guinea)
Row 3: Sebastian Driussi (River Plate/Argentina), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany), Kelechi Iheanacho (Manchester City/Nigeria), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal/Nigeria), Justin Kluivert (Ajax/Netherlands)
Row 4: Alban Lafont (Toulouse/France), Gelson Martins (Sporting CP/Portugal), Ruben Neves (FC Porto/Portugal), Cristian Pavon (Boca Juniors/Argentina), Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain/France)
Row 5: Malang Sarr (OGC Nice/France), Andre Silva (FC Porto/Portugal), Niklas Sule (Hoffenheim/Germany), Jesus Vallejo (Eintracht Frankfurt/Spain)
Voting was held by a committee that judged each player based on their current ability and potential ability. After creating a shortlist of 100 players, the list was narrowed down to a final 22. Then, an additional round of voting was done to determine the order of the final list. The EiF Ability Score represents the summation of the all of the judges’ ratings of current ability and potential ability, the highest possible score being an 80.