Who are the best young strikers of 2020? And will they live up to their potential? Find out below!
One of the most exciting aspects of watching football is seeing the development of young players. We often watch youngsters being given chances to prove themselves and sometimes these young players surprise everyone with their hunger for success and even at times their maturity in understanding different aspects of the game. There are many stages of development of young players, especially those who are attackers.
It’s usually a long road from making a first team appearance to being a breakout star and appearing in the news headlines. Some players pass these stages quickly some slower, but one thing is for certain and that is the fact that if a player has talent and works hard he will eventually get his due. Having said all that, we have compiled a list of best young strikers of 2020, the ones we think will actually breakout in 2020-21 season. These players have passed some of the stages we mentioned above and are now ready to make their mark. So without further ado, here is our list of best young forwards of 2020:
We have tried to narrow down the players to those who are actually on the brink of showing their full potential and not the players like Sancho and Haaland, who are already established talents. So let’s find out who is next in line to follow the likes of Haaland and Sancho?! its important to note that this list is in no particular order.
OL Lyon is known for developing young players. In fact, the Ligue 1 is specially known for developing young talent. Rayan Cherki is a recent addition to that vast pool of young talents that are playing in Ligue 1. Last season when he was only 16, Cherki became the youngest ever player to score for Lyon. In 2019-20 season he managed to score 3 goals and bag a couple of assists in the very limited time he was given with the first team.
In terms of playing style, Cherki is a flair player capable of running past defenders quite easily. His biggest advantage over many players is that he is completely ambidextrous capable of doing everything with both feet. He seems to be able to provide goals as well as assists. His real standout moment from the last season came against Nantes in a Coupe de France match that Lyon won 4-3. Cherki managed to score twice and assist 2 other goals, showing everyone that he is indeed one of the current best young forwards.
Because of the pandemic, Ligue 1 was cut short last season and as a result many teams have lost important financial revenues, which they have to now remedy with selling their top players and Lyon is no exception. But considering Lyon have sold some of their players and the fact that they could even sell more players, especially their attackers, it could mean that players like Cherki could get a lot more oppurtunities next season, and if he does get those chances then he has to cherish it and prove why he is considered to be one of the best young strikers of 2020.
You Might Also Like : Most Successful Premier League Clubs
It’s inevitable to be compared to Cristiano Ronaldo when you are an exciting young Portuguese striker. And like his megastar countryman Silva has opted to join a Premier League team without ever being an established player in Portugal.
But it could be argued that Wolverhampton is the perfect club for development of Fabio Silva because he would be one of 10 Portuguese players at a club who also has a Portuguese manager. In terms of having an impact on the Porto’s first team, Silva didn’t do a lot, except that at the age 17 he became Porto’s youngest ever goal scorer.
In terms of his playing style Fabio Silva is a target man that has the ability to make his chances count. he has an incredible finishing ability for someone his age. He will have to work hard to get playing time with Wolves but he may find the cup competitions to be the perfect place for him to show his qualities. Wolves have some great strikers, Jimenez being the chief among them, and he could learn the trade of being a goal poacher from them and become one of the best young strikers of 2020.
Gabriel Martinelli is without a doubt one of the current best young strikers, but when Arsenal signed the Brazilian teenager in 2019 many Arsenal fans were dumbfounded as to where Arsenal found him and also why aren't Arsenal buying the so called big players.
Coming from the fourth division of the Brazilian League, no one expected him to reach double figure goals in his first season at Arsenal, a feat that hadn't been done by a teenager at Arsenal since Nicholas Anelka. But Martinelli’s performances at Arsenal came as a surprise to almost anyone as no one expected him to perform as well as he did.
Martinelli's first start at Arsenal came against Nottingham Forest in a Carabao Cup Game where he scored the first and the last game of the match. he also scored another brace in his second start of the season, as well as producing an assist, this time in Europa League. His goals didn’t end there as he scored twice in London derbies, one against West Ham and another against Chelsea, which saw him run 68 meters with the ball, leaving Kante in the dust and drawing the game at Stamford Bridge.
His season was cut short in July as he picked up a knee injury that needed surgery. this came as a blow to Arsenal, as the 18-year-old had become one of their key players, which speaks volumes about his quality. Martinelli’s speed, technique, finishing ability and tenacity are qualities that puts him among best young strikers of 2020.
You Might Also Like : Arsenal Top Scorers of All time
Playing as a backup forward for the Treble winners of Europe is The Dutch U19 international Joshua Zirkzee, who is considered to be one of the best young forwards of 2020. Zirkzee scored 4 goals in 9 matches for Bayern Munich last season and that is an incredible record for the 19-year-old as his chances of playing were limited and he was mostly used as a substitute.
Zirkzee is incredibly comfortable playing as a center forward, which is a rare thing for young strikers as they mostly lack the confidence to do so early on their career. He has a good command on the ball when he receives it, he is quick to see the chances when they come and make the most of them and he is also good in the air, able to score goals with his head.
Being in the shadow of Robert Lewandowski, the best Center forward playing today, might not be ideal but one thing is clear and that is the fact that Zirkzee can learn a lot from Robert Lewandowski. We might also look at the fact that Lewandowski is already 33 and he might not have many years at the top level so it could provide Zirkzee with a small hope of finding his way to the first team.
Although Bayern is usually ruthless when it comes to their number 9 and they usually demand a lot from their forwards so it might not be ideal for Zirkzee to be put into that position but if one thing is for certain, it is that current best young strikers are expected to perform well under pressure, because that would be a vital part of their job in the future, and Zirkzee has already made a good start in regards to that, considering he has scored 2 match-winners for Bayern Munich already.
Quick, strong and with a sharp eye for goal, Moise Kean is everything you want from a center forward. the Italian made a name for himself in the Serie A by scoring for the Champions only when he was 17 and he won the domestic Double in his first season with Juve. Kean was then loaned out to Hellas Verona in order to gain more experience by having some playing time and he did just that, he managed to score some goals too before he returned to Juventus.
The 2018-19 season was the breakout season for Kean as he grabbed headlines by scoring important goals for his club and country. Although he wasn’t used until the start of 2019, Kean managed to score in the Copa Italia in January and that was followed by his goals in Serie A, the most important of which was a match winner against AC Milan. He scored 6 goals in 13 Serie A matches for Juve, as well as a goal for Italy senior team, which made him the youngest ever Italian goal scorer in the nation team.
You Might Also Like : Highest paid Premier League players of 2020
You never know what you will get from young players when it comes to their attitude on and off the pitch. It was speculated that Kean's attitude didn't sit well with higher-ups in Juventus and that led to Juventus selling him quite cheaply (€27.5m) to Everton in the summer of 2019, despite his great potential. Kean has struggled to perform at Everton, even though he is one of the current best young forwards, and his antics off the pitch was a big part of that which caused his exclusion from the first team.
But the arrival of his countryman, Carlo Ancelotti, as manager of Everton could only mean a good thing for Kean as he seems to like the player a lot but also asks for his patience to properly groom him to be one of the best young strikers of 2020. Kean has a tough competition in front of him, another one of current best young forwards by the name of Calvert-Lewin, who is also been great under Ancelotti’s reign as the manager. But if Moise Kean keeps his head down and works hard this season, he will be able to live to his potential, becoming one of the best young strikers of 2020.
Alongside Gabriel Martinelli, Mason Greenwood is one of the more established players among best young strikers of 2020. He started getting chances to play for Manchester United’s senior team back in 2018-2019 season, where he became their youngest ever goal-scorer in European competitions but it was in the 2019-20 season that he showed his great potential by being a near constant first team player.
Greenwood appeared in 49 matches and scored 17 goals, which is just astounding for an 18-year-old player. He was rewarded by being given the No. 11 jersey that United Legend Ryan Giggs wore. He will no doubt hope to follow in the footsteps of Giggs too.
Naturally a left-footed player, Mason Greenwood is quite good with his right foot as well, something that isn’t often seen among left-footed players. He is quick, strong and has great shooting ability. He is also quite capable of dribbling past defenders. All of these attributes allow him to be able to play on the wings as well as playing in the center forward position. It’s an attribute he shares with Martial and Rashford, the other 2 players in Manchester United’s front 3, which can make their attack even deadlier and more unpredictable.
Despite grabbing the headlines for the entirely wrong reasons recently and being kicked out of England national team’s camp only days after being awarded with his first cap, Greenwood is still considered to have a great season ahead of him. It’s imperative, for him and United, that he keeps his head down and don’t have any other off the field antics. Nonetheless, Manchester United fans are really stoked for the new season, as they have one of the most exciting front 3s in the EPL, comprised of 3 current best young forwards.
You Might Also Like : Premier League Biggest Spenders Ever
Rodrygo is another Real Madrid player who is considered to be one of the best strikers of 2020. Even though Rodrygo signed a contract with Real Madrid in 2018, he only joined them the last summer and that was because of the laws regarding signing international youth players that prevents players under 18 to be transferred to a foreign team. Nevertheless, Rodrygo came to Real Madrid with a hefty price tag and with big price tags always comes big expectations. But every Real Madrid fan knew that he was one for the future, so they didn’t expect much from him in his first season.
Rodygo however managed to score some important goals. He scored his first goal the very first minute he played for Real Madrid, coming from the bench in a game against Osasuna, and he also bagged a perfect hat-trick against Galatasaray in the Champions League. Overall he scored 7 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid, 4 of which were in the UCL.
Like many Brazilians, Rodrygo has great technique and pace, but he has shown that he has the ability to score goals when he is given enough chances. With Real Madrid currently having an aging squad, especially up front where Benzema plays, it’s expected that players like Rodrygo will have increasing chances to be a part of the first team. Real Madrid have some of the current best young forwards in Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr. and Kubo and it’s up to them to make them part of their galacticos or let their potential wither away.
Borussia Dortmund has a host of current best young forwards, ranging from the established Haaland, Sancho and Thorgan Hazard to hopefuls like Giovanni Reyna and perhaps in the near future, Moukoko. But one hopeful player that could very well have a breakout season in 2020 is the American Giovanni Reyna.
Being from a footballing family, with both his parents being former football players and internationals, Reyna has football in his blood and has proven a glimpse of what he is capable of in the minutes he was played last season.
Though one of the best young strikers of 2020, Reyna likes to play behind the main striker for the most part, as he is capable of wreaking havoc amongst defenders and has the ability to create good scoring opportunities too. If he is ever to be judged by the numbers he produces it should be his assists as well as goals that he brings to the team. In fact, his style of play is not too different from his club captain, Marco Reus, and he does well to learn from him.
Last season he showed his potential in a number of games, chief among them was their game against Werder Bremen where he scored with an unbelievable curling shot from outside the box. He also assisted Halland in the match winning goal against PSG. He has been hailed by many pundits as well as his own teammates as one of the current best young strikers in Europe and he has it all to prove in the upcoming season.
You Might Also Like : The History of Bundesliga
Kubo used to play for the famous Barcelona youth academy, La Masia, but he now plays for their rivals, Real Madrid. Although he has been on loan mostly since joining the Los Blancos. Kubo played for Mallorca last season on loan from Real Madrid. He has been since loaned out to Villareal to gain match experience
He is an exciting, quick fitted, pacey winger that knows how to disrupt the opposition’s defensive shape and cause problems on the flanks. Last season he impressed at Mallorca and played most of the matches scoring 4 goals. His best attribute is perhaps his dribbling ability which makes his style reminiscent of Messi's younger days.
Kubo has a real chance to make an impact this season at Villareal and become one of the best young forwards of 2020, since Villareal’s manager Emery favors attacking football and usually works well with young talents. What he needs to improve though is his consistency in getting goals, and his goal scoring ability overall, because he has shown that he can dribble past players, but he need to add that finishing touch which puts the ball into the back of the net. He needs to prove he is one of current best young strikers, if he is able to do that he will perhaps get his chance of playing for Real Madrid next season
Ansu Fati is perhaps one of the most exciting young players in football and one of the best young strikers of 2020. He is one of the first La Masia graduates to play in Barcelona in years, since Barcelona has mostly changed their policy of using academy players and instead opted to sign already developed players from other teams. But because most of their transfers failed to impress and more importantly because of his sheer talent, Ansu Fati has forced his way into Barca’s first team at only 17 years of age.
Fati is a right-footed left winger and he tends to dribble past defenders, move into the box and drop his shoulders and shoot, almost like the exact replication of Messi’s trademark goals. So often young strikers lack the confidence to show what they are capable of, getting overwhelmed by the atmosphere around them and the enormity of the chance they are given, but Fati seems unfazed by all that.
Unfazed by the fact that he is linking up with perhaps the greatest football player of all time. he seems to enjoy what he does best, and that is having the ball, dribbling past defenders and creating scoring chances for himself and his team. Last season he became the youngest ever player to score in La Liga, Champions League and for the Spain national team. In fact, he was one of the few bright spots in a season every Barca player and fan would rather forget.
But now that it is confirmed that Messi will at least stay another season in Barcelona, the time has come for Fati to link up with his idol in games and learn from him in training. Fati represents the hope many Barca fans have for the future and he has to learn some of Messi’s traits to help him develop as a young player, but so far he has had one hell of a start. Ansu Fati being one of the best strikers of 2020, is the proof that La Masia still makes great young players and that Barca should trust their young stars more.