Best Young Midfielders of 2020
Young players were always a big part of football but it seems that they are being involved in a big capacity more and more these days. as a result, there is a whole generation of young talent who seem like they have already matured in their respective positions, despite their age. So we have taken upon ourselves the task of highlighting these players, like we previously highlighted the young forwards 2020. And now it’s turn to highlight some of the best young midfielders of 2020.
As being a midfielder demands better overall understanding of the game as well as a considerable amount of physicality then these current best young midfielders must be already somewhat of a complete player before they are involved with the first team. Every one of the players we have picked here, have made a huge impact on how their teams play and all are capable of running games on their own, which is a sign of really maturity when it comes to development of young players. So let’s find out who these players are and what are they capable of, shall we?!
Current Best Young Midfielders
These current best young midfielders that are listed below play in several different midfield roles, but they have all shown that they have the potential to be a great player in their respective positions. So let’s see what makes them great.
Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
We start our list of best young midfielders in the world in 2020 with Jude Bellingham who we previously highlighted in our best young players of Bundesliga list. Jude Bellingham, who turned 17 in June of 2020, is a native of Birmangham City and comes from a footballing background with his dad being a non-league player.
Bellingham joined Birmangham City when he was 8 but due to his immense talent as well as his physical ability which made him outplay kids his age, he was already making appearances for Birmangham’s U23 when he was 15. It wasn’t until the start of the 2019-20 season that Bellingham found his way to the first team and his incredible performances persuaded the manager to make him a regular starter which saw him earn over 40 league games appearances by the end of the season. He also scored several goals and became Birmangham’s youngest ever goal scorer, by being 16 years and 63 days old.
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Bellingham was originally a winger but he was slowly turned into a midfielder as he became more aware and more responsible. Bellingham who can play as either a box to box midfielder or even a deep lying playmaker utilizes his dribbling skills, stamina and defensive prowess to excel at these positions, which makes him one of the current best young midfielders. His recent transfer to Borussia Dortmund can only be a good thing since the Bundesliga side has a knack for developing young talent.
This can be seen in the development of players like Jadon Sancho and Giovanni Reyna which was one of the chief reasons Bellingham decided to join Dortmund in a £25 million transfer, despite interest from Manchester united. The move has already paid off, judging by the fact that Bellingham has been starting games and scoring goals for Dortmund. He has even broken the record of being Dortmund’s youngest ever goal scorer as well as being the youngest ever Englishman to start a Champions League match to prove why he is considered to be one of the best young midfielders in football right now.
Dominik Szoboszlai (Red Bull Salzburg)
The Last season’s Austria Bundesliga Player of the Year is Dominik Szoboszlai who is certainly considered as one of the best young midfielders in football right now. The Hungrian International who just turned 20 last month, has solely played in Austrian leagues, first for the Liefering who are a feeder club for RB Salzburg and then for the Salzburg team itself. His abilities as well as his great physical attributes have made him a prime target for some of Europe’s top clubs which will no doubt earn him a big move in the near future.
The Hungrian midfielder is not unlike players like Kai Havertz and Julian Draxler as he is both tall and technically adept. His great dribbling ability coupled with his physical strength makes him a good ball carrying midfielder. Add to these his ability to create space and chances with his passing and you’ll end up with a great player who is one of the best young midfielders in football right now. Szoboszlai is also a great set piece taker, having assisted and scored from them on numerous occasions.
Dominik Szoboszlai who bagged 12 goals and several assists last season will be hoping to get his big move in the near future, something he has clearly earned with his incredible performances. His grace, maturity and the control he has over the game certainly makes him one the best young midfielders of 2020 and a player that many teams will certainly go after in the next summer or possibly even in the upcoming January!
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Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
The second Dortmund player who is among our list of best young midfielders of 2020 is the American Giovanni Reyna who we previously named as one of the greatest young Bundesliga players of 2020. Reyna’s incredible maturity on the field even at age 17 has amazed Dortmund fans and even his teammates and if he keeps his head low and work like he has to date he will be able to be a world class player soon enough.
Reyna’s parents are both former footballers as he is the son of the ex-Manchester City player, Claudio Reyna and US Women’s Soccer international Danielle Egan. He started his youth career, playing for the New York City youth team and after a few seasons he made his way to Dortmund in 2019. At Dortmund he was featured in the youth academy for a couple of months before finally making his debut for the first team in the January of 2020.
Apart from having a keen eye for assisting goals, Reyna also has a good shooting ability which makes him be able to occasionally score from long range shots. His goals has resulted in him breaking a couple of records including the youngest player ever or scorer in Bundesliga and DFB Pokal. This all has led to him making an already potent partnership with Erling Haaland as Dortmund enjoys having two of the current best young midfielders and forwards.
What separates Giovanni Reyna from other best young midfielders in the world in 2020 is his professional attitude and his eagerness towards the game which seem to be lacking lately in many young players. This attitude will certainly go a long way in his career as it has already proven Reyna to be one of the best young midfielders of 2020.
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Dani Olmo (RB Leipzig)
A product of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, Olmo’s career did not go the way everyone expected as the Spanish midfielder joined Dinamo Zagreb when he was 16 years old instead of developing further in his home country. After winning an incredible amount of 5 league titles in Croatia Olme decided to take the next step in his career and eventually moved to RB Leipzig. It’s for his performances there that he has made it to our list of best young midfielders in the world in 2020.
Olmo’s time at Dinamo was well spent as gained a lot of experience since he made 124 appearances for them and scored 34 goals, which is exceptional by a midfielder’s standard. Olmo can be called a complete midfielder and has a bit of everything although he excels in attack as is proven by the amount of goals he has scored. He has a knack for making late runs into the box when his team is attacking which provides him with many goal scoring opportunities. Opportunities that he takes advantage of because of his good finishing ability. Other than that he is a capable playmaker and has already made 3 assists this season.
After being integrated into the Leipzig team since last season it’s time for Olmo to take the next step and prove to everyone why he is considered to be one of the best young midfielders of 2020. He has already been called up to the Spain national team and will hope to get into their Euro squad next summer. Only time will tell if he lives up to his full potential or not.
Sandro Tonali (AC Milan)
Described as the new Andrea Pirlo, Sandro Tonali is one of the current best young midfielders who made a lot of headlines in the Serie A last season. The 20-year old, who just transferred to AC Milan in the summer, is already a starting 11 contender at Milan and operates as a deep lying play maker who can also play as a defensive midfielder.
Tonali, who played for Brescia at the youth level, broke into the first team back when Brescia played in the Serie B in the 2017-18 season. Then after two seasons of playing in the Serie B, Tonali was already an experienced player when he finally got to play in the Serie A last season and his composure alongside his maturity in playing his role, surprised a lot of people and made several teams chase after him.
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Sandro Tonali who is described as a regista, has all the qualities of a great deep lying play maker, as he can progress the ball forward with ease and read the game really well. His excellent passing ability as well as his creative vision makes him perfect for the role. Much like Andrea Pirlo, Tonali also has a great shooting ability which he displays often. As one of the best young midfielders of 2020, Milan fans will be hoping to see Sandro Tonali help them achieve their ambitions this season as the team has already made an incredible start to a season.
Phil Foden (Manchester City)
Manchester City’s resident bad boy and future superstar Phil Foden, is the next player on our list of best young midfielders in the world in 2020. The Manchester City academy graduate is one of several great young English players who are coming through the ranks and will undoubtedly be superstars in the near future, barring any major injury setback. Foden has somehow found a way to play regularly in a Manchester City side that has heavy traffic of great players in the midfield roles and that is indicative of Foden’s immense talent.
Foden, who won the FIFA U-17 World Cup Golden Ball as England won the U17 World Cup with his help that year, was one of many great players, like Jadon Sancho and Brahim Diaz, that the Manchester City youth academy produced but unlike those players he decided to stay and fight for his place in Guardiola’s team and it seems that he has got it since the Spaniard manager seems to like Foden a lot.
He has the tenacity of English midfielders mixed with a bit of flair like many Spanish midfielders which has made his style unique in City’s current team and therefor makes him a perfect candidate to replace Manchester City legend David Silva who just left the club in the summer. Foden who is also left footed like Silva, plays in a similar style as him too, as he likes to open up spaces with his well-placed passes and also be present in the box to score goals. Foden certainly has a long way to go to reach Silva’s level but for now he deservedly earns a place among the best young midfielders of 2020.
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Declan Rice (West Ham United)
Another English midfielder and possibly the most underrated player on our list of best young midfielders in football right now is West Ham United’s Declan Rice. The 21-year-old is a West Ham boy through and through, having joined the club since he was 14, and has been regularly playing for the first team since he was 18. With over 100 league games for West Ham and 11 caps for England, Rice is already an established player but that doesn’t take from the fact that he is also very young.
It’s interesting that Frank Lampard and Chelsea were keen to sign Rice in the summer as he used to be a Chelsea youth player before joining West Ham United. The interest in him is understandable since Rice is incredibly efficient at his job. Despite his young age and the defensive role, he plays, Rice has always shown his calmness on the ball which makes him perfect to play as either a defensive midfielder or a center back, both of which he excels at.
Declan Rice’s great interceptions, well timed tackles and his composure has made him one of the best young midfielders of 2020. In fact, he was in the top five for the successful tackles and interceptions last season, which makes many big clubs want to sign him as players like him are hard to come by, especially in recent years. but one thing is for certain and that is the fact that West Ham United will not be selling him cheap any time soon!
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Frank Lampard and Gareth Southgate’s golden boy is yet another Englishman among the best young midfielders in the world in 2020. The Chelsea academy graduate, who is holding up his own even among global superstars like Ziyech, Wener and Havertz and is getting game time quite regularly, has somewhat of an interesting development journey which we will recount here.
Like many Chelsea youth players Mount started his senior career by being loaned out to Vitesse, a Dutch Eredivisie team. After a successful loan spell at Vitesse, where he managed to score 14 goals, which included a hat-trick, He was then loaned out to Derby County in 2018, where Chelsea’s current manager and club legend Frank Lampard was coaching, and he soon became an integral part of the Derby County team that reached the Championship’s play-offs, which they eventually lost.
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His incredible performances on his both loan spells persuaded Chelsea to give him a chance since Lampard was now the Chelsea manager and rated him highly. In fact, Mount’s playing style isn’t unlike Frank Lampard himself, as Mount is also adept at scoring goals, often from long distance, and also carrying the ball forward with great pace and technique. He is like a classic English midfielder but one that has modern sensibilities as well.
With 10 caps and 2 international goals to his name, as well as his potential to remain a regular at Chelsea, Mount looks to have a great future ahead of him. He can be that English core that Chelsea has missed since the days of Lampard and John Terry. And with England’s national team, Mount can help one of the most talented generation of English footballers to win something important, as English fans have long awaited this. But we have to wait and see.
Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
Houssem Aouar was one of the most sought after players of the summer after his incredible performances in the knockout stages of the last season’s Champions League race. Which saw them qualify for the semi-finals by beating serious title hopefuls Juventus and Manchester City. Houssem Aouar played a significant role in those games as the midfielder was controlling the game in the middle of the park in both games, creating many chances and even contributing in defense which is precisely why he is regarded as one of the current best young midfielders.
Aouar, who is of Algerian descent, is a product of Lyon’s youth academy and has been playing for them in all of his career. Lyon, like many teams in Ligue 1, has a knack for trusting and developing young players, which is exactly what they did in regards to Hossem Aouar by trusting him with their number 8 jersey and featuring him constantly in the starting 11 since he was barely 18. And their trust has paid off, especially after Aouar’s second season as the player has been their main man in the midfield.
Aouar’s blend of street-football technique, vision and tactical awareness has made him one of the most exciting play makers out there and it is the reason that teams like Arsenal, Juventus and Real Madrid were trying to sign him this summer. He loves to play in big games which is always a great sign for any young player and he has already been called up to France’s extremely talented team which shows why is considered to be one of the best young midfielders of 2020.