Super Eagles of Nigeria forward Samuel Chukwueze and Flying Eagles midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru have been included in the Golden Boy award 40-man shortlist.
Tuttosport, organisers of the annual award which honours the outstanding player in world football under the age of 21, had unveiled the list of 100 best young players in the world earlier in June.
The Nigerian duo will battle current winner Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt, Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and African counterpart Krepin Diatta from Senegal and others for the prestigious prize.
Chukwueze enjoyed a breakthrough season in the 2018-19 LaLiga campaign when he made his way into Villarreal’s first-team with top notch performances appearing 26 times and reaching a tally of five goals. The 20-year-old is among the 10 La Liga youngsters in the selection.
Meanwhile, Dele-Bashiru, who moved to Watford from Manchester City in the summer, joins five other Premier League-based starlets on the shortlist. The midfielder starred in Nigeria’s campaign at the U20 FIFA World Cup in Poland, finding the back of the net in three appearances.
Chukwueze, Dele-Bashiru, and Diatte will be looking to end Africa’s wait for a first Golden Boy winner since the inception of the award in 2003.