Goalgist 11

The International Centre for Sports Studies has presented the 100 best performing U21 outfield players from 32 European leagues taking into consideration players’ performance compared to teammates, the employer team’s sporting level, as well as that of opponents.

Players must be born after March 24, 2001 to be eligible to be included on the list.

Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise is the only Nigeria-eligible player included in the top five and has played 37 percent of the matches contested by the Eagles in the Premier League as at April 1, 2022.

Onetime Nigeria Football Federation target Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) is the top ranked youngster in the European Leagues, followed by Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Patrick Wimmer (Arminia Bielefeld) and JoŇ°ko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig).

Apart from Olise, the other Nigeria-eligible player that cracked the top hundred is RSC Anderlecht striker Joshua Zirkzee who is 46th on the list.

The France U21 international is profiled as an infiltrator creator, defining players particularly active in the ‘take on’ and ‘chance creation’ areas.

The 20-year-old Olise is enjoying a stunning debut season in the Premier League after joining Crystal Palace from Reading last summer.

He has made 22 top-flight appearances so far this campaign, scoring two times and registering five assists in 964 minutes of action for the Eagles.

By Amara

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