RB Leipzig’s Xavi Simons and PSV’s Johan Bakayoko have been included among the 25 finalists for the 2023 Golden Boy award. The prize was first established by Italian newspaper Tuttosport in 2003, to recognise the most impressive young male footballer during the calendar year. It’s awarded to a footballer under the age of 21 who currently plays in Europe. Last year’s Golden Boy award was won by Barcelona midfielder Xavi. He’s been excluded from this year’s list having won the 2022 award.
Xavi Simons experienced an incredibly successful season with PSV during the 22/23 campaign. The Dutchman finished the season as the Eredivisie’s joint-top scorer, with 19 goals and 9 assists in 34 appearances. Since joining RB Leipzig in the summer, the versatile forward has scored three goals and provided four assists in just seven Bundesliga matches. These are incredible figures from the 20-year-old.
PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko was in the spotlight of some of Europe’s biggest clubs during the summer. Some huge names were linked with the Belgian talent and it comes as no surprise judging by how good he’s been during 2023. Last season the 20-year-old accumulated 15 goal contributions in 38 matches across all competitions. This season he’s already racked up three goal contributions in eight league appearances as PSV lead in the Eredivisie table.
Here’s the full 25-man shortlist for the 2023 Golden Boy award. Who do you think deserves to win?