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Nicolo Zaniolo Shortlisted for Golden Boy

Surprise, surprise: the Zan Man is up for another award!

AS Roma v Istanbul Basaksehir F.K.: Group J - UEFA Europa League Photo by Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that Nicolo Zaniolo’s had quite a twelve months. Since signing with Roma in June 2018, Zaniolo has transformed from a youth-player makeweight in the Radja Nainggolan transfer to a star of the senior side. He already received recognition in the world of Italian football by winning the Serie A Best Young Player Award for the 2018 - 2019 season, but it looks like yet another footballing institution has taken note of The Zan Man as well:

Zaniolo has been placed on the shortlist for the European Golden Boy award, an award given out annually to the best Under-21 player in Europe’s top leagues. He’s in quite good company on this shortlist; stars-in-the-making like Ansu Fati of Barcelona, Joao Felix of Atletico Madrid, Moise Kean of Everton, and Vinicius Junior of Real Madrid are all part of the 20-man shortlist. Given this, I wouldn’t necessarily put money on Nicolo winning the Golden Boy, even if it is handed out by Italian newspaper Tuttosport. However, it’s just one more indicator that Zaniolo is turning heads the world over. Hopefully he keeps doing that in Rome for the long term.

Here’s the full shortlist for the Golden Boy. Sound off in the comments on who you think might be the eventual winner:

Matthijs de Ligt - Juventus F.C., Holland

Alphonso Davies - Bayern Munich, Canada

Gianluigi Donnarumma - A.C. Milan, Italy

Ansu Fati - F.C. Barcelona, Spain

Philip Foden - Manchester City, England

Matteo Guendouzi - Arsenal F.C., France

Erling Haland - F.C. Red Bull Salzburg, Norway

Kai Havertz - Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Germany

Joao Felix - Club Atlético de Madrid, Portugal

Dejan Joveljic - Eintracht Frankfurt e.V, Serbia

Moise Kean - Everton F.C., Italy

Kang-in Lee - Valencia C.F., South Korea

Andriy Lunin - Real Valladolid, Ukraine

Donyell Malen - PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands

Mason Mount - Chelsea F.C., England

Rodrygo - Real Madrid, Brazil

Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund, England

Ferran Torres - Valencia C.F., Spain

Vinicius Junior - Real Madrid, Brazil

Nicolo Zaniolo - A.S. Roma, Italy