Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and William Saliba made it to the final-20 for the Golden Boy award, but Barcelona’s Pedri was the overwhelming winner.

joie - Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille - William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne - Ligue 1 Uber Eats - Marseille - 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC
joie – Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille – William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Marseille – 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC

Tuttosport have now confirmed the winner of the 2021 Golden Boy award, with Pedri finishing on top.

The award is determined by the votes of 40 journalists across Europe. Each journalist gives their top-five nominations, with their number one pick receiving 10 points, two receiving seven, three receiving five, four receiving three, and five receiving one point.

In total, Pedri received 318 points, well ahead of Jude Bellingham (119) in second place. Only four journalists placed Pedri outside of their top three.

When Tuttosport initially announced their 100-strong longlist for the Golden Boy award this year, Arsenal had four players involved:

Balogun dropped off the list when it was cut to 60 players, and Martinelli dropped off after 40, so Saka and Saliba were the two remaining in the final 20.

The public vote was kind to Saka, putting him fourth in the overall rankings and only 0.1% behind third, but the official journalist vote left him outside of the top five.

Saka obviously had plenty of starring performances with Arsenal, winning the club Player of the Season award last campaign.

He also broke into the England team, and he had that run to the final of Euro 2020.

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Arsenal s Bukayo Saka scores their side s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday September 26, 2021.
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Emirates Stadium Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka scores their side’s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday, September 26, 2021.

Saliba had a strong year too. Despite not featuring for Arsenal, he had a successful loan with OGC Nice and is now starting regularly in Marseille.

Still just 20 years old himself, the defender is impressing over in France.

The two of them will surely have plenty more opportunities to win individual awards in the future.

17/09/21

3 Arsenal players make Golden Boy final 40 shortlist

Arsenal still have three entrants on the Golden Boy shortlist for 2021, with the award now at the final-40 stage of the vote.

joie - Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille - William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne - Ligue 1 Uber Eats - Marseille - 28/08/2021 NorbertScanella/PanoramiC
joie – Gerson Santos Da Silva Olympique de Marseille – William Saliba Olympique de Marseille FOOTBALL : Olympique de Marseille vs AS Saint Etienne – Ligue 1 Uber Eats – Marseille – 28/08/2021. NorbertScanella/PanoramiC

When Tuttosport initially announced their 100-strong longlist for the Golden Boy award this year, Arsenal had four players involved: Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli, and Folarin Balogun.

Balogun dropped off the list when it was cut to 60 players, but the other three have remained in the running even now that it’s down to 40. You can vote for Saka, Saliba, or Martinelli here.

Saka probably has the best chance of making it to the latter stages of the award, after his starring performances with Arsenal and that run to the final of Euro 2020 with England. The 20-year-old was named Arsenal’s Player of the Season last campaign.

Saliba is also having a strong year, though. Despite not featuring for Arsenal, he had a successful loan with OGC Nice and is now starting regularly in Marseille. Still just 20 years old himself, the defender is impressing over in France.

As for Martinelli, he has an Olympic Gold medal and a strong finish to the 2020/21 campaign to point to, after much of that season was disrupted by his knee injury.

But he’d probably need to break back into the starting lineup with Arsenal soon to have a realistic shot at the award. Even so, it’s great to see the public recognising three Arsenal youngsters and voting them this far.

24/08/21

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba on Golden Boy list

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba have all been named on the Golden Boy list.

william saliba marseille training
william saliba marseille training

It’s no surprise to see either Saka or Martinelli on the Golden boy long-list, given the year they both just had. Saka went to the Euros with England after establishing himself as one of the first names down on the Arsenal team sheet while Martinelli was part of the Brazil side that won Gold at the Olympics.

William Saliba’s inclusion, however, is a surprise, what with him supposedly not being ready to play for the worst Arsenal side in a generation.

I am not serious, of course. The reason Saliba is on the Golden Boy long-list is the same reason Arsenal paid £27m for him when he was still just 18. Two seasons later and he still out on loan, starring for Marseille.

Saka, meanwhile, made the final 20 last year.

The initial Golden Boy list was 100-strong.

This has now been cut to 60:

  1. Karim Adeyemi (Red Bull Salzburg)
  2. Rayan Ait-Nouri (Wolverhampton)
  3. Ander Barrenentxea (Real Sociedad)
  4. Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
  5. Stipe Biuk (Hajduk Split)
  6. Myron Boadu (AS Monaco)
  7. Jayden Braaf (Manchester City)
  8. Brian Brobbey (RB Leipzig)
  9. Armando Broja (Chelsea)
  10. Riccardo Calafiori (AS Roma)
  11. Eduardo Camavinga (Stade Rennes)
  12. Rayan Cherki (Olympique Lyonnais)
  13. Francisco Conceicao (FC Porto)
  14. Yusu Demir (FC Barcelona)
  15. Ersin Destanoglu (Besiktas)
  16. Amad Diallo (Manchester United)
  17. Jeremy Doku (Stade Rennes)
  18. Sebastiano Esposito (Basel)
  19. Fabio Silva (Wolverhampton)
  20. Nicola Fagioli (Juventus)
  21. Eric Garcia (FC Barcelona)
  22. By Gil (Tottenham)
  23. Ryan Gravenberch (Ajax)
  24. Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
  25. J.ko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)
  26. Mohamed Ihattaren (PSV)
  27. Ilaix Moriba (FC Barcelona)
  28. Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
  29. Arnaud Kalimuendo (PSG)
  30. Odilon Kossounou (Bayer Leverkusen)
  31. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Rubin Kazan)
  32. Kang-in Lee (Valencia)
  33. Luis Henrique (Olympique de Marseille)
  34. Noni Madueke (PSV)
  35. Marcos Paulo (Atletico Madrid)
  36. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)
  37. Yunus Musah (Valencia)
  38. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich)
  39. Nuno Mendes (Sporting CP)
  40. Pedri (FC Barcelona)
  41. Roberto Piccoli (Atalanta)
  42. Yeremi Pino (Villarreal)
  43. Filippo Ranocchia (Juventus)
  44. Reinier (Borussia Dortmund)
  45. Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund)
  46. Nicola Rovella (Genoa)
  47. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
  48. Martin Satriano (Inter)
  49. Luke Thomas (Leicester City)
  50. Tiago Tomas (Sporting CP)
  51. Jurrien Timber (Ajax)
  52. Konstantinos Tzolakis (Olympiakos Piraeus)
  53. German Valera (Real Sociedad)
  54. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
  55. Illya Zabarnyi (Dynamo Kiev)
  56. Nicola Zalewski (AS Roma)
  57. Joshua Zirkzee (Anderlecht)
  58. William Saliba (Olympique de Marseille)
  59. Kaio Jorge (Juventus)
  60. Goncalo Ramos (Benfica)

Based on the dates things happened last year, we can expect the cut down to 20 players around mid-October.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.