Bukayo Saka has been nominated for the Kopa Trophy this year, the youth award handed out alongside the Ballon d’Or.
In 2018, a youth version of the Ballon d’Or was introduced by France Football, named after Raymond Kopa, and selected by former Ballon d’Or winners.
Excluding 2020, when the award wasn’t held due to the pandemic, Kylian Mbappe, Matthijs de Ligt, and Pedri received the honour in its first three editions. Now, Bukayo Saka has the chance to win the fourth.
The most recent batch of nominees were named this week, with Arsenal’s young winger featuring among some of the world’s best young players.
Though the award is technically open to players playing outside of Europe, all the nominees were from within the continent this time around. Below is the full list:
- Karim Adeyemi – Borussia Dortmund
- Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund
- Eduardo Camavinga – Real Madrid
- Gavi – Barcelona
- Ryan Gravenberch – Bayern Munich
- Nuno Mendes – PSG
- Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich
- Josko Gvardiol – RB Leipzig
- Bukayo Saka – Arsenal
- Florian Wirtz – Bayer Leverkusen
There’s some strong competition for Saka on the list, with many of the above players catching the eye on plenty of occasions last season.
But Arsenal fans will tell you just how pivotal the 20-year-old has been to the club in recent times, and he certainly deserves to be named among the best young players around right now.
This is Saka’s second nomination in a row, having also made the final 10 last season. He ended up finishing sixth.
The 2022 winner is expected to be confirmed on October 17th.