FourFourTwo’s 100 Best Teenagers in the World 2017: 100-91
Words: Michael Yokhin, Joe Brewin
100. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal)
Need to know: Compared to Arsenal icon Thierry Henry, the young Gunners winger is certainly hyped. Nelson is trying to keep his feet on the ground, though, and his attitude has been hailed by Arsene Wenger.
Light-footed and technically talented, Nelson is learning to help out in defense and has been picked as a wing-back in League Cup and Europa League matches in 2017/18. The 17-year-old has also scored nine goals in 10 matches for England U17s and was part of the side which reached the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championship.
Highlight so far: Nelson couldn’t believe his luck when he came on at Wembley in the 2017 Community Shield. He played only three minutes against Chelsea, but ended up on the winning side. MY
99. Fabian Reese (Schalke)
Need to know: Few expected Reese to feature for Schalke after his difficult loan spell at Karlsruhe, who were relegated to the third tier in 2016/17. But boss Domenico Tedesco believes in the youngster nicknamed ‘Super Fabi’, and has handed him six substitute outings in the Bundesliga this season.
Tall and good in the air, Reese tries to emulate his idol Robin van Persie. He’s been praised for his work rate, motivation and intelligence, but needs to improve tactical aspects of his game.
Highlight so far: Reese won the Under-19 Bundesliga with Schalke in 2014/15 and then hit 14 goals for them the following season. MY
98. Mile Svilar (Benfica)
Need to know: Svilar will never forget his "trial by fire" – as described by his own manager, Rui Vitoria – in becoming the Champions League's youngest-ever goalkeeper aged 18 and 52 days against Manchester United in mid-October. It ended in a 2-0 defeat and a costly mistake from the Antwerp-born net-minder – but his reaction was telling.
In the return game at Old Trafford, Svilar's first-half heroics – including a saved penalty – kept United at bay, until Nemanja Matic's fierce effort cannoned off the post and back onto the teenager for a desperately unlucky own goal. "We only talk about him being 18 because his identification card says that," said boss Vitoria pre-match. "He actually shows maturity above his actual age."
No prizes for guessing the team that's currently being linked with his services long-term.
Highlight so far: Saving Anthony Martial's spot-kick... and doing it at Old Trafford. "At my age it's something special," Svilar reflected post-match. He's not wrong. JB
97. Nicolas Schiappacasse (Atletico Madrid)
Need to know: He's got an Italian passport, as his surname may suggest, but Schiappacasse represents Uruguay and is considered one of the top South American prospects in his age group.
River Plate (of Montevideo) handed him his debut at the age of 16, and Atletico Madrid scouts were quick to react. Schiappacasse is yet to make his mark in Spain but he is highly rated by Diego Simeone and been invited to train with the first team on several occasions.
Highlight so far: Schiappacasse scored an injury-time winner for River Plate in a 2015 showdown with Defensor Sporting. MY
96. Jordan Lotomba (Young Boys)
Need to know: Versatile and already experienced, Lotomba looks destined for a very bright future. He is able to play in defense and midfield on both flanks, combining sound tackling and positional sense with speed and attacking instincts.
Having emerged as a right-back for Switzerland U21s, Lotomba is now predominantly a left-back at Young Boys, who recruited him from Lausanne in the summer. His dream is to join a top Spanish club, and it shouldn't be beyond him.
Highlight so far: Lotomba scored the crucial goal that helped Young Boys beat Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League qualifiers – albeit thanks to a disastrous goalkeeping error. MY