Kylian Mbappe? Dele Alli? Who's the best young goalscorer in Europe?
Last Updated: 21/03/17 1:47pm
Young goalscorers often attract more interest, with their performances routinely having a ripple effect across the continent. When a youngster smashes in goals on a whim, teams and fans take notice.
Below, WhoScored.com look at the top five goalscorers aged 21 and under across Europe's top five leagues this season and analyse their performances for their respective sides…
Serge Gnabry - Werder Bremen (10 goals)
Arsenal allowed one of their prized young assets to leave on Deadline Day when Serge Gnabry departed the Emirates for Werder Bremen for a measly £5m.
Arsene Wenger had wanted to retain the attacker's services, yet Gnabry opted against staying in London, citing a lack of first-team opportunities as a reason to return to Germany. His loss has undoubtedly been Werder's gain, with the 21-year-old netting 10 Bundesliga goals this season.
Considering Werder Bremen have netted just 34 league goals this term, Gnabry's impact in front of goal has been vital in the club's quest to consolidate a top-flight spot.
As one might expect, the German's WhoScored.com rating (7.09) ranks highly for his team, with that return top of all Werder players to make 10 or more league appearances this season. Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are thought to be keeping tabs on Gnabry and considering his fine form for Werder, he looks to be the one who got away for Wenger and Arsenal.
Giovanni Simeone - Genoa (10 goals)
Level with Gnabry on 10 goals is the son of Argentine hero Diego Simeone. Giovanni has failed to score in seven league outings on the back of Genoa's 1-0 loss at AC Milan, but the 21-year-old has scored more goals (10) than any other player for the team this season, with Olivier Ntcham and recent departures Leonardo Pavoletti and Lucas Ocampos (all 3) his nearest competitors for the individual accolade.
Having bagged 33.3 per cent of Genoa's league goals, Simeone's influence has been absolutely vital for the team, with a standout showing coming when he scored two in the 3-1 win over Juventus back in November.
Currently 14 points above the relegation zone, the youngster's goals have all but ensured that Genoa will be plying their trade in Serie A next season. Whether he is playing for the Rossoblu next term remains to be seen, but Simeone has excelled as the club's primary frontman with a move to a club higher up Serie A perhaps warranted on the back of his goalscoring exploits.
Kylian Mbappe - Monaco (12 goals)
It's been a stunning season for Kylian Mbappe, of that there is no doubt. A trio of goals against Metz last month meant he became the youngest player to score a hat-trick in Ligue 1 history. What's more is that his last seven competitive starts, the 18-year-old has hit 11 goals and has scored more goals (12) than any other teenager in Europe's top five leagues this season.
His performances for Monaco have made the frontman one of the most coveted youngsters on the continent as a host of top teams look set to chase his signature in the summer.
His goalscoring prowess has seen him develop a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of 'finishing' and for good reason. Of the 59 players to score 10 or more goals this season, Mbappe has the best conversion rate (32.4 per cent) in Europe's top five leagues.
At his age, bigger and better things are to come of Mbappe, who has been likened to former Monaco man Thierry Henry and understandably so on account of their similar approach to goalscoring. Considering his age and scope for improvement, the French frontman is arguably the most exciting talent in Europe.
Dele Alli - Tottenham (14 goals)
In the absence of Harry Kane, it was up to Dele Alli to score the crucial penalty on Sunday as Tottenham put a vital three points on the board. The young England international was fouled by James Ward-Prowse, yet dusted himself down to fire past Southampton's Fraser Forster and score his 14th Premier League goal of the season.
Considering Kane's expected lengthy spell on the sidelines, it's now up to the 20-year-old to step into his compatriot's boots and score the necessary goals to fire Spurs back into the Champions League.
With 10 games still to play, he has already bettered last season's total, with his exploits in front of goal sneaking somewhat under the radar.
What's more is that those around him in the scoring charts are their respective team's leading striker, whereas Alli plays in a deeper role, but is given the licence to break into the opposition box. It means that all 14 of Alli's goals have been scored inside the penalty area as opponents struggle to limit his impact in the final third.
At his current rate of scoring, Alli will end the season with 19 goals, though it wouldn't be a surprise to see him become the first midfielder since Yaya Toure in 2013/14 to score 20 or more league goals in a single season by the time the campaign comes to a head in May.
Timo Werner - RB Leipzig (14 goals)
The second of two German attackers on the list, Timo Werner will be hoping to earn his first senior cap for Joachim Low's side over the international break.
His goalscoring exploits for RB Leipzig were rewarded with a call up to the Germany national team as he looks to finally realise his potential. RB Leipzig exploited VfB Stuttgart's relegation to secure the 21-year-old's services for a snip at just €10m and the Bundesliga debutants are reaping the rewards.
Only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (23), Anthony Modeste (22) and Robert Lewandowski (21) have scored more Bundesliga goals than Werner (14) this term, while a conversion rate of 24.5 per cent is among the best on the continent.
His partnership with Yussef Poulsen has been crucial in RB Leipzig's flying start to life in Germany's top tier, with Werner making runs in behind the opposition defence for Poulsen to utilise his aerial quality and knock the ball on for the German frontman. It's evidently an effective route to goal with RB Leipzig currently second in the Bundesliga.