It's been a breakthrough season for a number of young stars across Europe's top 5 leagues and WhoScored has compiled a team of the top rated players of the age of 21 and under.
To be included in our all star XI players must have started at least 10 league games for their respective sides, and the results help to forge a formidable line-up of the top young talents in Europe. There are no players from the Premier League in our starting eleven but five from both the Bundesliga and Serie A, where it seems much of the young talent is being harboured these days.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen - 20 years old
Gladbach's young number one has kept 8 clean sheets this season, the joint third most in Germany, and made the most successful high claims from crosses (97), showing a superb command of his area at such a young age. With the joint most successful punched clearances (26) and second most saves from long range efforts (45) in the Bundesliga, it isn't hard to see why he has already been linked to the likes of Barcelona.
Daniel Carvajal - 21 year old
A fantastic first season with Bayer Leverkusen could see Spanish right-back Daniel Carvajal return to sender sooner rather than later. The defender signed a 5-year deal with the Bundesliga outfit from Real Madrid but the Spanish giants made sure to add a buy-back clause in the agreement. Carvajal has blocked the joint third most crosses in Germany (20) and ranks fourth in the league for interceptions (99).
Marquinhos - 18 years old
A regular in the Roma defence at the age of just 18, Brazilian Marquinhos has been the standout performer in an admittedly open back line. No Serie A player has made more last man tackles this season than the teenager (10), who leads his side for both interceptions (2.9) and aerial duels won (2.2) per game, proving that his reading of the game is at the level of a far more seasoned pro.
Raphael Varane - 19 years old
Another centre-back whose defensive maturity is well beyond his years is Real Madrid teenager Raphael Varane (6.7), with the 19 year old keeping the likes of fit again Pepe on the sidelines. The Frenchman has also earned his first senior cap for les Bleus and is a slight but athletic player, leading Mourinho's side in clearances per game (6.7) having also only been dribbled past twice in 11 La Liga appearances.
David Alaba - 20 years old
Versatile young Austrian David Alaba has become a mainstay in an outstanding Bayern Munich side, cementing the left-back spot as his own. The 20 year old is extremely assured in possession, finding a teammate with 89.5% of his 54.9 passes per game on average. Meanwhile he's also picked up figures of 2.1 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game, which both rank above captain Philipp Lahm on the opposite flank.
Pedro Mba Obiang - 21 years old
Despite a recent slump Sampdoria have had a successful first season back in the big time in Serie A, and while the likes of Icardi and Poli have attracted suitors, the form of young midfielder Obiang has been excellent. The Spaniard may only have one goal to his name but he leads his side in terms of assists (5), attempted passes (1251), successful dribbles (46) and tackles (88), proving to have an impressively well-rounded game.
Paul Pogba - 20 years old
French midfielder Pogba has already shown glimpses of becoming the midfielder that Manchester United have needed for some time now. The fact that he made a free transfer to Juventus has left some United fans smarting in turn, with the 20 year old earning the faith of Antonio Conte to start 15 league games this season, never looking out of his depth. He's scored 5 goals this season, 4 of which have come from distance, and also averaged 2.3 tackles per game at the opposite end.
Erik Lamela - 21 years old
It's fair to say Argentinian playmaker Erik Lamela is learning from one of the best at Roma in Francesco Totti, and the winger has come on leaps and bounds this season. His tally of 14 league goals from the right of an attacking trident have included 10 left footed strikes - a league high - as he cuts in from wide areas to unleash his shots, while he has completed the joint second most dribbles in Serie A to boot (85).
Mario Götze - 20 years old
The top rated prospect in our XI here (7.82), Mario Gotze has scored 10 goals and made 9 assists in the league for Borussia Dortmund this season from 27 appearances in total. He is tied with Franck Ribery at the top of the Bundesliga in terms of 'big chances' created (15) and is among the top 10 players in the league for both key passes (2.3) and successful dribbles per game (3). That he is one of the hottest properties in European football at the age of 20 is testament to the ability of the playmaker.
Julian Draxler - 19 years old
Another German to make our all star team is Schalke youngster Julian Draxler who, at 19, has already been capped 4 times for Joachim Löw’s senior side. A good finisher, the teenager has 8 league goals and is capable of playing out on the left as well as centrally behind a lone striker, as he has since the departure of Lewis Holtby. Only Jefferson Farfan has completed more dribbles for the Bundesliga outfit (64), and Draxler looks set for big things.
Stephan El Shaarawy - 20 years old
Completing our line-up, fielded in a more direct central striker role than he is accustomed to at Milan, is Stephan El Shaarawy. The 20 year old has had to step up to the plate following a summer exodus of some fan favourites at San Siro and he's done so in style. His tally of 16 goals is the third most in the league, with 13 coming from his right foot representing a league high, while a total of 43 shots on target is enough to rank joint second in Serie A.