French superstar Kylian Mbappe has been left out of the final five in the race for the Golden Boy award, but Trent Alexander-Arnold is included.
Italian publication Tuttosport will present the annual award which honours the best young player in European football under the age of 21 and the final shortlist has thrown up a couple of big surprises.
According to the Evening Standard, Paris Saint Germain superstar Mbappe has been shockingly omitted, despite playing a starring role in France’s World Cup-winning campaign in Russia earlier in the year.
The 19-year-old had been tipped as the favourite to win the accolade, but it is now certain that a surprise winner will be named with Liverpool’s Alexander-Arnold making the final cut.
Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, Roma attacker Justin Kluivert, AC Milan striker Patrick Cutrone and Real Madrid starlet Vinicius Junior make up the rest of the list, with the winner to be announced in a live ceremony on December 17, as per ES.
Liverpool fans will surely be delighted by this latest news, which sees Alexander-Arnold rewarded for his outstanding breakout season with the Reds last term, during which he played a prominent role in the team’s run to the Champions League final and fourth place Premier League finish.
The 20-year-old could go down in the history books alongside previous winners such as Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Raheem Sterling, while also confirming his status as one of the most exciting young talents in European football.
According to Goal, Mbappe will have the opportunity to put the Golden Boy snub behind him at the Ballon d’Or ceremony, with rumours circulating that he may be in the final three shortlist ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.