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Nigerians Chukwueze, Dele-Bashiru make Golden Boy Shortlist of 40 players

Two Nigerian players, Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal and Watford midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru have been included in the Golden Boy 40-man shortlist.

Mauricio Botero Restrepo

The shortlist from a list of 100, back in June is dominated by La Liga players, with Real Madrid, accounting for three of them, out of the 10 from the league.

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Tuttosport are organisers of the annual award which honours the outstanding player under the age of 21

Voted for by journalists across Europe, the Golden Boy is given to the calendar year’s outstanding European-based footballer under the age of 21

The Nigerian duo are joined in the nominees list by Senegal’s Krepin Diatta and they will battle current winner Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt, Manchester City’s Phil Foden, Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior and others for the prestigious prize. Samuel Chukwueze: also in the shortlist

Chukwueze, 20, scored five goals for Villarreal in 26 La Liga games last season

Dele-Bashiru joined five other Premier League-based starlets in the list

The Watford midfielder moved to Vicarage Road in summer after starring in Nigeria’s midfield at the U20 Fifa World Cup in Ukraine where he scored a goal in three games

Alongside their Senegalese counterpart, the duo will be hoping to end Africa’s wait for their first Golden Boy winner since the award started in 2003, reported Sporting News

Full nominees list:

Benoit Badiashile (Monaco), Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal), Michael Cuisance (Bayern Munich), Tom Dele-Bashiru (Watford), Matthijs De Ligt (Juventus), Krépin Diatta (Club Brugge), Giuanluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan), Denis Dragus (Standard Liege), Eljif Elmas (Napoli), Florentino Luís (Benfica), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Mattéo Guendouzi (Arsenal), Erling Braut Haaland (RB Salzburg), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad), Joao Félix (Atlético Madrid), Dejan Joveljic (Eintracht Frankfurt), Boubacar Kamara (Marseille), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Moise Kean (Everton)

Justin Kluivert (Roma), Ibrahima Konaté (RB Leipzig), Rodrygo Goes (Real Madrid), Alban Lafont (Nantes), Diego Lainez (Real Betis), KangIn Lee (Valencia), Andriy Lunin (Real Valladolid, on loan), Donyell Malen (PSV), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Nehuén Pérez (Famalicao), Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Abdulkadir Omur (Trabzonspor), Strahinja Pavlovic (Partizan Belgrade), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Luis Sinisterra (Feyenoord), Jean-Clair Todibo (Barcelona), Ferran Torres (Valencia), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)