All over it like a Rash – Marcus Rashford favourite Premier League starlet to be Golden Boy 2016

See the latest odds for the Golden Boy Award. Renato Sanches heads the betting, followed by Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli from the Premier League...

The 40-man shortlist is in for the annual Golden Boy award. The annual gong celebrates the best players under the age of 21 registered in Europe’s top tier.

Past winners include some very familiar faces. Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba and last year’s winner, Anthony Martial, to name a few.

Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches is the current favourite at . A prominent fixture in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph and a key figure in Benfica’s double before his departure in summer, the starlet has made quite an announcement.

Nine Premier League youngsters have been nominated for the award – the equivalent of an under-21’s Ballon d’or – including Leroy Sane, Alex Iwobi and Dele Alli.

The favourite of the bunch – currently priced at – is Manchester United’s magic man.

As career starts go, 18-year-old Marcus Rashford’s has to be one of the most impressive. The youngest nominee crashed onto the scene last season, and went onto score on his Premier League, Europa League and International debuts. And the rest!

After 25 games at club level, the lad from Wythenshawe has 12 goals. At the same stage in their careers, Luis Suarez had 8, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 7, Sergio Aguero 7 and Thierry Henry had 5.

He featured for 22 minutes during England’s Euro 2016 campaign, and was perhaps the most promising feature of their tournament.

Winner of the PFA Young Player of the Year award last season and a mainstay in his club’s side, Dele Alli more than proved his worth last season. He found the net 10 times and assisted nine in 33 league appearances.

His impressive domestic campaign, in which his side finished third, earned him an England call-up. He has a total of 13 international caps.

Guardiola chased the Germany international in the summer, making him a top attacking target. European clubs began to sit up and take notice of the young star in February 2015. He put on a sparkling display in a 4-3 victory over Real Madrid. He scored one and set up another in the Champions League round of 16 second leg.

He quickly established himself in the Schalke first-team, making 42 appearances and finding the net nine times in all competitions. He featured once for Germany at the Euros.

It can’t be easy starting as a forward at City, knowing you have Sergio Aguero to contend with. When Iheanacho joined The Blues, Pep Guardiola showed confidence in the Nigerian international by letting Wilfried Bony leave on loan.

He rewarded this confidence by netting three goals in his first seven appearances, scoring a goal every 91.3 minutes. Perhaps his most outstanding moment so far was scoring the second goal in the 2-1 Manchester Derby win, and securing the hearts of Blues everywhere.

Iwobi cemented his place in Arsene Wenger’s first-team squad last campaign with a solid breakthrough season, bagging two goals in the process. He has had a shining start this time out, securing three assists and proving a strong presence in the team.

Nephew of Jay-Jay Okocha, superstardom is in his blood and he looks like a name to remember.

Loftus-Cheek made his Chelsea debut aged just 18 in 2014, under the watchful eye of Jose Mourinho. He was identified as a potential star from Chelsea’s academy, and brought plenty of potential as a home-grown player.

Antonio Conte looks to be making a positional move to a striker for the under-21 England International, to further utilise his strength and skill set. He has scored two goals and assisted as many for his club.

Last season, Christensen was voted Borussia Monchengladbach’s Player of the Year, ahead of Granit Xhaka. He was sent to M. Gladbach on a two-year loan deal in summer 2015, and has impressed ever since.

The only time his side lost three games in a row last season were the three games in which Christensen did not feature. He scored three goals, won 53 per cent of tackles and 60 per cent of headed battles. His contract does not allow him to be recalled to Stamford Bridge, which is no doubt creating some frustrations.

The full list of Premier League nominations are: Marcus Rashford, Alex Iwobi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Dele Alli, Leroy Sane, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Andreas Christensen, Nathan, Demerai Gray and Marko Grujic.

Full Betting:

Renato Sanches 11/4
Marcus Rashford 4/1
Dele Alli 5/1
Leroy Sane 11/2
Ousmane Dembele 11/2
Kinsley Coman 6/1
Gabriel Barbosa 16/1
Kelechi Iheanacho 20/1
Moussa Dembele 25/1
Marco Asensio 33/1
Mahmoud Dahoud 50/1
Alex Iwobi 66/1
Ruben Loftus-Cheek 80/1
Demarai Gray 100/1
Marko Grujic 100/1
Andreas Christensen 100/1
Olivier Ntcham 100/1

What do you think?