The Wonderkid Power Rankings: Bukayo Saka dethroned as teammate makes a comeback

The Wonderkid Power Rankings looks at the best and brightest youngsters in the world right now, as Bukayo Saka makes way at the top of the table.

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It’s time once more to dust off the Wonderkid Power Rankings, 3 Added Minutes’ handy guide to the best and most in-form young talent in the world. Here we keep tabs on all the finest starlets in the global game and nudge them up and down the rankings as their form ebbs and flows – just like we did last week.

This time around there’s a new name at the top of the pile, no fewer than three Power Rankings alumni making their way back into the Top 10 and an exciting new entry to keep things ticking over… but we also say goodbye, for now, to a few favourites, as Josko Gvardiol’s unbroken run in the rankings finally comes to an end. You can’t get subbed off in a 3-0 home defeat and expect to stay in the best seats, I’m afraid. Sorry, Josko…

1. Gavi – Barcelona (⬆️ from 3)

The one gripe we’ve had with Gavi’s game is that, for a player with such obvious creative prowess, he doesn’t actually notch up many goal contributions. Well, he finally notched up an assist – his first in 10 league games – in Barcelona’s 4-0 dismissal of Elche at the weekend, and gave the La Liga basement dwellers the run-around for 68 superb minutes before being given a well-earned rest. One might query the standard of opposition but it was arguably his best performance in the blue and red shirt this season and underlined, yet again, why he won both the Golden Boy award and the Kopa Trophy. A great player in the making, and the first Power Rankings number one without English heritage. See, we aren’t biased after all.

2. Bukayo Saka – Arsenal (⬇️ from 1)

A slight knock meant that Saka’s 54-match streak as a starter for Arsenal was ended against Leeds United, and the half-hour he did play was, by his extraordinary standards, fairly quiet. So Saka has to make way at the very top of the table but there’s hardly any reason to put any particularly large question marks over the brilliant young forward. He’s still superb, still on scintillating form, and still one of the very best players in the Premier League at just 21.

3. Jude Bellingham – Borussia Dortmund (⬇️ from 2)

Bellingham couldn’t prevent Dortmund from losing 4-2 to Bayern Munich in the biggest match of their season, but there was no suggestion he was to blame – indeed he was one of Dortmund’s more impressive performers, doing his usual midfield general act and using and reusing the ball as neatly and intelligently as ever. Still the best thing to come out of the Midlands since chicken balti.

4. Eduardo Camavinga – Real Madrid (⬆️ from 4)

One element of Camavinga’s season that we haven’t dwelt on in the Wonderkid Power Rankings is his performance of the Reverse David Alaba move, increasingly playing at left-back instead of his favoured central midfield position. He’s doing it more and more for both club and country, and seems to be growing in confidence in his new role, if his strong performance in a 6-0 thrashing of Real Valladolid was anything to go by. Mind you, he’ll be hoping that Ferland Mendy and Alaba himself are fit again soon, because apparently he doesn’t actually enjoy it – according to manager Carlo Ancelotti “he doesn’t like it, but we do”. Always willing to sacrifice for the team.

5. Gabriel Martinelli – Arsenal (re-entry)

Martinelli breaks back into the rankings after his international break omission and steams all the way into the top five as he continued his brilliant run of form for The Gunners, picking up an assist and generally giving the Leeds back line palpitations for the full 90 minutes. He’s now registered seven goal contributions in his last seven games, and looks more and more like a title winner with every passing week. Given Brazil’s recent defeat and the rather iffy performances put in by some of the stand-ins, an international recall can’t be too far away either.

6. Rasmus Hojland – Atalanta (⬇️ from 4)

Atalanta have become rather expert at talent development in the last few years, so I’m in no position to critique their decision to bench Hojland at the weekend, but you do have to query whether a starting role might be more suited to a striker on such ridiculously good goalscoring form. He hit five in two games during the international recess and still managed to pick up an assist against Cremonese this weekend despite his curiously limited minutes. That’s now three assists and seven goals in the league for the Dane. Unlikely to start too many more matches in a tracksuit, you’d imagine, with Chelsea said to be on his tail.

7. Jamal Musiala – Bayern Munich (⬇️ from 6)

It’s been a disappointing couple of weeks for Musiala, and he found himself warming the bench at the weekend for the first time since October. Whether that’s due to fitness after the break, or whether that’s because new Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel isn’t as certain of the youngster as Julian Nagelsmann was, he’ll hope to see more than 11 minutes of action going forward. He didn’t have much time to have an impact in the key clash with Dortmund and now hasn’t scored since February. Still, it won’t be long before he’s heading back up the Power Rankings once more.

8. Florian Wirtz – Bayer Leverkusen (re-entry)

Wirtz’s gradual reintegration into the Leverkusen first team following a year on the treatment table saw him get the full 90 for just the second time this season this weekend, as Xabi Alonso’s side smashed Schalke 3-0 to continue their late push for the European placings. Wirtz, one of the most technically impressive players in Germany, was key, shimmying gloriously through a tight knot of defenders to slot home the second and being narrowly denied a lovely assist when Moussa Diaby’s effort was hacked off the line and onto the crossbar. He looks like he’s hardly been away at all.

9. Gift Orban – KAA Gent (re-entry)

Another player who took a Power Rankings break due to the lack of international action, the Nigerian striker was quickly back in the goals column in a 5-0 clattering of relegation-bound RFC Seraing. Two goals saw him take his tally to nine in just seven games for his new club, and he added an assist as a little cherry on top. Orban continues to look like an almost complete striker at just 20 years of age and will almost certainly find himself tested against stronger defences than Seraing’s before too long.

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10. Yeremy Pino – Villarreal (new entry)

The tricksy, fleet-footed little winger from Villarreal notched up his third consecutive game with a goal contribution during the 2-0 win over Real Sociedad on Sunday, jinking rapidly past a midfielder before threading the ball into the path of Nicolas Jackson to do the honours. Equally capable of beating his man with a quick change of pace or a neat piece of skill as he is passing and crossing, he’s a truly versatile wideman who already has nine international caps to his name and has been linked in the past year with Arsenal and Chelsea, who presumably need to fill out the collection of wide forwards a little more. Pino has been on tremendous form of late after a comparatively quiet start to the season, and is inevitably going to crop up on the rumour mill again before long.