Haaland, Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo: What's the best season by an U21 player? | OneFootball

Haaland, Mbappe, Messi, Ronaldo: What's the best season by an U21 player?

Logo: GiveMeSport

GiveMeSport

Manchester City have signed an absolute gem in Erling Braut Haaland.

The Premier League champions are acquiring the world-class striker for around €60 million after activating his release clause at Borussia Dortmund.

For a 21-year-old who’s already among the best footballers on the planet, that fee looks a mere pittance in the modern market.

Haaland has scored goals for fun during the course of his young career and is only going to get better.

But how does the Norwegian compare to other great players from this century when they were aged 21 or under?

Well, we have some answers.

Using Transfermarkt, we’ve worked out the 25 most prolific seasons (goals and assists combined for a team in one of Europe’s top five leagues) by a footballer in the aforementioned age bracket since the turn of the millennium.

And Haaland occupies two spots in the top five…

The 25 best seasons by an U21 player in the 21st century

=25. Mario Gotze (Borussia Dortmund, 2012/13) – 36

Goals: 16 | Assists: 20

=23. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, 2008/09) – 36

Goals: 21 | Assists: 15

=23. Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco, 2017/18) – 36

Goals: 21 | Assists: 15

22. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid, 2008/09) – 36

Goals: 24 | Assists: 12

21. Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan, 2014/15) – 36

Goals: 27 | Assists: 9

20. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid, 2007/08) – 36

Goals: 26 | Assists: 10

19. Eden Hazard (Chelsea, 2012/13) – 37

Goals: 13 | Assists: 24

18. Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid, 2009/10) – 37

Goals: 29 | Assists: 8

17. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur, 2014/15) – 37

Goals: 31 | Assists: 6

16. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich, 2010/11) – 38

Goals: 19 | Assists: 19

15. Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim, 2013/14) – 38

Goals: 22 | Assists: 16

14. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United, 2006/07) – 38

Goals: 23 | Assists: 15

=12. Mesut Ozil (Werder Bremen, 2009/10) – 39

Goals: 10 | Assists: 29

=12. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid, 2010/11) – 39

Goals: 10 | Assists: 29

11. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund, 2019/20) – 40

Goals: 20 | Assists: 20

10. Kylian Mbappe (AS Monaco, 2016/17) – 40

Goals: 26 | Assists: 14

9. Karim Benzema (Lyon, 2007/08) – 41

Goals: 31 | Assists: 10

8. Eden Hazard (Lille, 2011/12) – 44

Goals: 22 | Assists: 22

7. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, 2006/07) – 45

Goals: 23 | Assists: 22

6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, 2019/20) – 48

Goals: 30 | Assists: 18

5. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, 2020/21) – 53

Goals: 41 | Assists: 12

4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, 2020/21) – 53

Goals: 42 | Assists: 11

3. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund, 2019/20) – 54

Goals: 44 | Assists: 10

2. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain, 2018/19) – 56

Goals: 39 | Assists: 17

  1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona, 2008/09) – 57

Goals: 38 | Assists: 19

Some legendary names feature and as per usual, Messi sits at the top of the pile.

Mbappe features an astonishing five times, which is utterly absurd when you think about it.

The Frenchman and Haaland certainly are the future of football and it’ll be a huge shock if one of them doesn’t go on to win the Ballon d’Or.

To be honest, they’re both likely to scoop the accolade at some point…

Mentioned in this article

View publisher imprint