There are a handful of individual awards handed out at every World Cup. The Golden Ball honors the top player, the Golden Boot is given to the top scorer, the Golden Glove goes to the top keeper, and then there’s the FIFA Young Player Award for – you guessed it – the best young player of the tournament. The FIFA Young Player Award is handed out to the best player who is no more than 21 years old.

There hasn’t been an update to the oddsboard for the Young Player Award even though we’re getting close to the end of the group stage, but considering that, who’s actually got the best shot at taking the award?

England’s Jude Bellingham had the best opening odds to win at +300. Spain’s Pedro Gonzalez was second in the odds at +500 per sportsbook BetUS.

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World Cup FIFA Young Player Award Odds

Odds To Win FIFA Young Player Award
Player Country Opening Odds
Jude Bellingham England +300
Pedro Gonzalez Spain +500
Jamal Musiala Germany +550
Bukayo Saka England +700
Gavi Spain +800
Yeremi Pino Spain +2800
Gio Reyna USA +2800
Karim Adeyemi Germany +3300
Enzo Fernandez Argentina +3300
Eduardo Camavinga France +3300
William Saliba France +3300
Rodrygo Brazil +4000
Martinelli Brazil +4000
Xavi Simons Netherlands +4000

Odds as of November 16 at BetOnline Sportsbook

World Cup Young Player Award: Top 3

Bukayo Saka - England (+700)

Goal-scoring is a massive factor when considering who wins this award. Among the players eligible for the award, Saka leads the way with two goals. That already puts him at the top of the conversation through three games. And with England moving on to the Round of 16, and maybe further, Saka will get a chance to put up more numbers.

Outside of the goals, he’s got 0.4 xG, 1.19 shots on target per 90 and 1.84 shot-creating actions per 90. He’s a big part of England’s team so far and will continue to be a big part of the team as the tournament progresses. 

The Arsenal man opened the tournament at +700. On a $100 bet, that’s a $700 profit. That’s a heck of a payout.

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Jamal Musiala - Germany (+550)

The young German forward has 0.7 xG through two games. He hasn’t scored but I can tell you he is making things happen for the Germans, with nearly six and a half shot-creating actions per 90. He’s pulling the strings on the pitch with his stellar distribution thanks to a 90.2 percent pass completion rate.

At the time of writing, the Germans hadn’t yet booked their ticket through the group stage, but if they do, Musiala will be at the heart of it all.

Gavi - Spain (+800)

The 18-year-old Barcelona product has played 155 minutes so far at this World Cup. He’s got 0.58 goals per 90 on 0.1 xG. His 88.4 percent pass completion rate fits right into Spain’s possession game.

He’s also putting up 1.74 shot-creating actions and 0.58 goal-creating actions, both per 90. Again, he fits right into how Spain plays the game at the young age of 18. Remarkable. 

You’ll see below that attacking players typically win this award when they put up around 0.62 xG. Gavi is right around that so far. 

To get him at +800 could return an incredible $800 in profits.

World Cup Young Player Award: Last 5 Winners

Over the past five tournaments, the FIFA Young Player Award has gone to a European player every year but once. That was Landon Donovan in 2002 with Team USA. Here are the last five winners of the award:

Last 5 FIFA Young Player Award Winners
Year Player Country
2018 Kylian Mbappe France
2014 Paul Pogba France
2010 Thomas Mueller Germany
2006 Lukas Podolski Germany
2002 Landon Donovan USA

 

The other takeaway from this list is that an attacking player has won the award in four of the last five tournaments. Only Paul Pogba bucks that trend. The French central midfielder plies his trade from a deeper role in the middle of the park and is less of a direct attacker like the other names on this list.

The four attackers who have won it averaged 0.62 goals per 90 in their respective tournaments. It’s attacking players who put their chances away that we’re looking for. For that to happen, said attacking player needs to be given a chance with some significant minutes.

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