Enzo Fernandez making run for World Cup FIFA Young Player Award

2022 World Cup FIFA Young Player Award: Will Fernandez Lock It Up?

Did you get in early on the World Cup FIFA Young Player odds? Because the current front-runner, Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez, held odds of +3300 just two weeks ago. 

Sportsbook Sportsbook has now narrowed the field to five players. Here’s who’s left that oddsmakers will take wagers on now.

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World Cup FIFA Young Player Award Odds

Odds To Win FIFA Young Player Award
Enzo FernandezArgentina-350
Josko GvardiolCroatia+450
Jude BellinghamEngland+550
Eduardo CamavingaFrance+5000
William SalibaFrance+10000

Odds as of December 14 at Sportsbook

World Cup Young Player Award Favorite

Enzo Fernandez (-350)

Fernandez has played a part in every game of Argentina’s World Cup run. He’s played 444 total minutes and has played every minute of Argentina’s matches outside of the group stage – you know, the important games.

The only production Fernandez has put up came in that group stage, with a goal against Mexico and an assist against Poland. But even though he hasn’t managed any production since the Poland game, he’s been an impactful player for Argentina.

Since the group stage, Fernandez has averaged 3.0 progressive passes and 1.3 passes into the 18-yard box. In the entire tournament, he has put up 14 shot-creating actions and four goal-creating actions.

The fact that he’s going to play a part in the final helps his case a lot when it comes to this award. But I bet you wish you’d put money on him at +3300 a few weeks ago. I know I wish I had. 

Josko Gvardiol (+450)

A defender hasn’t won the FIFA Young Player Award in the last five tournaments. If one is to win it, he’d have to be absolutely dominant. Josko Gvardiol holds a 66.66 tackles-won percentage, with 55 percent of those tackles made in the defensive third of the pitch. 

He blocked a combination of seven shots and passes. The young Croatian made 17 tackles and interceptions and also made 33 clearances. There’s a reason Croatia played him every minute of every game during the tournament. He was an excellent player on the back end for them.

Dominant? I’m not entirely sure, but it was pretty darn close.

Players From Outside The Top Four

Only twice in the last five tournaments has a player who wasn’t part of the final four won the FIFA Young Player Award: Paul Pogba (France, 2014) and Landon Donovan (USA, 2002). It’s entirely possible that a player from outside the top four teams takes this one.

Jude Bellingham (+550)

A few weeks back, Bellingham was the leader on the FIFA Young Player oddsboard at +350. With England getting knocked out of the tournament by France, those odds have fallen to +550. He’s the eighth-youngest player at the tournament at 19 years and 168 days. 

Bellingham has put up a goal, an assist and 0.6 xG at the World Cup, as well as 17 shot-creating actions and six goal-creating actions. He was a top player for the English while playing 414 minutes for Gareth Southgate. 

So while Bellingham is no longer playing, he could still win it based on the history of this award.

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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
2018Kylian MbappeFrance
2014Paul PogbaFrance
2010Thomas MuellerGermany
2006Lukas PodolskiGermany
2002Landon DonovanUSA


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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