Justin Kluivert Ajax Tactical Analysis

The Roma forward won the prize for the world’s best teenage footballer in 2018 and is backing his 17-year-old compatriot to follow in his footsteps.

Former NxGn winner Justin Kluivert has backed Ajax adolescent Ryan Gravenberch to emulate him and win the 2020 prize.

Every year Goal counts down the top 50 teenage footballing talents on the planet, with Kluivert crowned the winner back in 2018 having broken into the first team at Ajax.

The son of former Barcelona and Netherlands ahead Patrick, Kluivert beat the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz into the trophy two years ago while the two 2017 winner Gianluigi Donnarumma and 2019 victor Jadon Sancho were also included on the list.

Now aged 20, Kluivert has had his say on who he thinks should follow in his footsteps when the 2020 list is shown on Tuesday, March 31.

The likes of Mason Greenwood, Ansu Fati, Rodrygo and Gabriel Martinelli are in the running this time around, but Kluivert believes compatriot Gravenberch deserves celebrating after several impressive performances at the Ajax first team this year.

“I believe the player who must win NxGn is Ajax’s Gravenberch,” Kluivert, who now plays Roma having left Amsterdam in the summer of 2018, told DAZN. “He’s the new Paul Pogba.

“He is extremely nice and very young. He’s really a top player.”

Gravenberch has stepped up to be a routine in Erik ten Hag’s side throughout the 2019-20 campaign having initially made his debut for the Eredivisie champions as a 16-year-old in September 2018.

In emerging against PSV he became the youngest player to represent the Dutch giants in a league game, breaking a record previously held by five-time Champions League winner Clarence Seedorf.

So far this season he’s made 12 appearances for the Ajax first team, scoring three goals as Ten Hag’s side aim to defend the Eredivisie title they won for the first time in five years in 2019.

Kluivert, meanwhile, has fought his way back to the Roma beginning XI under Paulo Fonseca this year, scoring seven goals in his 27 appearances across all contests.