Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere , Liverpool attacker Dani Pacheco and Manchester City's Italian striker Mario Balotelli are among the nominees for this year's 'Golden Boy' award.
The poll for the top young player in European football born after 1 January 1989, is organized by Italian daily Tuttosport. Thirty journalists from top European sporting media will decide which player has performed best over the calendar year.
Wilshere has established himself in the Arsenal team, while controversial figure Balotelli played his part in Inter Milan's treble success last season before securing a big money move to Manchester City. Liverpool's Dani Pacheco was one of the stars of last summer's European under-19 championship, finishing as the tournament's top scorer.
Other English-based players in the 40 nominees include Manchester United trio Federico Macheda, Bebe and Rafael, Chelsea's Gael Kakuta and Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso.
Past winners of the award include Barcelona's Lionel Messi (2005), Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney (2004) and Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas (2006).
Although Arsenal star Wilshere has made big strides this year, the favourites for the award are likely to include Anderlecht's star striker Romelu Lukaku and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea, who helped his side win the Europa League.
( The full list of nominees is as follows....Collapse )