Two of the A-League Men’s brightest young talents have been named in 2021’s edition of the The Guardian’s 60 best young talents in world football.
In what represents a massive recognition of achievement for both Australian football and the A-Leagues as a whole, Perth Glory’s versatile defender Joshua Rawlins and Adelaide United’s mercurial attacker Mohamed Toure were named in the list alongside Spain’s youngest ever international player Gavi and a host of other talents plying their trade across the globe.
This year’s edition solely focuses on talents born in 2004 as the well-respected website seeks to preview the rise to fame for many young players across the globe.
The list has developed a sense of prestige in recent years as writers at The Guardian provide yearly updates on each player’s progress, detailing their rise through the ranks at various clubs.
In previous iterations of the yearly list, The Guardian has profiled the likes of Erling Haaland and Federico Valverde while last year’s edition predicted the meteoric rise of Bundesliga talents Florian Wirtz and Jamal Musiala alongside Lyon’s Rayan Cherki.
Australians have made this list in the past including Olympian Dylan Pierias as well as Panos Armenakas and Noah Botić, however, this year’s edition is the first occasion upon which two players from Australia’s top division of professional football have been included.
This, therefore, perhaps serves as yet another bi-product of A-League Men clubs focusing to shift towards a rhetoric which prioritises the development of young Australian players through their academies before granting them opportunities in the first team.
While other talents from Australia’s top tier included in past versions of the list including Danny de Silva and Sebastian Pasquali have not lived up to their original hype that earned them overseas moves, Toure and Rawlins will look to buck this trend in the future by continuing their development and establishing themselves as key players in the A-League Men.
Last season, Rawlins was largely used as a right full-back for Richard Garcia’s Perth Glory, however, the 17-year-old is capable of playing in midfield and could look to transition higher up the pitch in the future. The youngster will look to cement himself in the Glory’s starting XI this season after the departures of Jason Geria and Dane Ingham.
Mohamed Toure provided a huge spark at the start of last season for Adelaide United and has since been linked with moves to Europe. Technically sound and fast with the ball at feet, Toure will look to add consistency to his game as he seeks to launch his career from Australia.
The inclusion of Rawlins and Toure on this list comes at the perfect time for the A-Leagues as they prepare for what promises to be an entertaining season supported by a new naming rights sponsor and broadcast agreement with Viacom CBS and Network 10.