3. Ousmane Dembele, Borussia Dortmund
Considering that this is only Dembele’s second full season as a professional, it has been quite a journey for the two-footed teenager. He almost left Rennes before making a first-team appearance, but rejected interest from Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg before starring in his debut campaign, which ended with France’s Young Player of the Year award and a move to Borussia Dortmund.
Under the watchful guidance of coach Thomas Tuchel, Dembele has flourished. He is fast, can dribble and is a brilliant crosser of the ball. Tuchel sometimes plays him at No. 10 to improve his game awareness while his finishing has gotten better. He is down to earth and has responded to every new challenge, including representing France, as he did last November just 15 months after his professional debut. He has already been linked with a move to Barcelona, but the likelihood is that he stays in Dortmund for at least one more season before an even more elite-level club makes an offer the Bundesliga side cannot refuse.
What they're saying:
“We love his dribbling, we love his bravery, we love his pace, his control on the ball. Ousmane brilliantly combines dribbling, passing and making space to a very high level. That’s extraordinary.”
- Thomas Tuchel, Borussia Dortmund coach