Croatia and RB Leipzig defender Joško Gvardiol is the fourth best U21 football player in Europe this season according to a survey conducted by the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), with the help of InStat partners.
CIES ranked the 100 best performing U21 young players from 32 leagues in Europe, taking into account 15 technical categories and eight different aspects of the game – including air defence, ground defence, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation, air attack and shooting.
Topping the list was Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, followed by Mason Greenwood (Manchester United), Patrick Wimmer (Arminia Bielefeld) and Gvardiol (RB Leipzig)
🇭🇷💪— HNS (@HNS_CFF) April 5, 2022
No. 4⃣ among the Top 💯 youngsters in Europe, and the best defender at the list: #Croatia international Joško Gvardiol of @RBLeipzig!
At no. 7⃣1⃣, #Croatia U-21 international Marin Ljubičić of @hajduk! @CIES_Football | #Vatreni❤️🔥 pic.twitter.com/67fBaQGwMW
In ranking 4th, Gvardiol was determined to have a “ground blocker playmaker” profile. Saka has a “infiltrator creator” profile, whilst Mason Greenwood has a “shooter infiltrator” profile (“shooting and take on”) and Patrick Wimmer a “shooter creator” one (“shooting and chance creation).
20-year-old Gvardiol made his debut for Croatia in June 2021 against Belgium in a friendly ahead of Euro where he started all games at the tournament. He has played 10 times for his country, scoring once.
Also making the Top 100 was another Croatian, Hajduk Split’s Marin Ljubičić who was ranked 71st with a “target man” profile.