Flying Eagles skipper Ikouwem Utin been included in the 100-man list for the 2019 Golden Boy award, reports Futbalgalore.com.
The left back has been impressive in the last 12 months and his performance earned him a move to Maccabi Haifa from Enyimba FC.
Utin, who is a product of Enyimba models his game around Real Madrid left back Marcelo.
Italian newspaper Tutttosport named their nominee list for the 2019 Golden Boy award on June 15, with the annual award given to the best under-21 player based at a European club.
The 100-man list is expected to be trimmed down by 20 names each month until the winner is announced in December.
Ajax Amsterdam captain and Netherlands international Matthijs de Ligt, who has been linked with Ronaldo’s Juventus after the Portuguese jokingly told him to join him in Italy, is the defending Golden Boy and could make history by becoming the first player ever to retain the prestigious accolade.
Timothy Weah, son of Liberia legend George and who penned a three-year deal with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in June 2017, is also among the 100 nominees.
In a bid for more first-team opportunities, Weah joined Scottish giants Celtic on a six-month loan deal, but had his contract terminated in May, after being selected to do duty in the Under-20 World Cup for the United States of America.
The award is presented to the best U21 player in the world, and was previously won by the likes of Lionel Messi, Paul Pogba and Wayne Rooney.
Other candidates on this year’s 100-man list include Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi, Manchester United’s Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Diogo Dalot, and Juventus and Italy striker Moise Kean.
No Nigerian or even African has ever won this award since it’s inception in 2003. Hopefully Utin will bring it home.