Borussia Dortmund sensation Mario Götze has beaten Arsenal's Jack Wilshere and Manchester United's Phil Jones to be been named the best young player of the year by respected Italian publication Tuttosport.
The German international, already one of the most coveted players on the continent and a rumoured transfer target for Arsenal and Manchester United, won the annual 'Golden Boy' award which is an honour bestowed on the best young player in Europe under-21 and voted for by the aforementioned Italian newspaper.
Speculation in the British media has been rife in regards to Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson's alleged interest in the 19-year-old attacking midfielder and the latest honour to come his way will perhaps harden Borussia Dortmund's thus far unrelenting resolve to retain their star asset, amid reports both Manchester United and Arsenal may bid for the diminutive star next month. Last month the IBTimes confirmed a move in the January transfer window was extremely unlikely because of the precocious youngster's desire to concentrate on next summer's European Championships.
Götze pipped a host of Europe's top young players, notably Manchester United's Phil Jones, who has made a superb start to life at Old Trafford in his debut season, and jack Wilshere, who is already a mainstay in Arsenal and England's midfield.
Previous recipients of the 'Golden Boy' accolade are Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in 2004, Lionel Messi in 2005, then Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas in 2006, and last year's winner Mario Balotelli.
Tuttosport Golden Boy Past Winners:
2003 Rafael van der Vaart (Hol) Ajax
2004 Wayne Rooney (Eng) Manchester United
2005 Lionel Messi (Arg) Barcelona
2006 Cesc Fabregas (Spa) Arsenal
2007 Sergio Aguero (Arg) Atletico Madrid
2008 Anderson (Bra) Manchester United
2009 Alexandre Pato (Bra) Ac Milan
2010 Mario Balotelli (Ita) Manchester City