Everton midfielder Tom Davies, Fulham's teenage sensation - and rumoured Manchester United target - Ryan Sessegnon and Ronaldo Vieira of Leeds United have been named as English football's three most promising young prospects under 20 years of age in a recent study conducted by the CIES Football Observatory.
The respected independent study centre in Neuchatel, Switzerland released its updated list of Under-20 players from 22 European competitions with the best career prospects on Monday (19 February) having analysed domestic league experience cumulated during the last two years.
According to the CIES, "minutes played by each footballer were weighted according to the sporting level of leagues and the results achieved by employer clubs".
Everton academy graduate Davies, who has made a total of 60 senior appearances for the Toffees across all competitions since being handed his senior debut by Ronald Koeman in January 2017, is both the top-ranked English and England-based player on the list of highest experience capital scores, clocking in at seventh behind Nice centre-back Malang Sarr and RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano.
That is good enough for inclusion in the five-star category, which CIES says is for players who "should be able to establish themselves in the very best European teams". AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is top of the pile, followed by Toulouse custodian Alban Lafont, AS Monaco's Paris Saint-Germain loanee Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic.
Under-19 international Sessegnon is the next England-based prospect at 10. The highly-rated 17-year-old left-sided talent netted his seventh goal in eight matches and his 12th of the season during Championship Fulham's 2-0 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Aston Villa on Saturday [17 February] and has been linked with the heavyweight trio of United, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, per football.london.
Vieira, ranked at 20 behind a group including Ajax starlet Justin Kluivert, is another four-star prospect regarded as having the "concrete possibility to spend the big part of their career in the most competitive European championships".
The Guinea-Bissau-born midfielder signed for Leeds in September 2015 after impressing during an initial stint with the Under-18s and has also featured on 60 occasions at first-team level, eventually forcing his way into Thomas Christiansen's plans before being left as an unused substitute for the first two matches of Paul Heckingbottom's reign at Elland Road.
Versatile United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah - currently on a season-long loan at Crystal Palace - pops up behind the likes of Barcelona's Carles Alena and Real Madrid's Heerenveen loanee Martin Odegaard in 32nd. As a three-star prospect, he is deemed to have a "favourable position to stay or reach the highest levels of the football pyramid".
Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is listed at 41, seven places above Real counterpart Achraf Hakimi.
Last year, the "experience rankings" were divided into year of birth, with Tottenham's Dele Alli, now 21, headlining the 1996 cohort ahead of Marco Asensio, Demarai Gray, Leroy Sane, Kelechi Iheanacho, Jairo Riedewald and Isaac Success.
Fosu-Mensah, Renato Sanches, Ousmane Dembele, Lewis Cook, Marcus Rashford, Oliver Burke and Jonathan Leko also made the cut for their respective years.