GOLAZO 50: Argentina’s best young players [40-31]

The 2022 Golazo 50 continues and so if you missed the first part make sure to go and check it out…

Part One: 50-41

Reminder: To be eligible for the list, the players simply need to be born on or after January 1st 199(they would all have been eligible to play if there had been an Olympic tournament in 2022).

40. Pablo Solari 
River Plate
22/03/2001
Forward
New Entry

Having cut his teeth in Chile with Colo Colo, Solari made an instant impact for River when he joined midway through the year.  7 goals in his first 8 games briefly made any memories of Julián Álvarez and Enzo Fernández sink into the background, adding some vim and vigour to  Los Millonarios’ attack.  His form dipped towards the end of the season but if Solari can iron out the inconsistencies then River have a real player on their hands.

39. Federico Gattoni 
San Lorenzo
16/02/1999
Centre back
New Entry

It may have taken a little longer than expected but not far off his 24th birthday Federico Gattoni has assumed a vital role at San Lorenzo. The former Argentina youth talent played almost every game in a much improved Ciclón side and assumed the responsibility of the captain’s armband. Good in the air yet comfortable on the ball, Gattoni may not have a ceiling to play at one of Europe’s superclubs but has more than earned his spot among the 50. 

38. Julián Carranza 
Philadelphia Union
22/05/2000
Striker
Re-entry

The former Banfield striker returns to the Golazo 50 for the first time in a few years thanks to a fantastic season with Philadelphia Union.  After failing to make an impact at Inter Miami, Carranza breathed fresh life into his time in MLS with 15 goals in 2022.  Despite losing out to LA FC in the MLS Cup final, it was a successful season on an individual level for Carranza who proved that he belongs at this level and that there is the potential for further improvement.

37. Bruno Zapelli 
Belgrano 
16/05/2002
Attacking midfielder
2021 Golazo ranking: 44

Promotion back to the top flight secured in style and now we get to see what Belgrano’s jewel Bruno Zapelli can do in the big league. A classy old-school playmaker with all the tricks and creativity to boot, number 10s like Zapelli feel like a bit of a dying breed. Consistency and end product can certainly improve but the raw materials remain to be a special player capable of lighting up the LPF in 2023. 

36. Luis Vázquez 
Boca Juniors
24/04/2001
Striker
2021 Golazo ranking: 41

While not necessarily as eye-catching as his breakthrough season last year, Vázquez has made steady progress for Boca, making almost 50 appearances across all competitions in 2022.  True he may still not be a guaranteed starter and goals have been harder to come by but being a regular part of a title-winning squad is nothing to be sniffed at.  The emergence of Luca Langoni may have knocked him down the pecking order of “exciting young forwards” at the club but he remains a prospect worth keeping tabs on.

35. Julián Fernández 
Vélez Sarsfield
30/01/2004
Winger
New Entry

Vélez once again have no shortage of inductees in this year’s Golazo 50 and the performances of Julián Fernández deservedly place the 18-year-old among them. A pacy, skillful wide player in the mold of Angel Di María, Fernández reserved his best performances for the Copa Libertadores where he scored twice in the quarter-final win over Talleres to fire the Fortineros to the last four. Set for a more prominent role in the starting eleven this season, Fernández may be on the cusp of a real breakout. 

34. Ezequiel Bullaude 
Feyenoord
26/10/2000
Attacking midfielder
New Entry

The tall, classy playmaker with an eye for goal continued his excellent 2021 form with another 6 goals and 2 assists for Godoy Cruz, before Dutch giants Feyenoord took a punt on him in the summer.  Things haven’t necessarily gone to plan since his move to Europe but a period of adaptation was always to be expected but he merits a place based on his displays in the first half of the year.

33. Matías Galarza 
Genk
04/03/2002
Central midfielder
New Entry

With limited experience so far in Belgium it’s too early to say how far Matías Galarza can go but it was with good reason that Genk paid $6 million for the 20-year-old. A graduate of Argentinos Juniors’ famed academy, the 20-year-old immediately looked at ease in the Bichos midfield. Cool under pressure, neat touches and an eye for a pass Galarza is a deep-lying playmaker with everything required to thrive at the top end of the game.   

32. Juan Sforza 
Newell’s Old Boys
14/02/2002
Central midfielder
New Entry

Unlucky to have just missed out on the list last year, Sforza has quietly and consistently gone about his business to become an absolute integral part of Newell’s midfield by the age of 20. The former U17 international has already amassed 70 appearances, mostly as a starter, helping la Lepra to a sixth-place finish in the league.  With Gabriel Heinze now in charge, 2023 could be the year that Sforza takes his game to the next level.

31. Valentín Gómez 
Vélez Sarsfield
26/06/2003
Centre back
New Entry

When Vélez lost club captain Lautaro Giannetti to a serious knee injury it could easily have derailed plans yet teenager Valentín Gómez came into the starting eleven and looked as though he had been there for years. Composed and assured on the ball, the 19-year-old fits well with the club philosophy of playing from the back and feeding passes into the midfield. Solid defensively too, Gómez will play for the under-20s at the Sudamericano and Vélez may well then find themselves inundated with offers.