Celtic, Aberdeen and ex-Rangers star amongst best performing U21 stars in Europe - but no Aaron Hickey

Scotland star Billy Gilmour is regarded as one of the top 50 players in the whole of Europe under the age of 21.

Calvin Ramsay in action for Aberdeen.  (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Calvin Ramsay in action for Aberdeen. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Research from the CIES Football Observatory has unearthed the ‘100 best performing U21 outfield players from 32 European leagues’.

Gilmour is joined on the list by Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay and Celtic's Liel Abada.

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There is no place for former Hearts star Aaron Hickey. The 19-year-old has played 28 times for Bologna in Serie A, scoring four goals.

Celtic's Liel Abada has scored and provided plenty of goals. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

His form has not only earned him Scotland recognition but reported interest from AC Milan, Brentford and Newcastle United.

Each player is given a technical profile from eleven game indicators developed by InStat with eight different game areas: air defence, ground defence, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation, air attack and shooting.

Gilmour, on loan at Norwich City, places 49th. He is regarded as a playmaker creator with distribution and chance creation taken greater precedence.

Having played just four of the first 11 Premier League matches for the Canaries, he has missed just four of the last 19.

The next on the list is Israeli star Abada, placing 77th. He is viewed as a shooter infiltrator due to his ability to take players on and shooting. He has 14 goals in all competitions for Celtic. In the league he has a combined 15 goals and assists.

Finally, Ramsay comes in at 83rd. The 18-year-old has played 52 per cent of league minutes and has impressed with his attacking thrust. The research has him as an infiltrator creator, due to his proclivity to take players on and create chances.

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