When the end of season awards are dished out, the Golden Shoe is the prestigious that goes to the most prolific goalscorer in Europe. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have unsurprisingly dominated it in recent years, while Luis Suarez is the current holder of the honour after his 40 La Liga goals for Barcelona last season.
There is no young player only equivalent of the continental Golden Shoe award, but a topic and detailed spreadsheet created and shared by Reddit user InbredLegoExpress has outlined exactly how the hypothetical standings would look as 2016/17 begins to reach its conclusion.
Were there a Golden Shoe prize contested only by players under the age of 23, RB Leipzig front-man Timo Werner would currently be on course to win it.
The way the Golden Shoe works is that goals are weighted in terms of how difficult the league is seen to be. Goals scored in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Primeira Liga are multiplied by two to create a Golden Shoe score.
That means the 17 Bundesliga goals netted by Werner count for 34 points. Close behind on 32 points is Tottenham youngster Dele Alli after his 16 goal season in the Premier League, while Andre Silva has score 15 times for Porto, giving him a score of 30.
A little perversely, the 18 goals scored by Danish striker Marcus Ingvartsen only count for 27 points. The 21-year-old, once linked with Everton, plays his football for Nordsjaelland in the Danish Superliga which means his tally is only multiplied by a factor of 1.5.
It is the same for Celtic hotshot Moussa Dembele whose 17 goals in Scotland only count for 25.5 points. Henry Onyekuru of Eupen in Belguim and Enes Unal, currently on loan at Twente from Manchester City, are both also on 25.5 points from 17 goals because of their leagues.
For that reason, Keita Balde Diao of Lazio and Giovanni Simeone of Genoa are both ranked higher than Ajax teenager Kasper Dolberg despite having scored three fewer goals. Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe is also ranked lower than Arsenal reject Serge Gnabry, even after scoring more goals, because of French football's lesser status in Golden Shoe circles.
The most prolific young player in Europe this season is Rauno Sappinen of Flora Tallinn. The 21-year-old Estonian has scored 19 goals from midfield, but his tally is only good enough for 20th on the list because goals scored in the lowly Estonian Meistriliiga carry a value of ju one.
Top 20 in Standings for Hypothetical 2016/17 Under-23 Golden Shoe Award:
|Player (Age)||Club||Goals||Golden Shoe Score|
|Timo Werner (21)||RB Leipzig (GER)||17||34|
|Dele Alli (21)||Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)||16||32|
|Andre Silva (21)||Porto (POR)||15||30|
|Marcus Ingvartsen (21)||Nordsjaelland (DEN)||18||27|
|Moussa Dembele (20)||Celtic (SCO)||17||25.5|
|Henry Onyekuru (19)||Eupen (BEL)||17||25.5|
|Enes Unal (19)||Twente (NED)||17||25.5|
|Keita Balde Diao (22)||Lazio (ITA)||11||22|
|Giovanni Simeone (21)||Genoa (ITA)||11||21|
|Kasper Dolberg (19)||Ajax (NED)||14||21|
|Patrik Schick (21)||Sampdoria (ITA)||10||20|
|Serge Gnabry (21)||Werder Bremen (GER)||10||20|
|Sandro Ramirez (21)||Malaga (ESP)||10||20|
|Kylian Mbappe (18)||Monaco (FRA)||13||19.5|
|Chadrac Akolo (22)||Sion (SUI)||13||19.5|
|Youri Tielemans (19)||Anderlecht (BEL)||13||19.5|
|Riad Bajic (22)||Konyaspor (TUR)||13||19.5|
|Sebastien Haller (22)||Utrecht (NED)||13||19.5|
|Steve Mounie (22)||Montpellier (FRA)||13||19.5|
|Rauno Sappinen (21)||Flora Tallinn (EST)||19||19|
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