The prestigious French newspaper L’Equipe has named their 50 most promising young footballers, with players having to be born in the year 2001 or after to meet the criteria.
The list is topped by world-famous Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, with other well-known talents such as Ryan Gravenberch of AFC Ajax and Mason Greenwood of Manchester United included in the top 10. In amongst the names though there’s also room for 18-year-old Scot Aaron Hickey, who has already made ten appearances in the top flight of Italy since his continental transfer in the summer.
Hickey earned rave reviews during his time in Gorgie, he made his debut when at just 16 and the same season started for Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final, becoming the youngest player to do so since Jon Fleck for Rangers in 2008. The following year he picked up another 30 games for the Jambos with rumours beginning to circulate some of Europe’s biggest clubs were showing interest.
Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Juventus were a few to be linked with the full-back, but it ended up being Bologna of Italy who secured Hickey’s signature, with Hearts reported to have netted a handy £1.5 million.
His debut for the Rossoblù came in a 4-1 win over Parma and was massively prasied by the Italian media. Gazzetta Dello Sport wrote in their match report: “He made his debut at the age of 18 as if he had always played here. In the first half he showed personality and quality. A player acquired almost out of nowhere.”
Hickey, born in Glasgow, has been largely in-and-out the first team, but can already say he’s played at top venues including the San Siro in Milan, and the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Whist having to prove his worth up against seasoned pros like Romelu Lukaku and Ciro Immobile.
Despite originally being brought in as back-up, Aaron Hickey’s presence as a top-class footballer is growing year-on-year, and an inclusion amongst the biggest stars in L’Equipe’s list will do wonders in continuing to grow his reputation.
Featured Image Credit – Transfermarkt