Simulating an NFL-Style Premier League Draft for the World’s Best Young Players

You may not know, and you definitely don’t care, but it’s draft day in the NFL. 

And I’m going to guess that ‘draft day in the NFL’ means absolutely nothing to you, so here’s a little explainer: 

Draft day is when the 32 teams in the NFL (the big massive American football league) have a chance to pick the best young players from the college game in order to improve their team ahead of the new season. These picks are made reverse order, so the worst teams gets the first pick of the draft, and the best team gets the last. 

To commemorate this day that you couldn’t care less about, we at 90min – at the zenith of boredom – have decided to try and create our very own young players draft. Ours though, is a little bit different. 

We have decided to give the Premier League’s 20 clubs the opportunity to take their pick of the 20 best young players (a list of which can be found ​here) who are currently plying their trade on the continent. And here’s how we think that would go: 


Pick 1 

Kylian Mbappe

Norwich City select Kylian Mbappe

With the first pick of the draft, Norwich City select the best young player in the world: Kylian Mbappe. 

Mbappe takes to the stage, puts on a bright yellow Norwich City hat before insisting that it’s always been his dream to play in Norfolk, the home of his boyhood hero Alan Partridge. 

Teenage mutant Norwich forward rating: 10/10


Pick 2

Erling Haaland

Aston Villa selects Erling Haaland

Next up is Aston Villa, who nab the only competent number nine on the draft board. 

When Villa’s pick is read out, Steve Bruce – who was hoping Haaland would be his Joelinton replacement – lets out a harrowing scream and then runs over to the forward as he walks toward the stage. Just as big Brucey is about to grab Haaland however, Tyrone Mings hacks Bruce down with a sliding tackle – his eighth successful tackle of the season.

Ivan Drago rating: 8/10


Pick 3

Jadon Sancho

Bournemouth select Jadon Sancho

Eddie Howe takes Sancho with the third pick of the draft and proceeds to do a knee slide celebration. 

The Vitality Stadium is smaller than the Yellow Wall rating: 10/10


Pick 4 

Lautaro Martinez

Watford select Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez is next off the board, and it’s safe to say that’s bloody delighted with his move to Watford. 

He walks up onto stage wearing a Gryffindor gown and holding a wand, and says that he can’t wait to go to the Harry Potter Studios.

Loves Butter Beer rating: 10/10 


Pick 5

Frenkie De Jong

West Ham United select Frenkie de Jong

David Moyes picks Frenkie de Jong, who refuses to go up to shake hands with ‘that useless Irn Bru drinking b**tard’. Noticing this, Mark Noble grabs De Jong by the collar and drags him onstage to get his West Ham hat and contract. 

Mark Noble will make him cry rating: 7/10


Pick 6

Joao Felix

Brighton & Hove Albion select Joao Felix

Brighton need goals so Graham Potter picks up the £113m-rated Joao Felix.

Brighton fans rejoice; Felix asks his friends what a ‘Brighton’ is. 

Wolves wanted him rating: 8/10


Pick 7

Matthijs de Ligt

Southampton select Matthijs de Ligt

Having conceded 52 goals in 29 games this season, Ralph Hasenhutl thinks it’s about damn time that he signed a player who could actually defend. 

He picks Matthijs de Ligt.

Mino Raiola joins De Ligt onstage and exclaims that his client is not happy at Southampton and has handed in a transfer request. 

Good luck with Raiola rating: 10/10 


Pick 8

Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga

Newcastle United select Kai Havertz

Steve Bruce hobbles onto the stages in a cast. He looks through the players available and sees that Luka Jovic is the only number on the board…

…He considers picking him…

…But doesn’t…

Instead he picks up the best player available: Kai Havertz 

At least he’s not Jovic rating: 10/10. 


Pick 9

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Everton select Gianluigi Donnarumma 

Carlo Ancelotti takes to the stage, stands with the microphone in hand and says: “With the ninth pick of the draft, Everton select Gianluigi Donnarumma. That’s right Jordan Pickford, you’re done, you t-rex armed little sh*t.” 

Has long arms rating: 10/10 


Pick 10

Alphonso Davies

Crystal Palace select Alphonso Davies 

Roy Hodgson knows what the people of south London want. They want pace. And that’s what they’ll get. 

Alphonso Davies is picked up by Crystal Palace, and in the blink of an eye he’s standing before Roy wearing a red and blue hat. 

Zaha + Davies rating: 10/10 


Pick 11

Rodrigo Bentancur

Burnley select Rodrigo Bentancur

Sean Dyche picks Rodrigo Bentancur because “he’s big, tall, large and massive.” 

Big guy rating: 8/10 


Pick 12

Sandro Tonali

Arsenal select Sandro Tonali

As per, Arsenal need a midfielder. One who, unlike Granit Xhaka, can run. One who, unlike Lucas Torreira, can kick a football. One who, unlike Mesut Ozil, isn’t bone idle. 

And they get just that. 

Tonali is selected by Man Like Robbie, who greets the Italian youngster onstage:

“HOI! Here is your red style Arsenal cap. It’s gonna be reallllllll.”

New Pirlo rating: 9/10


Pick 13

Achraf Hakimi

Tottenham Hotspur select Achraf Hakimi

Jose Mourinho comes onstage to a chorus of boos from the crowd. He shouts “respect!” into the microphone, only to be greeted by even louder boos. 

Ignoring the boos, Mourinho states that he’s picking an understudy to Serge Aurier: Achraf Hakimi. 

Aurier understudy rating: 10/10


Pick 14

Nicolò Zaniolo

Sheffield United select Nicolo Zaniolo

After Mourinho is booed off the stage, Chris Wilder comes onto it to deafening cheers. 

He laps it up before picking the best young attacking midfielder in Italy: Nicolo Zaniolo. 

‘We love you Wilder, we do!’ rating: 10/10


Pick 15

Vinicius Jr.

Wolverhampton Wanderers select Vinicius Jr. 

Nuno Espirito Santo says that he is disappointed that there are no Portuguese players left on the draft board, so he selects the next best thing: someone who can speak Portuguese. 

Speaks Portuguese rating: 10/10


Pick 16

Fede Valverde

Manchester United select Federico Valverde

The most talked about pick in the draft because, well, it’s Manchester United. 

For months every journalist and their dog has insisted that they know exactly who United are going to pick. 

Everyone guessed it would be a midfielder…but which one? 

With the 16th pick of the draft, the Red Devils select Federico Valverde. Neil Custis bursts into the arena and shouts: “I told you so! All you Athletic losers can go to hell!” He is quickly ushered out by security. 

‘You Won’t BELIEVE What Gary Neville Said About THIS Draft Pick – Details Inside’ rating: 10/10


Pick 17

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-REAL SOCIEDAD

Chelsea select Martin Odegaard

Big Frank Lampard knows Chelsea need a centre back and wide midfielder…and probably a forward too…but there’s one player left on the draft board who’s just too good to turn down. 

His name is Martin Odegaard, and his friends call him Marty (probably). 

Too good to turn down rating: 10/10


Pick 18

FC Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund: Group F - UEFA Champions League

Leicester City select Ousmane Dembele

Brendan Rodgers’ music plays (Phil Collins ‘Another Day in Paradise’) and the man himself takes to the stage.

“Hello everyone. With Leicester City’s pick tonight, we wanted a player with immense character. A player with an extraordinary talent for the extraordinary. A player who isn’t just a player, but is a human being as well – a beautiful one. So, I am happy to say that we have selected the beautiful Ousmane Demebele.” 

Beautiful human being rating: 10/10.


Pick 19

FBL-FRA-CUP-RENNES-AMIENS

Manchester City select Eduardo Camavinga 

Pep Guardiola hails Eduardo Camavinga as ‘the best footballer he’s ever seen’ and nabs him for Manchester City.

GOAT rating: 1/10.


Pick 20

Mikel Oyarzabal

Liverpool select Mikel Oyarzabal

And last, but not least, is Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp takes the mic and begins to ramble on about dishwashing and eggs: “I’m in charge of dishwashing – I enjoy it and I am now the master of that machine. I made my first scrambled eggs! I am 52 and I can’t tie a tie. The challenge for next week is to learn how to do that!”

As the crowd grow restless, Richard Scudamore tells Klopp to pick a player ‘for christ sake’.

With that prompt, Klopp looks at the draft board, ponders it, then selects Mikel Oyarzabal. 

There’s more a’s in his name that you think rating: 3/10. 


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