By Ameenu Shardow
Ghana winger Christian Atsu has been shockingly left out of the three-man shortlist for the 2012 Golden Boy Award.
The award is handed out to the most impressive U-21 player in Europe.
This yearâ€™s award will be contested by Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Malaga midfielder Isco and AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy.
Atsu was snubbed for the accolade despite impressing for Rio Ave and FC Porto in the calendar year.
The 20-year-oldâ€™s rise has received worldwide recognition and his star arguably much brighter than Courtois and Isco in particular.
Atsu emerged the best player during his loan stint at Rio Ave.
He has been re-installed into the Porto first team since his return to the Dragao at the beginning of the season.
His superb ball control and mesmerizing skills has been likened to Argentine great Lionel Messi and is being courted by several big European teams.
Atsuâ€™s improved performance has seen him snatch a regular place in the Ghana national team and is one of the sure bets to make the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations squad of the Black Stars.
Despite these achievements in the year under review, the Ghana international was overlooked for the prestigious award.
His omission is likely to draw a lot of criticisms from football fans all around the world especially Ghanaians.
The winner of this yearâ€™s award is expected to be announced a week before Christmas on a yet to be determined date.
Do you think Christian Atsu should have made the shortlist?
Are this year's contestants ahead of the Ghana international?
Hasn't Atsu done enough this year to merit a place in the three-man shortlist?
Please make your thoughts known in the comment box below...