Having burst onto the scene at Porto – becoming the club's youngest-ever appearance-maker and scorer – before being snapped up by Nuno Espirito Santo, the 18-year-old is part of a star-studded group.
Borussia Dortmund pair Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, Bayern Munich flyer Alphonso Davies, Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood are also in contention for the prestigious gong.
The Golden Boy award – started by Italian outlet Tuttosport in 2003 – goes to the best player in Europe under the age of 21, with a panel of journalists from a range of countries and publications picking the winner.
Silva came up with three goals in 18 games as Porto won the Primeira Liga and Taca de Portugal last season – after scoring 20 times in just 26 matches for the under-19s side.
He has made three appearances in gold and black since joining on a five-year deal in the summer, and his compatriot Joao Felix, of Atletico Madrid, was the Golden Boy winner last year.
Pedro Neto and Morgan Gibbs-White were in the original 100-man shortlist for this year's prize.