Manchester United have a Zidane to call upon, Southampton are fighting to keep ‘the next Gareth Bale’, while Aston Villa have high hopes for Aaron Ramsey… every club’s young star looking to break out in the Premier League this season
- Many Premier League clubs have young stars on the brink of first team action
- Manchester United’s Zidane Iqbal has impressed in midfield during pre-season
- Southampton look set to lose highly rated 16-year-old star Tyler Dibling
- Tottenham are hoping to call upon Pape Sarr, who joined the club last summer
At this time of year, all the focus still appears on what clubs can do in the transfer window to boost their first-team and overall squad.
Sometimes though the answer may be right under their noses through various youth set-ups or foreign transfers displaying kids that could be ready to start showing their potential.
So on the weekend of the big kick-off, Sportsmail looks at each Premier League club’s brightest youth prospect who will be looking to make a major splash in the top flight this term.
Miguel Azeez has looked impressive for Arsenal during pre-season under Mikel Arteta’s watch
Arsenal – Miguel Azeez
If there is one thing that has been working well down at Arsenal in recent times it’s the youth academy, which in the last couple of years has already helped produce now-established stars such as Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.
There are many candidates for who is next but there is big excitement for Miguel Azeez stepping up into the midfield.
The 19-year-old England youth international made his first-team debut in the Europa League a couple of seasons back and had a brief spell on loan at Portsmouth last season.
Aston Villa – Aaron Ramsey
No, not a ‘regen’ of the Wales star but Aston Villa will certainly hope he can be just as good in the midfield.
Ramsey played a key role in England’s Under 19 success at the Euros this summer, netting in the final victory over Israel.
His brother Jacob has already made a splash in Steven Gerrard’s team and having made his debut in a League Cup match last season, the 19-year-old will hope to feature more in the first-team this term.
Aaron Ramsey will be hoping to follow his brother Jacob into the Aston Villa first team
Bournemouth – Christian Saydee
In what could be a tough campaign for Bournemouth in the top flight, it could perhaps give an opportunity to show what their young stars can do.
Saydee joined the Cherries in 2019 but only made his debut last term with a couple of Championship appearances while also scoring in a League Cup tie.
He spent a brief amount of time on loan in League One at Burton Albion at the start of the year.
Brentford – Fin Stevens
Brentford looked a little short of quality at full-back last season but thankfully they may have the solution to their problem right under their noses.
Right-back Fin Stevens made a brief Premier League cameo back in January but his progress since has been such that he has earned a promotion to the first team and been given a five-year deal over the summer.
The Wales Under 21 international could prove an important figure for Thomas Frank this term – with the added bonus he can play in midfield too.
Brighton – Julio Enciso
Graham Potter has worked wonders with this Brighton team, weather it’s overseeing the development of young stars such as Tariq Lamptey or integrating veterans such as Adam Lallana into the Seagulls’ squad.
So the Brighton boss is probably the best man for the job when it comes to introducing Julio Enciso to the Premier League following his £10million arrival from Paraguay.
Little is known about the 18-year-old on these shores but he could be a secret weapon for the South Coast outfit in their attack this term.
Chelsea – Carney Chukwuemeka
Having turned down a contract with Aston Villa, Chukwuemeka has joined Chelsea in a £20million move on the eve of the new season purely with a view to getting first team football as soon as possible.
It displays encouraging confidence from the midfielder who was also tracked by Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona.
Having also been part of England’s Under 19 Euros success this summer, don’t be surprised if he develops into a breakout star at Stamford Bridge this term.
Chelsea announced the £20million signing of Carney Chukwuemeka on the eve of the season
Crystal Palace – Jesurun Rak-Sakyi
Palace know how to develop a player and the current team have many examples including Marc Guehi, Michael Olise, Ebere Eze, Nathan Ferguson and of course Wilfried Zaha.
So the question is who is next? Like Zaha, there is another promising winger coming through in Jesurun Rak-Sakyi.
The England Under 20 international is still just 19 and made a couple of Premier League appearances under Patrick Vieira last term.
Everton – Reece Welch
Conceding a concerning 66 goals last season, Everton need to plug some gaps at the back and Reece Welch could be the long term answer to the problem.
Standing at 6ft 5in the 18-year-old has impressed manager Frank Lampard and made in his debut as a substitute in an FA Cup win over Boreham Wood back in March.
He hasn’t played since but did feature in a further five games as an unused sub. If the Toffees avoid another relegation battle he could be handed more minutes.
Everton’s Reece Welch has been assessed during pre-season by manager Frank Lampard
Fulham – Jay Stansfield
Fulham fans might find it hard to believe Stansfield is still only 19-years-old having made his debut just before lockdown in 2020.
He’s played just twice since including a Championship display last term while he netted his first goal in a League Cup tie against Birmingham City a year ago.
Capped at England Under 20 level, now could be the chance to show his full worth to the first team.
Leeds United – Crysencio Summerville
If you need to know how highly rated Summerville is at Elland Road just take a look at his shirt number.
Following a handful of appearances including his debut last season, the Dutch forward has been given the No 10 shirt previously worn by fan favourite Raphinha before his summer exit to Barcelona.
Having recently signed a new deal with the club, the Dutch Under 21 international is certainly one to keep an out for this term.
Crysencio Summerville (right) has taken on Raphinha’s No 10 squad number as he hopes to break into the Leeds United first team on a regular basis this season
Leicester City – Sammy Braybrooke
As a holding midfielder in front of the defence, there may be some concerns over Braybrooke’s height at just 5ft 6in but he has much to offer and appears to have the talent at his feet to compensate.
Strong on the ball, rarely losing possession – dare we say it but there are shades of former Foxes star N’Golo Kante about him.
The 18-year-old is yet to make his Leicester debut but has caught the eye of manager Brendan Rodgers who had him on the bench for both legs of last season’s Conference League quarter-final against PSV Eindhoven.
Liverpool – Kaide Gordon
Liverpool have attacking talent by the bucket load in the first team, and it appears they have some quality standing by in the academy ranks too.
Gordon was an arrival from Derby County 18 months ago for a fee of up to £3million and he made his debut in the League Cup 11 months ago, before going on to score his first goal for the club in an FA Cup win over Shrewsbury earlier this year.
Given the big names he would need to displace from the first team, he is unlikely to see regular football this term but he could see an increase in action as he continues to impress Jurgen Klopp following his Premier League debut against Brentford in January.
Kaide Gordon has already scored his first Liverpool goal and will look to kick on this term
Manchester City – Cole Palmer
Manchester City might like to splash the cash but that doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate a promising youth talent coming through – take Phil Foden for instance.
There could be more where the England midfielder came from too and there has been long-time excitement about the potential of Cole Palmer at the Etihad Stadium.
It appears he is now ready to step up too. He scored in the FA Cup, League Cup and even the Champions League last term, while also making four Premier League appearances. Still just 20, expect to see him used even more by Pep Guardiola this season.
Cole Palmer will hope to feature more in the attacking portion of Manchester City’s squad
Manchester United – Zidane Iqbal
Manchester United looked to bolster their creative talents with Christian Eriksen this summer, but they signing could also have been made to help get the very best out of exciting prospect Zidane Iqbal.
The 19-year-old made his debut last December in a Champions League clash at home to Young Boys and continues to hover around the first team picture.
He impressed as part of Erik ten Hag’s pre-season squad and the Dutch boss appears keen on the Iraq international – marking him out as a clear breakout prospect among the Old Trafford starlets.
Zidane Iqbal caught the eye with impressive displays in pre-season for Manchester United
Newcastle United – Elliot Anderson
Right place, wrong time? Let’s hope not for Elliot Anderson who is taking his first steps in his senior career right as Newcastle start to get the urge to cash a few cheques to bolster their team.
Anderson has already made his Toon debut, player against Arsenal twice in the Premier League and FA Cup last year before spending a productive half-season at Bristol Rovers on loan in League Two – scoring eight goals in 21 games.
Having switched allegiances from England to Scotland, he is now an Under 21 star too and fans will hope he gets more chances to impress in the attacking areas of midfield this term.
Nottingham Forest – Dale Taylor
Forest performed something of a coup when they signed Dale Taylor from Linfield in 2020, seeing off Leeds United for the then 16-year-old forward.
Since then progression has been encouraging featuring in the Forest youth teams and having since earned caps for Northern Ireland at Under 21 level and senior level.
Still just 18, the Premier League may be a step up too soon for Taylor but he will hope to at least get a few first team minutes under his belt given Steve Cooper has signed over a first-team worth of players in the summer window.
Southampton – Tyler Dibling
Good news, Saints fans – Tyler Dibling is not just one of Southampton’s brightest prospects – he is arguably one of the best youth talents in the United Kingdom.
The bad news, Saints fans – he isn’t likely to be at St Mary’s much longer. Newcastle and Chelsea have been chasing the 16-year-old star who has been dubbed the next Gareth Bale.
The Blues appear to be on the brink of signing him for £1.5m as they continue to land England’s most promising talents. Dibling went viral on the internet last term after scoring a hat-trick of near identical goals for the Saints Under 23s against Newcastle.
Tottenham – Pape Sarr
Spurs have made promising recruitments over the summer but it’s one they made last year that could win over fans this term.
Pape Sarr is a Senegal international who was signed from and loaned back to French side Metz last term but now he has finally joined up with the first-team at Spurs.
There is still a chance he could go out on loan again but the 19-year-old could also play a part in a midfield that is undergoing a revolution under Antonio Conte.
Pape Sarr joined Tottenham Hotspur last summer but has only just joined with the first team following a loan spell at his former side Metz last season
West Ham – Jamal Baptiste
The Hammers have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years under David Moyes but now they have European football on a regular basis they need a bigger squad.
Centre-back options are a tough prospect to gauge but thankfully they may have a perfect fit for the future in Baptiste.
The 18-year-old has been compared to Rio Ferdinand by the club’s former striker Carlton Cole, with the England youth star making his debut last year in the FA Cup while also appearing last season in the Europa League.
Wolves – Chem Campbell
Still just 19 years old, Campbell has been on the scene for a while having made his debut in a League Cup defeat by Aston Villa three years ago.
Bruno Lage has high hopes for the former Wales youth winger though and brought him back into the first team fold in April when he came on as a second half substitute in a loss at Newcastle.
This could now be the year Campbell gets a chance to prove his first-team worth.
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